China, USA and Human Rights

human rightsUN Universal Declaration of Human Rights 

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights was voted into existence on December 10, 1948 so 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.

We must judge a country’s human rights record by what it does and not what it aspires to do or says it’s doing because fictitious and distorted ‘human rights’ stories abound. In the list of Articles below I assign one point to the country with the better performance in that category and I have taken pains to be unfair. I judge the USA harshly because it convened the United Nations, wrote its human rights charter, signed it, became fabulously rich and powerful and has been lecturing the world on human rights for 70 years. China, on the other hand, comes from a different ethical tradition (collective punishment was vital) and is vast, diverse, poor and under constant threat and attack by wealthy, powerful countries.

Article 1. 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. [Blacks. Indians.]. CHINA +1 

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. [Muslims in USA]. CHINA +1

Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. [Invasions are US state policy]. CHINA +1

Purportedly to compel Saddam Hussein’s government to give up its weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the UN imposed economic sanctions on Iraq, which lasted until the 2003 invasion. The sanctions regime was enforced by the US and Britain which took the toughest line on compliance. “No country had ever been subjected to more comprehensive economic sanctions by the United Nations than Iraq,” notes Hans Von Sponeck, the former UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, in his 2006 book A Different Kind of War. Communicable diseases in the 1980s not considered public health hazards, such as measles, polio, cholera, typhoid, marasmus and kwashiorkor, reappeared on epidemic scales.” In 1999 the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) estimated that over 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five had died because of a lack of medication, food or safe water supplies. More..

Article 4. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. [Florida fruit pickers. Louisiana prison workers]. CHINA +1

Some of America’s most vulnerable workers are victims of modern-day slavery, and the government knows it. What’s worse: These workers are protecting U.S. military and economic interests – but the U.S. isn’t protecting them. In its annual Trafficking in Persons Report, released Friday, the State Department acknowledged that trafficking and forced labor still exist in America. The report includes several examples: abuse of third-country nationals trafficked to work on military bases, migrant domestic workers subjected to forced labor by diplomats and international organization personnel, and temporary guest workers in a variety of industries forced to work under horrifying conditions with nowhere to turn. More..

Article 5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. [Torture is US state policy] CHINA +1

Article 6. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. [Guantanamo] CHINA +1

Article 7. 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. [Bank CEOs. Blacks.] CHINA +1

Article 8. 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. [Mortgage foreclosures; poor, incarcerated & massacred Blacks] CHINA +1

Article 9. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. [US authorities regularly practice all three].CHINA +1

Article 10. 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. [Bradley Manning] CHINA +1

Article 11. (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 defense. [Unless he’s Black or we want to assassinate him by drone]. (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.

Article 12. 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. [US has 24×7 surveillance of all citizens] CHINA +1

Article 13. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. [Secret, no-fly list]. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. [Edward Snowdon]. CHINA +1

Article 14. (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. [except Edward Snowdon]. (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. [Julian Assange]. CHINA +1

Article 15. (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.Article 16. (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.

Article 17. (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 [illegal foreclosures]. CHINA +1

Article 18. 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. [Unless you’re Muslim]. CHINA +1

Article 19. 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. [Unless you’re a whistle-blower].

Article 20. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. [Hahahaha]. (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21. (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. [If you have $800 million]. (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. [Only people funded by oligarchs may enter our elections]. CHINA +1

Article 22. 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. [US cops shoot 1,000 unarmed people each year]. CHINA +1

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. [Unless you’re poor or black]. (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. [If you can live with dignity on $7.25/hour]. (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests. [Our trade unions have been deliberately destroyed]. CHINA +1

Article 24. Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay. [Chinese get 3 weeks paid, mandatory vacation. We get none]. CHINA +1

Article 25. (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. [Just kidding]. (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. [Ask poor, working mothers about this]. CHINA +1

Article 26. (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.[Chinese kids better educated than ours]. (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. CHINA +1

Article 27. (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. [Patents] CHINA +1

Article 28. Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized. [Unless we want to bomb, invade or assassinate you]. CHINA +1

Article 29. (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.

Article 30. 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. [Except the USA invading other countries and destroying them]. CHINA +1

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