Opinion

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- by David Beverly-Foster

It struck me that people don't talk much about human rights anymore, so I looked though the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, which I remember from high school. I'm also trying to ground my perspective from a place of morality, instead of starting with 'what rural Canada is' as my grounding point, as culture is wont to do!

As it turns out, most people apparently don't believe in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Even parts of me were like -  people deserve that?! Sweet!

Because it guarantees a lot of stuff that our society does not grant access to for everyone.

The most striking one with winter on its way is that, according to human rights, everyone deserves housing. Which is a surprise, because that is not at all how people seem to believe about housing. People talk as if it's a privilege. But:

"Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his [sic] family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control." Article 25 UDHR

This is why you gotta check in with a moral framework every once in a while then I guess. Because that there does not sound like 'Canada' or 'America', or any place I've known.

Anyway, I'm gonna continue believing that people deserve housing regardless of their ability to 'pay for housing', even if that's apparently not what a lot of people believe is right, because it's what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says is right.

And frankly most people haven't thought about it very long, I think, because I've never heard a convincing argument against making housing a guaranteed right.

Anyway, that's just housing, which is just one small clause in one small article of the declaration. We have lots more even more radical rights, if we choose to believe so.


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