Monday, October 13, 2008

The human rights I consider most important

Human rights are a tricky subject as different cultures have differing views on them either based on religious reasons or practical ones.

One such right, among others, is defined in the United Nations’ Declaration of human rights: freedom of religion. While it is admirable in itself, I would extend it to a complete, total freedom of choice, be it ideological, political, economical etc. I strongly feel that every single person should not only be allowed to make the decisions concerning their life but also able to make them. However, it is merely the ideal destination to get to and not exactly an accomplishable goal, but the world would most definite be a much better place if we at least tried.

Closely connected to freedom is equality. For example, women’s position in Islamic culture is massively different to the western conception of the independent woman. In my view, each individual should receive the same treatment and respect from other people regardless of their gender, skin colour, nationality, ethnicity, language or occupation. Then again, this highlights my first point: it’s a choice made by Islamic women and I’m in no position to judge that.

Naturally, the ability to make decisions at all depends on one thing: knowledge, which brings up two rights. Firstly, everyone, in my opinion, has a right to gain and accumulate knowledge so much as they please. This means that everyone is entitled to education, preferably a free one, and that the distribution of information should be entirely free. The absence of censorship would then emphasize the parents’ responsibility even more.

On a more recent topic relating to the system known as school, people should be able to study in their own language, which would enhance their process of handling vital information and thus make it more accessible to them.

Then there is the basis for everything else. Every single human being should positively and absolutely have the right and possibility to satisfy their utmost basic needs: to eat when hungry, quench their thirst, have proper hygiene and be healthy. On the subject, Mahatma Gandhi once said, and I quote: “The world has enough resources to satisfy everyone’s needs, but not enough to satisfy everyone’s greed.”

By Juhani Pätsi (student of Haukipudas High School)


Tanja said...

I think that human rights are the most important thing and everyone should have human rights. You should be free to make your own decisions about you and your life, be free to say your own opinion and have education and job. Of course everyone should receive respective treatment, no matter how old are they, what is their skin colour or nationality etc.

Tanja said...

Equality is also one of those things I consider very, very important. Womens position, for example in Finnland, has improved a lot comparing the old days. In those days women were only at home looking after children and taking care of the house and cooking. Men made decisions and went to work, and earned the money, of course. Nowadays women have chance to work and have children, and they are more independent. Many things have changed for the better but there are still many things that aren't exactly right.. Like salary for example: why should men have more salary than women, when they do the same work?

Tanja said...

Of course equality comprises lots of other things than just equality between men and women. Sometimes people are discriminated because of their nationality, age, religion, language and outer apperiance. But everyone should be treated in the same way, no matter what! Unfortunately it always isn't that way... It's also very unfortunate that everyone doesn't have fresh water, proper hygiene, food or clothes, or even chance to have a proper health care. World is so unfare.