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Universal Declaration of Human Rights

“Live one day at a time emphasizing ethics rather than rules”

Wayne Dyer

The Ragged project has chosen the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as it’s guiding ethos and document. All talks and activities of the Ragged project must fit within the scope of the U.D.H.R. If you have any questions or queries please get in touch.

After the world wars of the 20th century, it was thought that it might be a good idea to have an association of most of the countries in the world where they could work out their problems peacefully with diplomacy instead of warfare. This organization could mediate in arguments between nations, and it could also help with crises in poor countries, vaccinating children, digging wells, providing medicines, and also serve peace-keeping functions in places where war was likely.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Anyway, an association like this has to start with a statement of common values. This is what we all believe, and this is what we’re all trying to protect where it exists, and to achieve where it doesn’t exist. You can’t belong to our club unless you go along with this stuff. That’s really the importance of it – everyone has these common rights, and everyone should know what common rights they have.

This is maybe the most important thing you will ever read, please tell others about this document.  During the Second World War the allies adopted the Four Freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom from fear and freedom from want, as their basic war aims.

The United Nations Charter “reaffirmed faith in fundamental human rights, and dignity and worth of the human person” and committed all member states to promote “universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion”.

Hitler brought about tyranny

When the crimes committed by Nazi Germany became apparent after the Second World War, the consensus within the world community was that the United Nations Charter did not sufficiently define the rights it referenced. A universal declaration that specified the rights of individuals was necessary to give effect to the Charter’s provisions on human rights. Canadian John Peters Humphrey was called upon by the United Nations Secretary-General to work on the project and became the Declaration’s principal drafter.

At the time Humphrey was newly appointed as Director of the Division of Human Rights within the United Nations Secretariat. The Commission on Human Rights, a standing body of the United Nations, was constituted to undertake the work of preparing what was initially conceived as an International Bill of Rights.

The membership of the Commission was designed to be broadly representative of the global community with representatives of the following countries serving: Australia, Belgium, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Chile, China, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Lebanon, Panama, Philippines, United Kingdom, United States, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Uruguay and Yugoslavia.

Well known members of the Commission included Eleanor Roosevelt of the United States, who was the Chairperson, Jacques Maritain, Rene Cassin and Stephane Hessel of France, Charles Malik of Lebanon, and P. C. Chang of the Republic of China, among others. Humphrey provided the initial draft which became the working text of the Commission.

The Universal Declaration was adopted by the General Assembly on 10 December 1948 by a vote of 48 in favour, 0 against, with eight abstentions: the USSR, Ukrainian SSR, Byelorussian SSR, Yugoslavia, Poland, South Africa, Czechoslovakia and Saudi Arabia.

The following countries voted in favour of the Declaration: Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Canada, Chile, Republic of China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Pakistan, Romania, Greece, Iceland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela…

While not a treaty itself, the Declaration was explicitly adopted for the purpose of defining the meaning of the words “fundamental freedoms” and “human rights” appearing in the United Nations Charter, which is binding on all member states. For this reason the Universal Declaration is a fundamental constitutive document of the United Nations.

Many international lawyers, in addition, believe that the Declaration forms part of customary international law and is a powerful tool in applying diplomatic and moral pressure to governments that violate any of its articles. The 1968 United Nations International Conference on Human Rights advised that it “constitutes an obligation for the members of the international community” to all persons.

When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt

 

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Preamble

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world… Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people…

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law… Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations… Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom…

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in cooperation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms… Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge… Now, therefore:  The General Assembly, Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations…

…to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international… …to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article I

All human beings are born free and
equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed
with reason and conscience and
should act towards one another in a
spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and
freedoms set forth in this Declaration,
without distinction of any kind, such as
race, colour, sex, language, religion, political
or other opinion, national or social
origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be
made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional
or international status of the
country or territory to which a person
belongs, whether it be independent,
trust, non-self-governing or under any
other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3

Everyone has the right to life, liberty
and security of person.

Article 4

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude;
slavery and the slave trade shall
be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5

No one shall be subjected to torture or
to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
or punishment.

Article 6

Everyone has the right to recognition
everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7

All are equal before the law and are entitled
without any discrimination to equal
protection of the law. All are entitled to
equal protection against any discrimination
in violation of this Declaration and
against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8

Everyone has the right to an effective
remedy by the competent national tribunals
for acts violating the fundamental
rights granted him by the constitution
or by law.

Article 9

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary
arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a
fair and public hearing by an independent
and impartial tribunal, in the determination
of his rights and obligations
and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11

1. Everyone charged with a penal offence
has the right to be presumed innocent
until proved guilty according to
law in a public trial at which he has had
all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

2. No one shall be held guilty of any
penal offence on account of any act or
omission which did not constitute a
penal offence, under national or international
law, at the time when it was
committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty
be imposed than the one that was applicable
at the time the penal offence
was committed.

