Wednesday, October 16, 2013

but it's your right

so, it's time for another blog action day. you can read previous blog action day posts of mine here, here, here, and here. this year, the topic is human rights.

according to the united nations, "Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible."

we had a discussion recently in my public policy class about human rights, using dworkin's taking rights seriously as a resource. we started out only discussing the right to liberty, which dworkin insisted was nonsense. his reasoning was that if something is a core right (or a basic right or a human right, whichever word you want to use) then it would be wrong for the government to curb that right. in order to to rule, enforce stability of the state, and protect a nation, the government is constantly curbing people's liberty. laws may be instituted for the good of the people, but they are still taking away some of your liberties. the consensus we reached in the end was that people use the term "human right" much too lightly. everything these days is a human rights issue, it seems. what we decided was that rights are not about what's given to you but what can't be taken away. and while i am well aware that there are human rights violations going on every minute of every day all over the world, i am equally aware that not everything touted as a human rights violation actually is.

for the real human rights violations, though, here are some ways that you can help:

*It's All Right - Velvet Underground

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