The Scale of Human and Earth Rights was introduced for the first time by members of the Earth Community Organization during the August 2000 World Congress on Managing and Measuring Sustainable Development - Global Community Action 1.
The Earth Community Organization has
developed the Scale of Human and Earth Rights in order of importance with the ecological
rights being the most important (they supersede all other rights; and so
on down the scale).The Earth Community Organization has an ongoing process to improve the fundamental wordings of the Scale of Human and Earth Rights.
In order to emphasize the importance of protecting the global life-support systems the first statement on top of the scale was modified to include such a need.
The new wording of the scale is shown here.
* Primordial human rights
* The ecological rights, the protection of the global life-support systems and
the primordial human rights of future generations
* Community rights and the right that the greatest number of people has by virtue of its number (50% plus one) and
after voting representatives democratically
* Economic rights (business and consumer rights, and their responsibilities and accountabilities) and social rights (civil and political rights)
* Cultural rights and religious rights
The Earth Community Organization believes that the introduction of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been a great step in humanity's evolution to better itself. But now is time to leave it behind and reach to our next step, that is, the Scale of Human and Earth Rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights causes confusion in the world between nations. The reason why it causes confusion is that it needs to be improved. A lot! The West cannot understand many of the things that other nations do and other nations do not understand the West Way of Life. Why? Because the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not so universal after all. And because it does not have a scale of values. The Declaration was copied here at the end of this section. Several nations followed the UN resolution by adopting a charter similar to the Declaration.
As an example, in 1982, Prime Minister Trudeau brought Canada's Constitution home, and with it, the new Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Charter rights are divided into a number of categories:
Here are some of the key rights:
Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)
These include freedom of:
conscience and religion
Democratic Rights (sections 3, 4 and 5)
right to vote
Mobility Rights (section 6)
the right to move to and live in any province
Legal Rights (sections 7-14)
life, liberty, and security of the person
Equality Rights (section 15)
equal treatment before and under the law
English and French are the official languages of Canada
The Earth Community Organization also believes that the Earth Court of Justice is the only higher Court to decide about global problems and their solutions, to discriminate and to prosecute on the basis of the Scale of Human and Earth Rights and on the basis of the Belief, Values, Principles and Aspirations of the New Age.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights resides in the fact that it gives equal emphasis to cultural rights, economic and social rights, and civil and political rights. The Earth Community Organization asks how meaningful is the right to life or to participation in political life if the ecological base (the base of life) is seriously threatened:
The Earth Community Organization found evident that the ecological base is the essential prerequisite for the effectiveness and exercise of all rights recognized for human beings. The stewardship of the ecological base has to be given priority before the fulfilment of various economic and social wishes. Demands resulting from the socio-economic system of a particular country have to find their limits in the protection of the global ecosystem. Vital interests of future generations have to be considered as having priority before less vital interests of the present generation. Supply chains have to be designed in a way, that the goods can enter after usage or consumption into natural or industrial recycling processes. If serious damages to persons, animals, plants and the ecosystem cannot be excluded, an action or pattern of behaviour should be refrained from. A measure for supplying goods or services should choose a path which entails the least possible impact on the ecological and social system concerned. This way functioning proven systems will not be disturbed, and unnecessary risks will not be taken. Supply strategies consuming less resources should have preference before those enhancing more resource consumption. The Earth Community Organization has also extended the idea of sustainability to be a moral and ethical state, as well as an economic and environmental state, wherein sustainable consumption patterns respect the universal values of peace, security, justice and equity within the human relationships that exist in Earth Community. When there is a need to find a solution to a problem or a concern, a sound solution would be to choose a measure or conduct an action, if possible, which causes reversible damage as opposed to a measure or an action causing an irreversible loss.
Morally right actions or policies are those that result in the greatest number of people. The Earth Community Organization asks how meaningful is the right of the greatest number of people if they agree to the challenge or damage the ecological base of the Earth. The greatest number of people cannot and will not be allowed to supersede the rights of the ecological base of Earth.
