Prioritizing Human Rights

Consciousness of human rights has to permeate the political ethos of a society. This alone holds a guarantee for the observance of these rights. A universal culture of human rights must be our aim. For realizing it, communication and information are indispensable.
Javier Perez de Cuellar,
Former Secretary General of the United Nations
Prioritizing Human Rights
Before reading, or rereading the Declaration of Human Rights, take a few moments to select the right you feel are most important. Read through the rights that are stated below. Prioritize the ten most important rights to you. Read through and then prioritize what you feel are the ten most important for the entire global community. Finally prioritize the ten rights that you think will lead to global peace. What are the differences in your three choices? 


1.   Freedom to practice the religion of your choice.
2.   Freedom of speech and public assembly.
3.   Guaranteed employment and right to join a union.
4.   A free education.
5.   Right to shelter.
6.   Free medical care.
7.   Expeditious trial by a jury of peers.
8.   Protection by the law from wrongful acts.
9.   Freedom to travel within your country and outside of it.
10. Right to have a name and nationality.
11. Right to marry and have a family.
12. Right to own property.
13. Right to freedom of thought.
14. Right to participate in the government of a country.
15. Right to rest and leisure.
16. Right to special care for mothers and children.
17. Right to criticize the government.
18. Right to be protected from unreasonable searches or seizures of property by the government.
19. Right to petition the government to correct problems.
20. Right to own and bear arms.
Questions for Reflection: Prioritizing Human Rights 
  1. Which rights do you believe reflect the rights that are assured in our Constitution? Which rights are different?
  2. Do you believe that all of the rights are responsible? Possible?  Necessary?
  3. Do you think a government could/should enforce these rights for its citizens?
  4. How are children guaranteed rights in this list? Should children have separate rights?
  5. Do you believe following the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would lessen global conflict and lead to new avenues of peace?