The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages. The UDHR is widely recognized as having inspired, and paved the way for, the adoption of more than seventy human rights treaties, applied today on a permanent basis at global and regional levels (all containing references to it in their preambles).
In terms of the COVID crisis, we are looking at the following UDHR clauses:
Article 1: All human beings ... should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
In this COVID crisis, we are experiencing a situation in which leaders and regulators create conditions that encourage people to undermine the spirit of brotherhood.
Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as ... opinion, ... or other status.
In this COVID crisis, distictions are being created by medical status, and by our philosophical views and personal choices.
Article 7: All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law... equal protection against any discrimination ... and against any incitement to such discrimination.
In this COVID crisis, we are experincing discrimination between the vaccinated and the non-vaccinated and incitement of hate against the non-vaccinated.
Article 9: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
In this COVID crisis, people are being detained unwillingly in health facilities, quarantine facilities and camps even though other options for public health care are available.
Article 12: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence...
In this COVID crisis, people are being forced to report their location, number of household occupants and are experiencing warrantless searches in their homes and personal effects.
- 1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.
- 2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
In this COVID crisis, movements within countries is being restricted, and in some countries there are restrictions for leaving the country without unwanted medical treatment.
Article 23: .... Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment....
In this COVID crisis, some people are experiencing unjust termination of employment because of their medical status.
Article 26: ... Everyone has the right to education... Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms
In this COVID crisis, some people are being deprived of access to education due to their personal choice of medical care.
Article 27: Everyone has the right freely to participate inthecultural life of the community
In this COVID crisis, many people are excluded from society with lockdowns, segregation policies and other government imposed regulations.
Article 30: Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
The Right to Health
The right to health is a fundamental human right and an important aspect of our understanding
of what it means to live with dignity. The right to the enjoyment of the highest
attainable standard of physical and mental health, to give it its full name,
is not new. Internationally, it was first articulated in the 1946 Constitution
of the World Health Organization (WHO), whose preamble defines health
as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not
merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. The preamble further states
that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of
the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race,
religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”
The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights also mentioned health
as part of the right to an adequate standard of living (art. 25). The right to
health was again recognized as a human right in the 1966 International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The right to health includes freedoms. These freedoms include
the right to be free from non-consensual medical treatment, such
as medical experiments and research or forced sterilization, and
to be free from torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading
treatment or punishment.