The Earth Community Organization asks how
meaningful is the right to life or to participation in political life if
poverty, gender inequality, destitution and epidemics prevent individuals
from enjoying freedom of movement, freedom to vote, to marry and so on?
The Earth Community Organization found evident that economic
and social rights are the essential prerequisite for the effectiveness
and exercise of all other rights (other than ecological rights) recognized
for human beings. This was the reason for organizing the World Congress:
to find the best ways to sustain us all. The developing countries are having
a harder time than others to achieve the exercise of these rights on a
lasting basis, with the problems of economic globalization presenting new
challenges. We must therefore beware of enforcing economic rights alone
to the detriment of individual civil rights and the rights of all individuals
to decide their own fate and the future of their country, their political
rights. The universality of human rights recognizes the right of all individuals
to participate in the cultural life of their community and of other country,
to receive education and training, and to be informed. During the World
Congress, you were asked to list universal values that were the
most important, very important, important, not so important, and values
that should be let go in order to sustain all life on Earth. The Earth
Community Organization is aware that traditional customs and standards
could burden the sustainability of all life on Earth. They could burden
Earth society or any society forever, and holds individuals in a straitjacket.
We cannot accept that. No one can! There are choices to be made and you
must make them. Cultures can develop and can go on developing. Even religious
beliefs may evolve (read the article 'Religious beliefs, Peace in the
world and Earth management'). We are living now and we are able to
create these changes. We are at least as bright, most certainly brighter,
than the people who were living thousand of years ago. As far as
the Earth Community Organization is concerned, cultural and
religious differences cannot be a reason or an excuse or a pretext for
not respecting human rights including and most importantly the ecological
rights. Quite the contrary, all kinds of cultures may promote human rights
and especially cultural rights. They are different in their achievements,
but they are equal in dignity where they are expressions of freedom.
At any time or in any given place, men, women and children use their culture
to invent new ways of making human rights a living reality. Diversity enriches
us if it respects the dignity of each individual, and if it takes account
of human rights as a whole.
Earth Community has broadened the traditional focus of the security of states to include both the security of people as well as that of the planet. Global security policies include:
* every person on Earth has a right to a secure existence, and all states have an obligation to protect those rights
Another major source of global unsecurity for people is the culture of violence in everyday life as it is shown on television screens and cinemas. The American Way of Life is creating this culture of violence. An american child at age six year old has seen more violence on television than any other child of the Middle East over a life span. This culture of violence infects both industrial and developing countries, rich and poor. This trend of culture of violence must end. The movie and TV industry is a threat to global security. The media is responsible for the propagation of violence through communications. Why has government not done anyhting to regulate the media industry? Surely everyone understood that on the Scale of Human and Earth Rights security of the people of any nation is more important than the human rights related to the freedom of expression of the media industry. Security of the people and the state is on top of the Scale. It is part of the primordial human rights. While freedom of expression is a right found lower on the Scale and is classified partly as
* Community rights and the right that the greatest number of people has by virtue of its number (50% plus one) and after voting representatives democratically
(these rights can be and are usually a part of the constitution of a country)
and partly as
* Economic rights (business and consumer rights, and their responsibilities and accountabilities) and social rights (civil and political rights)
So the freedom of expression of a person is not as important as the security of that person and the security of the state.
The Earth Community Organization is concerned with the sustainability of current levels and patterns of consumption and with the economic, political, personal, environmental, availability of resources, societal and spiritual impact of excessive, run-away consumption. The goal of the World Congress was to find a balanced, sustainable global consumption. About 20% of Earth’s people account for 80% of the world's total consumption. Globalization of the world economic system is proceeding at a very rapid pace, and is generally promoted as being welfare-improving.
