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UN Human Rights Day

logoThree of my confreres live in Geneva and work for Edmund Rice International. ERI is a faith-based organisation working at the international level to make the world a more just place through education, promoting human rights and developing ecologically sustainable ways of living.  

United Nations' Human Rights Day is observed on December 10 each year to mark the anni-versary of the presentation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Millions of people have gone onto the streets in the past few years to have their say, to protest the unyielding, unresponsive governments which have shut them out. They have demanded and continue demanding respect for their fundamental human rights, including their right to have a voice and for that voice to count.

Article 23 of the Declaration says:

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

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

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.

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


Everyone has the right to work,

The trouble is that there aren't sufficient jobs in the right places and that where there ARE jobs, there are frequently far more people wanting employment than there are jobs available, so employers, (understandably, since they're all in competition) pay the minimum they can get away with, not caring whether or not it's a living wage.

We haven't got very far in 2000 years, have we?
No indeeed. In fact in the 40's and 50's people could get employment. It is up to governments to see that people have the opportunity to find work.
The problem is, in a laissez faire free market economy, there's not all that much a government can do to ensure people have jobs. Also, everyone wants the cheapest prices possible, which means employers cut wages. Employers actually like high unemployment because it keeps wages down.

It was actually easy to get jobs through the 60s and early 70s. It was the late 70s and especially the 80s when unemployment soared and so many jobs were exported overseas because it was cheaper. :(
Granted, especially in a recession as we have in Ireland at present. But at least it recognizes that people HAVE the right if only they could USE it.
And perhaps an additional clause that children have a right to a childhood?
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a comprehensive, internationally binding agreement on the rights of children. It incorporates children's:
civil and political rights (like their treatment under the law);
social, economic and cultural rights (like an adequate standard of living); and
protection rights (from abuse and exploitation).
And yet a lot of the world's 'workers' remain.....children. :o(
Indeed. In fact the situation appears to be
getting even worse.