When it came down to it, I found I was asking myself what I valued more: my fundamental freedoms or my equality rights. Try picking one right out of thirty five from the Canadian charter. At first, my Socials Studies student teacher facetiously remarked that we”d be picking ten rights from the charter that we couldn”t live without because, oh you know, the other twenty five aren”t that important.
The right to an education, or the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual punishment? The right to have freedom of speech or that to not be discriminated for my sexuality, gender, race, religion, or physical disability? How could someone ever pick, and better yet, why should someone ever pick?
Luckily, Canadians don”t have to pick. Unfortunately for us, this can cause some of us to take our rights for granted. The fact that I hadn”t read my own country”s Charter of Rights and Freedoms until now is embarrassing to say the least. These rights that others fought for before me so I could live as a privileged Canadian citizen.
Why should I be privileged because I have my basic human rights? I should be privileged because I live a comfortable life, not because I haven”t been repressed. One shouldn”t be fortunate to be living; everyone is entitled to that. We have a document outlining everyone”s basic human rights for many reasons, not that that stops any of them from being completely pummeled, but valid reasons none the less.
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” But some are born a little more free and equal, right? And some aren”t born with any rights, but that”s alright? Hey, no one ever said the “I am very happy to report another strong performance with Group revenues up every year mainly driven by Casino ,” 888 Boss John Mattingley stated. UN was the most effective group of people. Just because that is decreed as a type of universal law, doesn”t stop some from breaking it.
And I”m not saying it”s up to one group of people to fix every human rights abuse on this globe. It certainly should not only be up to those being abused either. The only way issues get fixed in this place is if a large and varied scale of people, a connected conglomerate, fights corruption together.
For example, I know a moment I felt proud of my country and government, no matter what my opinions are on the current one, was when I heard that our military was helping in the Libyan revolution. The conflict that has raged across Northern Africa this past year jolted me with a strong reminder with that I didn”t have to fight. I will most likely never have to compromise my right to live for that to live in a just society.
Today, being November 30th, also marks Free The Children”s Day of Silence for children”s rights and most prominently child soldiers. Even being completely silent for a day can be hard for us in a life so busy, and so full of motion and change. For some children, being silent isn”t difficult; it”s mandatory. A person cannot speak out against their rights being abused when those rights aren”t recognized by the country they are in.
Human rights seem straightforward, and the abuses towards them seem broad and untouchable to one person. But like a spark ignites a flame, one person ignites change, making a difference to one person, then one hundred, one thousand, and eventually one Earth.