This article was originally published in Lot’s Wife Edition 6: Parody
Humans are not all born free, many are born into shackles. Millions of individual lives have their human rights curtailed from the very onset of their existence.
Though all possess inalienable dignity and rights, access to them is neither free nor equal. Some are unequipped with the education to reason or properly express their consciousness, while others suffer psychiatric impediments that without proper treatment leave them disenfranchised. Many do not act towards one another in the spirit of common humanity.
Everyone is entitled to all the human rights and freedoms, yet many face discrimination of race, colour, gender and sexual diversity (GSD), language, religion, politics or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth and many other statuses. Distinction is drawn between countries and the value of their sovereignty regarded as relative.
Although all have the right to life, humans are murdered by states and other organisations. Capital punishment and war serve as blights upon this civilisation. Suicide persists due to an absence of safety nets and care. The right to liberty is restrained by the context for an individual’s life. Women face glass ceilings on their freedom to work and prosper, GSD persecutions restrict individuals’ freedom to live peacefully and without social strictures. Security of person is denied when societies base entitlement to it upon limitations of harmless behaviour.
Torture continues. Through hidden veils of counter-terrorrism, a lack of transparency and legal loopholes, states and other organisations inflict pain and suffering upon living and breathing humans. Many are subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment, whether it be the lack of support for the homeless on the street or the flawed proposition that marriage can only be had between a man and a woman.
Though the law may claim to recognise all people before it, many are unfairly pigeon-holed and not truly respected for who they verily are, or as with those who are deemed terrorists, placed beyond the ambit of legal protection. Yet all are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Not all have equal access to an effective remedy for contravention of their rights. In industrially developed nations wealth stands as an impasse to justice, while in those developing states individuals face judgment by officers lacking competence. Furthermore many are subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention and exile. Trials are held which are institutionally unfair and shielded from the public. The notion of an independent and impartial judge masks the reality that in Western jurisdictions the appointment of justices to high and supreme courts is very much a political endeavour.
In some cases the presumption of innocence has been reversed and even if the law extends such a noble safeguard to the individual, groups within society harbour prejudices which inflict harm in public and can make it into the courtroom. Churches declare individuals guilty sinners for their identities without even knowing them and the law has possibility to be retrospective.
To say that no one is subjected to arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home or correspondence is to turn a blind eye to the incursions that we face today. Organisations such the NSA, FBI and the Chinese and Russian governments throw these principles to the wind. Defence of honour and reputation is undermined by what the is legally acceptable.
Freedom of movement is cut short when democratic protests are broken up or forced to move on. Individuals are chased out of their homes due to eviction or hatred. Society makes it impossible for certain persons to hold stable residence due to economic pressures, unemployment and stigmas. Meanwhile refugees must flee their countries under the cover of darkness, only to be rejected by jingoistic governments in blatant disregard of their international and moral obligations. Nationality is denied through xenophobia and fear of the other.
Marriage is denied to the non-heteronormative. Religion is able to subvert democracy. Others who are granted marriage are compelled into arranged marriages and families are split up through discriminative migration policies.
Well may the right to property exist, but substantial achievement of it is an untenable goal for many. What property and wealth there is, is centralised within the hands of a few, and inheritance too often perpetuates this hierarchy.
Although the author of this document is free to exercise these thoughts, publication of it without celebrity may leave the author prone to intelligence monitoring or if famous, to invasion of privacy by the likes of News Corp. Moreover religious thought is circumscribed in regions of the globe, while in others it is used to manipulate lives by cult-like organisations such as Scientology.
It said that no association should be compelled, but what of the poor, the desperate criminal, the automatically detained ‘illegal immigrant’ whose lot has not been fully within their control. Alternatively those who do peacefully assemble face increasing impasses to their rights with the rise of private bought rights, preventing the continuance of the Occupy Movement and spotlights being thrown upon commerical abuses to animals and the environment by corporations.
Oligarchy prevents ascension into government and monarchy disallows all children but of one family to dream of service as head of state. Democracy is subverted by the disproportionate and opaque influence of lobbyists who can purchase power. Aid from the public service is limited, welfare cut so that the rich may profit from cheap labour. Twisting of electoral rules results in unrepresentative gerrymandering, election of candidates on secret preference deals and ambiguous Florida recounts.
The doors to social security have been closed in the name of unemployment, yet exploitative and demeaning work has been offered as an alternative. Equal pay is still a myth. Remuneration is often unfair for wage earners and insufficient in the face of rising costs of living. The standing of unions’ as bastions of workers’ rights has been slowly been chipped away. The right to leisure and rest has then been imposed upon and eroded. A human’s health and well-being is becoming dependent on status.
Quality of education depends on your purchasing power. It has become less about the fulfillment of an individual’s identity and more about the production of human worker units. Bigoted parents perpetuate bigotry through their influence on their children.
This privatisation has closed doors to the right to experience scientific advancements for many. Yet the internet and smart devices offer grounds for hope. Never has art and culture been so accessible. The web offers a global forum through which a dialogue can be had on how to bring equality to these rights. Everyone has duties to the international community to bring this brighter world to fruition, only then can true limitations based upon agreed morality, public order and the general welfare be imposed. Then the principles of the United Nations may be fulfilled.
May nothing in this Declaration 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.