Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Human rights, yeah and what then?

Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world, from birth until death. They apply regardless of where you are from, what you believe or how you choose to live your life. They can never be taken away, although they can sometimes be restricted – for example if a person breaks the law, or in the interests of national security. These basic rights are based on shared values like dignity, fairness, equality, respect and independence. These values are defined and protected by law. In Britain our human rights are protected by the Human Rights Act 1998. (

Very laudable I’d say. And there is more, not just those few sentences above. We have the European Convention, we have International Human Rights. Brilliant. Is it? Well, it really depends how you look at it and where you are situated on the planet. Let’s have a look at the basics. What are your rights when you are born as an Eskimo? As an Amazonian Indian living in the darkest middle? Or as a Mongol in a yurt? It seems to me that the only thing that matters then is the care, the love of parents. If that is not available then blooey go your rights. You’ll be dead. Obviously human rights are simply a set of ideas set up, agreed by many different governments and then argued over. If we are scrupulously honest we note that human rights are really zero. It is only when people actually care they may mean something. It is only when things appear to go wrong on a personal level people start to shout about human rights. We should ask, OK human rights, great but have chimpanzees rights? Gorillas? All other animals? They are born, they are alive! What about trees? They are alive too. In principle, I’d agree with the drawn up laws of Human Rights, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, meaning the test of the law is in the actual use of it, the why and what for. And my friends that’s where it fails in many, many ways. I go by a few simple ways of living. As a Christian I go by ‘Treat your neighbour as you would want to be treated yourself’. Factually ‘neighbour’ meaning everybody and everything else. Human rights? No, not really but a personal moral way of living. Caring about others whether white, black, pink or grey.

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