Equality and Human Rights


“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 1. of the (1948) Universal Declaration of Human Rights


As our website is under construction, you will probably find some older work on our current pages. 

 

Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood/Kinship, perhaps, could be said to be the foundation of all human rights. This would certainly go for the human rights linked to a sustainable future.

The acknowledgments that we all are free, equal in rights and obligations, without distinction of any kind and that we should treat one another like brothers/sisters, are amongst the highest and most fundamental values of society.

This websites' intro starts: “We are one”. If we are to be an organisation focusing on human rights related to a sustainable future on planet earth, this evidently should be our starting point.

This year we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the starting point of all human rights treaties in which equality plays a significant role. The first two articles of the declaration proclaim:

Article 1. “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.” and

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.

Surely texts like these look good on a website. Reading them with an open mind (or for instance seeing them on a screen at a U2 rock concert) gives most of us an immense feel good experience. A feeling on how things should be.

But how are these rights incorporated in the way we live our lives? Surely these rights have been incorporated in most constitutions and other national laws; certainly in the so-called developed world. But many people around the globe lack the primary protection of laws proclaiming equality rights. Let alone a system that would protect them from others violating equality rights.

But, on a more personal note, how equal do you treat others? How far does your “brotherhood or kinship” extend? Only family? Neighbours? Men only? Female only? Gay people? People with a religion that differs from yours? People who support another football club?
People in your street? Neighbourhood? City? State? Country? Continent?

Why is it that the further people are away from us (physically and/or re convictions or beliefs), the less we tend to see them as equal? And the less we are willing to share with them?

It may be because we are taught to fear the unknown. Perhaps we should be more like dreamers. Like in John Lennon’s Imagine.

On that note, Stand Up For Your Rights certainly hopes one day you'll join this dream too. And imagine there is “...No need for greed or hunger, in a brotherhood of man. Imagine all the people, sharing all the world. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will be as one.”

Perhaps that indeed is what human rights are about. To focus on what we have in common. And treating every person on this planet as if they were our closest friend or our most loved one. So that we can say:

I Stand Up for YOUR rights.