Tuesday, 31 January 2012

human rights meditations: week 2

Breathe In Peace - Huge 16x20 inch Vintage Style Type Poster on A2 (in Natural, White and Black)
Breathe in Peace Poster by The Love Shop. Available via Etsy. 

Welcome to Week 2 of Human Rights Meditations. Each week we’re chatting about an Article in the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Learn more about the series here.

This week we’re looking at Article 2 of the UDHR

Article 2: 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.

Read over the article above a few times and let it sink in (this is a long one, so you may want to break it up as you reflect). As you reflect on the Article, consider the following:
  • What's the first picture that came to your mind? How did you respond to what you read?
  • Reflect how you feel about yourself in comparison to others.
  • Reflect on how you perceive others in your world. 
  • Reflect on your understanding of global issues. 

Write the article down and stick it somewhere where you know you'll see it throughout the week. This will prompt you to keep the thinking going! Alternatively, write down something that has stood out to you throughout this meditation.  

Now, get talking! Let's talk openly about our thoughts on each article, what we're learning about ourselves and some of the actions we're taking to live more in line with the Declaration. Don't forget that as well as chatting via the comments below, you can get talking via twitter by including this tag: #hrmlak

My thoughts: 

  • As a social worker, I've had a few jobs working with non-voluntary clients, that is, those who are ordered by law to engage either through a result of conviction (e.g. drug diversion counselling, home detention) or through a duty of care (e.g. children under Guardianship of the Minister, hospitalisation for reasons of safety). Reading this Article challenges me to think about how I can uphold my client's rights while still working within the system I'm working under. It's reminded me how important it is to put on the "rights" lens when I look at a new case. 
  • "... all the rights and freedoms..." hmmmmm this bit has really got me thinking about how we justify denying one right by noting all the ones we have allowed! Think Asylum Seekers: there are certain rights that we follow through on, and others that we clearly don't, yet we're able to justify it because they "didn't go through the proper channels" and "they aren't citizens". Humph.  

Kate xx

PS: A huge thanks to The Love Shop for supporting this series by sharing their artwork. More art by supporting artists in the weeks to come! 

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