Comprehensive human rights are the foundation of good democracy and a healthy society.
Abuses of process can be curbed by appropriate procedures, but many aspects of the basic quality of our lives and the perpetuity of civilization, must be protected by rights defined in a constitution and defended by an independent judiciary.
Previous attempts at producing a binding global charter have demurred to powerful states with poor human rights records. As the
Some rights are required to ensure the proper function of a democracy. Others are required to balance the interaction between citizens. New challenges to society and the environment point to the need for additional rights to be defined, protecting the survival of our species, the collective knowledge of humanity and the viability of our planet for life. Therefore, in addition to the those defined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the
the right to fair representation - activities that damage or limit access to fair electoral representation and seek to concentrate un-mandated power in a preferred group or person, should become crimes against humanity.
the right to live in a sustainable economy - history is littered with the shadows of civilizations that crashed because a few powerful people were willing to pursue personal gain to the detriment of the entire community.
the right to live in a healthy environment - no person should be forced to live in a place despoiled by the hubris, neglect, malice or self interest of others. No individual's activity can be allowed to spoil the environment of the rest.
the right to environmental integrity - the continued stability of global environmental systems is essential to the vitality and continuity of life. Since many primary environmental systems span many national boundaries, we must codify transnational protections for biosphere systems.
the right to collective determination - the power of the largest corporations exceed that of national governments and therefore corporate agendas are imposed, without legitimate mandate, on citizens everywhere. We must build strong international treaties to protect and assert the power of properly mandated governments. Citizens acting through the process of democracy should determine the course and shape of society.
the right to freedom from needless incarceration - we must move beyond our archaic desire for retaliation and punishment. Criminal behaviour has causes and research shows that most causes can be alleviated. The rest deserve the compassionate support of society.
the right to access the necessities of life in food, water and shelter - in the face of population growth and climate change, protection from new forms of segregation and tyranny must be anticipated.
the right to freedom from conflict - too many wars are initiated by leaders with no legitimate mandate to govern. We need an international treaty that focuses on the removal of unmandated leaders, when triggered by acts outright aggression.
the right of access to knowledge and education - knowledge has been withheld from the masses by various mechanisms as a form of tyranny, power, oppression or profit for centuries. Informed citizens are effective participants in democracy. The growth of our civilization depends on the continued inheritance of our collective knowledge.
the right to health care - no person should withhold medical knowledge or treatment from another person in need. Access to health care is an individual right and a basic societal responsibility.
the right to privacy - no person, group or business has the right to observe or collect information about you without informed consent. No government can observe or collect information about you unless you have committed a crime. The power of government and industry must always be offset by the freedom, independence and privacy of citizens.
government transparency - very few aspects of governance require secrecy, all other activity and information must be transparent.
truth in public discourse - overstatement, obfuscation, propaganda, lies and fomenting have all been used to subvert and divide populations for centuries. These are crimes against public trust, committed for personal gain. Anyone who accepts a public profile must be held to a higher standard of accountability for truthful public discourse.
the right to communicate - the rise of the Internet has shown that our communication with each other is both essential and vulnerable, and must be protected as a basic right.
freedom to worship and freedom from religion - the former is widely accepted, but it is becoming increasingly clear that there must be a balancing right to freedom from religious oppression. All people must have the choice to enjoy a life of secular values.
indigenous rights - indigenous rights and sovereignty must be protected from colonial, economic and cultural encroachment. As a minimum, all nations should be respecting the rights and freedoms set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
National sovereignty was traditionally a barrier to outside interference from other countries. Until there was literally a declaration of war, no government would consider involvement in another country's "internal matters". Thankfully, the 21st century has seen the increasing willingness of the best countries to defend the citizens of other countries, when there are clear crimes of governance against the people. The independence of the