Globalization is a process interaction which involves growing economic interdependence of countries worldwide with implications and impacts on social, cultural, political, environmental and familial aspects and rights. With the globalization of the economy comes now the task for defining the obligations that go with the rights. This phenomenon is also present in the arena of international finance. In this area, however, the presumed virtues of globalization are far from being materialised. Until now, no orderly or stable financial system has been implemented. Furthermore, the current financial system does not succeed in channelling sufficient funds to finance crucial world problems such as adequate social development in poor countries. We have assigned ourselves the task of defining a set of rules to balance consumption, consumer rights and responsibilities :
* Socially responsible and sustainable
to future generations
Consumers' rights impinge on the rights of other humans living in Earth Community. The right to choice is the consumer right that refers to the right to have a range and variety of goods and services at competitive, fair prices and variable, satisfactory quality. In order to assure choice in the developed country markets, governments have implemented trade laws to facilitate cross border transactions and transnational corporations (TNCs) have set up business off shore so they can lessen the cost of the production process. The goods that are available in the developed country markets are provided by slave labour, child labour, sweatshops or in countries that allow the TNCs to forego adhering to pollution or ecological concerns and human rights in pursuit of profit. Labour rights are abused in efforts to earn more profits. This leads to abhorrent working conditions, job insecurity and low living standards (all human rights). Consumers in developed countries have been socialized to want more and more things to consume but have not been socialized to appreciate the impact of their consumption choices on the human rights of other people; that is, they are not being responsible for their decisions.
The Earth Community Organization found a way of dealing with globalization: global ethics. In the past, corporations rule without checks and balances. From now on global ethics will be a basic minimum to do business, and there will be checks and balances. Our judgement will be based on global ethics. Global ethics must always be grounded in realities. But realities are changing constantly and are different in different places. We live in a world that makes progress toward democracy. Ethics and morality exist only when human beings can act freely. In our free society, rights are tied to responsibilities. Corporations are committed to improvement in business performance and want to be seen as 'good corporate citizens' on a local and a global scale. Corporations have social responsibilities as they are an integral part of society. Global ethics recalls that those realities, on which others build upon, have to be protected first. The Earth Community Organization found that universal values and human rights as described above were the foundation of global ethics.
The Earth Community Organization has now at hand the method and framework to conduct societal checks and balances of a global sustainable development. A more balance world economy will result of annual checks and balances. Corporations will take their social responsibilities and become involved in designing, monitoring, and implementing these checks and balances. Several corporations have already done so. Results will be taken into account in the evaluation of sustainable development. Corporations are required to expand their responsibilities to include human rights, the environment, community and family aspects, safe working conditions, fair wages and sustainable consumption aspects.
Global consumption is a very important aspect of globalization. Consumers should be concerned with the impact of their decisions on the environment but also on the lives, human rights and well-being of other people. Since one of the key functions of families as a social institution is to engage in production (selling their labour in return for wages) and consumption (using those wages to buy goods and services), then the role of families has an impact on sustainable consumption and development.
Just as corporations have social responsibilities and so do consumers in societies. Consumers are socialized to improve the quality of their lives. Quality of life is a multi-dimensional, complex and very subjective concept. For instance, someone who has changed their consumption habits to better ensure that their choices will make a better quality of life for themselves, the environment and future generations, may be seen by others as having a lower or inferior quality of life since they have removed themselves from the materialistic mainstream characteristic of our consumer society. Someone may feel that an absence of violence and abuse in their life leads to a higher quality of living even though they have fewer tangible resources, money, or shelter; peace of mind and freedom from abuse has increased the quality of their daily life relative to what it was like before. There are universal quality of life values which lead to "human betterment" or the improvement of the human condition. In addition to the value of species survival (human and other living organisms), they include: adequate resources, justice and equality, freedom, and peace or balance of power. A better quality of life for all people of Earth Community is a goal for all of us and one of our universal values.
The Earth Community Organization found that
an adequate level of health care is a universal value as well as
a human right. We expect adequate health services to be accessible, affordable,
compassionate and socially acceptable. We believe that every individual
of a society is co-responsible for helping in implementing and managing
health programmes along with the government and the public institutions.
Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948
On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories."
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
(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.
(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his 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.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
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.
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