the zoo: putting the “social” in social justice

Posted in Uncategorized on July 18, 2010 by chrisci12

Today some members of our class traveled with some of the families of the community we work with to the North Carolina State Zoo. The weather was good, everyone had fun, and overall it was a great experience. The most amazing part was of course seeing the smiles on the children’s faces as they saw an animal they had never seen before or an old favorite, such as a polar bear. The bonding that occurred today made it hard to leave them as we exited the bus, but the many hugs they gave made it better. This was a wonderful trip that I will not soon forget.

– Cierra

Social Justice and Human Rights in our Community

Posted in Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 by chrisci12

One of the most important components of our Social and Economic Justice class is the opportunity to go into our community interact with other people, many of them have been denied basic human rights at some point in their life, many of them are children. It is safe to say that for many of us this opportunity coupled with what we have learned in class has allowed us to see, tangibly, the importance of equality and human rights.
Every person man, woman, and child is entitled to the basic rights outlined in the Declaration of Human Rights and it is up to us to look out for one another because we cannot go this world alone. This is what we have learned above all else :)

to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state

Posted in Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 by chrisci12

Border Control

Border Control and illegal immigration is a topic of much discussion in the United States but also around the world. People are put in harms way everyday just because they choose to exercise their right to enter or leave a country. The following is an essay on border control as a violation of human rights by Asif Khan:

[The] topic of discussion [at hand is] whether everyone has the right to foreign border entry (with a special emphasis on the US border). Borders define the territorial and authoritarian rights of a nation to uphold its constitution which helps maintain collective international stability. It would be very unrealistic to deregulate and demilitarize borders since an unprecedented surge of immigrants who hopes a better future for their family will likely crowd the G12 nations. Trade, international security, environment, law and order, global economy: everything will be at stake even if the shift towards free borders is gradual. Globalization is undeniably making our world interconnected and dissolving many barriers metaphorically (cultural, trade, access to information etc). However, nation states should still in firm control of their individual borders with goals of strengthening themselves in the tough capitalistic economy without having to act inhumane. Losing/gaining an unaccountable amount of labor force would be devastating for every nation.
Nevertheless, I do believe that the process of border regulation and treating refugees/illegal immigrants (who have already entered the foreign nation) violates human rights. We hear news about civilian casualties at borders (whether India/Pakistan or US/Mexico) which is a complex issue that must be addressed more efficiently. However, coining borders as “human rights” is rather far-fetched and bears devastating net result without solving the human rights violations that will continue for the immigrants. While someone might argue that European Union’s free border policy has worked great, we need to take into consideration that EU countries have more or less similar socioeconomic status from countries to countries which will not be feasible for US/Mexico border for example. In our small group as well as class discussion, everyone pointed out the aforementioned points with a majority believing that borders are not a human rights and nations have legal rights to regulate their borders to serve the nation’s needs. Creating opportunities and helping the third world nation’s citizens (for our own sake) will reduce the border tensions while promoting peace and social justice.

the importance of human rights

Posted in Uncategorized on July 8, 2010 by chrisci12

Human Rights and their importance is an active discussion that has happened for many years. The discussion has included everything from what are the basic human rights to how do we ensure that everyone has access to those rights. Here at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in our Social and Economic Justice class we are looking into this and much more to discover what the importance of Human Rights truly is to our world. We hope that you will enjoy our blog as we look at different violations of Human Rights that occur everyday and advocate on behalf of those who cannot advocate for themselves.

to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being

Posted in Uncategorized on July 8, 2010 by chrisci12

Obstetric Fistula

There are many inadequacies concerning healthcare around the world, but especially in developing nations and third world countries. Many times the diseases that plague these nations are are preventable and treatable, but for various reasons they go untreated. One such example of that is obstetric fistula and below is an essay on the issue and its relationship to human rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that “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.” It also states that “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.” However, in many third world countries these very important human and reproductive rights are being violated due to inadequate healthcare or lack of access to healthcare.

Obstetric fistula is a condition that occurs either after childbirth or sexual assault; this condition develops when “blood supply to the tissues of the vagina and the bladder (and/or rectum) is cut off during prolonged obstructed labor. The tissues die and a hole forms through which urine and/or feces pass uncontrollably.” Due to the inability to control their bladder these women are abandoned by their husbands and families, cast out from society, and essentially are treated as though they are less than human. However, obstetric fistula is completely treatable and preventable though many women never get the treatment they need. This lack of access, no matter the reason is a direct violation of their human rights and therefore it needs to be corrected. In America and other countries where access to healthcare is more readily available preventable conditions such as this one occur less often, if not at all. All women and children deserve to be able to have the same rights that we do concerning safe and adequate birthing rights; to not have them is to do a grave injustice to mankind. If motherhood and childhood are truly entitled to special care all mother and children should be receiving this care, not just those who can afford to do so.

For more information on Obstetric Fistula please visit the following website:
http://www.fistulafoundation.org/aboutfistula/

to equal pay for equal work

Posted in Uncategorized on June 25, 2010 by chrisci12

Sweatshops

In countries all over the world sweatshop labor is being performed everyday violating the rights of thousands of human beings. Below is an essay by myself on the issue and its relationship to human rights:

In class we discussed a growing problem in our global economy: the use of sweatshops as a form of labor. A sweatshop is by definition “any factory that violates two or more labor laws, such as those pertaining to wages and benefits, working hours, and child labor.” (Green America) In class we went into further discussion about sweatshops and the ramifications that they can have from a moral standpoint. Sweatshops create economic disparities in the lives of those who work in them as they are often times not paid enough to provide for themselves and their families, but are also trapped as there are no other options for them for income.  They are left without adequate food, shelter, and without a clean environment which is a violation of their human rights. Also they are not given the right to or the chance for education as the long hours that they work prevent them from obtaining an education. Sweatshop labor occurs because large corporations, often in developed nations, contract to companies which pay workers next to nothing in order to reach one goal: increased profit margins. Sweatshop labor does not in any way benefit those who perform it and in many ways harms them and prevents third world nations and small towns and villages from having the economic boost they need to provide basic human rights for their citizens.

As a nation that both produces goods made by sweat shop labor and buys goods made it sweatshops we can take a stand by the only way large corporations understand – their pockets. If we can all join together and stop the purchase of items made by sweatshop labor it will send a message that we are not alright with other human beings being treated in this manner. We can do this by buying Fair Trade goods; this will ensure that those people who are producing our goods are being treated fairly from both an economic and sustainability standpoint. We can also continue to better our own labor laws and encourage other countries to do the same. Finally, we can talk to our congress people and legislators and encourage them to pass legislation to stop the import of good made by sweatshop, slave, and child labor.

For more information on sweatshop labor please see the following website:

http://usas.org/