Human Rights — Article Twenty-Three

Workers – Pierre Bonnard – Public Domain

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.

Article 23.

(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.

Article twenty-three is about the right to work. It says we should be able to choose what work we do. The working conditions should be good. We should be insured if we become unemployed. We all have a right to equal pay for the same work. The pay should allow us to keep our family with dignity. If the pay is inadequate, it should be supplemented by social security. We all have the right to belong to a trade union.

Things are better than they used to be, sort of. We have many of those rights, even if only in principle. In practice it seems as if the rights are merely tokens of what they could be, in many cases, given grudgingly and ignored whenever possible. There is constant erosion of them, with persistent attempts to to reverse them. We will lose them if we don’t protect them.


About arjaybe

Jim has fought forest fires and controlled traffic in the air and on the sea. Now he writes stories.
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