Human Rights

Universal human rights are the foundation of good democracy.

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.

The GCHRD will convene a series of international Human Rights symposia. They will receive input from all cultures, academics and legal experts to produce an updated Global Charter of Human Rights.

Previous attempts at producing a binding global charter have demurred to powerful states with poor human rights records. As the GCHRD is not governed by nation states, it will be free to fully explore the scope of Human Rights. It will also link the protection of Human Rights to the adoption of the Standards of Democratic Process, therefore providing a robust implementation for both.

Some rights are required to ensure the proper function of a democracy. Others are required to balance the interaction between citizens. It has become clear that additional rights must also be defined, for instance, to protect the survival of our species, to protect the collective knowledge of humanity and protect the viability of our planet for life. Therefore, in addition to the rights defined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the GCHRD will initiate discussion of additional rights in the following areas;

the right to free and fair representation - activities that damage or limit access to the fair 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 or malice of others. No individual's activity can be allowed to sully the environment of the rest.

the right to environmental integrity - the continued stability of the global ecosystem is essential to the vitality and continuity of life. We must codify protections for the biosphere.

the right to freedom from needless incarceration - we must move beyond our desire for retaliation and punishment. Criminal behaviour has causes and research shows that most of them can be alleviated to support better citizens and a more compassionate 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 tyranny must be anticipated.

the right to freedom from conflict - too many wars are initiated by governments of dubious legitimacy. Their citizens deserve protection from imposed conflict.

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 citizens and 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 from another person in need. Access to health care is an individual right and a community 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. A healthy society depends on the diversity, independence and privacy of citizens.

government transparency - very few aspects of governance require secrecy, all other activity and information must be transparent.

truth in government - obfuscation and propaganda have been used to subvert and divide populations for centuries. Campaign promises and empty slogans have been tools to avoid government of substance. We must hold government and politicians to a higher standard of communication.

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 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. A person must be free not to worship.

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 GCHRD Charter of Rights is an important building block in the global defence of human rights.

Finally, although Human Rights should be immutable, the concept of what is a right has evolved, even since 1948 and the inception of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The GCHRD will establish a process for review, that will accommodate this evolution and update rights accordingly.