Article 12

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary
interference with his privacy, family,
home or correspondence, nor to attacks
upon his honour and reputation. Everyone
has the right to the protection of the
law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of
movement and residence within the
borders of each State.

2. Everyone has the right to leave any
country, including his own, and to return
to his country.

Article 14

1. Everyone has the right to seek and to
enjoy in other countries asylum from
persecution.

2. This right may not be invoked in the
case of prosecutions genuinely arising
from non-political crimes or from acts
contrary to the purposes and principles
of the United Nations.

Article 15

1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.

2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of
his nationality nor denied the right to
change his nationality.

Article 16

1. Men and women of full age, without
any limitation due to race, nationality or
religion, have the right to marry and to
found a family. They are entitled to
equal rights as to marriage, during marriage
and at its dissolution.

2. Marriage shall be entered into only
with the free and full consent of the intending
spouses.

3. The family is the natural and fundamental
group unit of society and is entitled
to protection by society and the
State.

Article 17

1. Everyone has the right to own property
alone as well as in association with
others.

2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of
his property.

Article 18

Everyone has the right to freedom of
thought, conscience and religion; this
right includes freedom to change his religion
or belief, and freedom, either
alone or in community with others and
in public or private, to manifest his religion
or belief in teaching, practice, worship
and observance.

Article 19

Everyone has the right to freedom of
opinion and expression; this right includes
freedom to hold opinions without
interference and to seek, receive and
impart information and ideas through
any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of
peaceful assembly and association.
2. No one may be compelled to belong
to an association.

Article 21

1. Everyone has the right to take part in
the government of his country, directly
or through freely chosen representatives.

2. Everyone has the right to equal access
to public service in his country.

3. The will of the people shall be the
basis of the authority of government;
this will shall be expressed in periodic
and genuine elections which shall be by
universal and equal suffrage and shall
be held by secret vote or by equivalent
free voting procedures.

Article 22

Everyone, as a member of society, has
the right to social security and is entitled
to realization, through national effort
and international co-operation and in
accordance with the organization and
resources of each State, of the economic,
social and cultural rights indispensable
for his dignity and the free
development of his personality.

Article 23

1. Everyone has the right to work, to
free choice of employment, to just and
favourable conditions of work and to
protection against unemployment.

2. Everyone, without any discrimination,
has the right to equal pay for equal
work.

3. Everyone who works has the right to
just and favourable remuneration ensuring
for himself and his family an existence
worthy of human dignity, and
supplemented, if necessary, by other
means of social protection.

4. Everyone has the right to form and to
join trade unions for the protection of his
interests.

Article 24

Everyone has the right to rest and
leisure, including reasonable limitation
of working hours and periodic holidays
with pay.

Article 25

1. Everyone has the right to a standard
of living adequate for the health and
well-being of himself and of his family,
including food, clothing, housing and
medical care and necessary social
services, and the right to security in the
event of unemployment, sickness, disability,
widowhood, old age or other lack
of livelihood in circumstances beyond
his control.

2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled
to special care and assistance. All
children, whether born in or out of wedlock,
shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26

1. Everyone has the right to education.
Education shall be free, at least in the
elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary
education shall be compulsory.
Technical and professional
education shall be made generally
available and higher education shall be
equally accessible to all on the basis of
merit.

2. Education shall be directed to the full
development of the human personality
and to the strengthening of respect for
human rights and fundamental freedoms.
It shall promote understanding,
tolerance and friendship among all nations,
racial or religious groups, and
shall further the activities of the United
Nations for the maintenance of peace.

3. Parents have a prior right to choose
the kind of education that shall be given
to their children.

Article 27

1. Everyone has the right freely to participate
in the cultural life of the community,
to enjoy the arts and to share in
scientific advancement and its benefits.

2. Everyone has the right to the protection
of the moral and material interests
resulting from any scientific, literary or
artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28

Everyone is entitled to a social and international
order in which the rights and
freedoms set forth in this Declaration
can be fully realized.

Article 29

1. Everyone has duties to the community
in which alone the free and full development
of his personality is possible.

2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms,
everyone shall be subject only to
such limitations as are determined by
law solely for the purpose of securing
due recognition and respect for the
rights and freedoms of others and of
meeting the just requirements of morality,
public order and the general welfare
in a democratic society.

3. These rights and freedoms may in no
case be exercised contrary to the purposes
and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted
as implying for any State,
group or person any right to engage in
any activity or to perform any act aimed
at the destruction of any of the rights
and freedoms set forth herein.

“A human being is not to be handled as a tool but is to be respected and revered”

Felix Adler

 

So it was thought through about the project and the guidelines which we can all agree to work within; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights seemed a good guide which has been scrutinized by a lot of people and has been worked upon.  Everyone is welcome to do a talk but it must fit within the parameters of this document, otherwise it is not the place to share what you have to say.

 

At least its an ethos

 

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