15 May 2008

Bloggers Unite for Human Rights

Human rights, human rights, human rights, human rights, and human rights! That's basically what has been churning around in my mind ever since I knew about Bloggers Unite for Human Rights Day.
Every time something like this comes up I think someone else can write something better than I can and surely everyone knows about the hot topics going on in the world right now. Hang on though, if everyone knows, why are we talking about it again? What is it about these issues that make it seem almost impossible to solve?
I watch the documentaries and cry, not just a sniffle, sometimes full-blown snot and tears. Then twenty minutes later what am I doing? Probably sat a computer messing about blogging. I know its not apathy for the most part, it would be brutal to carry around that deep deep sadness all the time and not at all good for your mental health.
On this journey I am on to become a counsellor, you have to go back to basics when learning about what it is to be human and how counselling actually works. What do we need? From a basic level to the higher planes of self worth. Maslow came up with a hierarchy of needs, which started from the basic physiological needs all the way to self-actualisation.

When I look at this chart at the bottom, I read the physiological needs that are essential and think 'Shit!' how many people never even make it past this stage in their life. You can read some more about Maslow's hierarchy of needs here if you want Maslow's hierarchy of needs. As usual I am rambling while I try to pull some thoughts together, what am I trying to say?
Basically there are Billions of people out there that don't even get their basic needs met, over 1 Billion people still have NO access to clean drinking water, 3 billion have No access to sanitation, children are fighting in wars and monks are providing a physical barrier against machine guns. That's just a teeny tiny fraction of what's wrong around us. Bad things don't just happen in far off countries that we only see on the telly, bad things happen everywhere and affect everyone at some stage in their lives. Each and every one of these terrible things are just as important. I have asked myself some questions that cover some of safety and physiological needs and then provided some links to sites/organisations that are tackling these issues.

Do you have somewhere safe to live?
Yes I do, I sleep safely in my bed tonight and probably every other night.
Check out: Shelter

Do you have food to eat?
Yes I do.
Check out:World Food Programme

Do you have water to drink?
If I want glass water; I get off my arse and walk all of ten steps to get some.
But 1 BILLION people do not!
Check out: WaterAid

Do you have water to bathe in?
If I want to have a shower for ages and ages, I do it.
I want a bath, I have a bath and then a shower to.
3 BILLION people do not.
Check out: International Year of Sanitation

Do you have access to a toilet?
If I want to go the bathroom and sit on the throne, I do it.
3 BILLION people do not!
Check out: Unicef Sanitation

Do you have access to Information?
If I want to know something, I google it, go to the library, go to school, read a book, ask someone.
Check out:Become a blogger for Human Rights

Do you have the freedom to speak out?
If I want to rant, scream, doodle, I blog it, talk to my friends and many many other outlets.
Check out: Global Voices Online
Do you have access to medical treatment?
If I need to go the hospital I get to call an ambulance. If I have a sniffly nose I make an appointment with the doctor, phone the online doctors or go to the chemist.
Check out:Physicians for Human Rights

Can you wear what you want?
I can wear what ever I want or nothing at all, I can do it.
Check out: Human Rights Watch

Yep I can pretty much get whatever I want or need.

Speaking out about Human Rights is not about making a difference to people and places that you have never heard about and will never see, well not for me anyways. Its also not about making you feel guilty about having nice things, loving families and other pleasures in life.
I will wait to see if I am born as a modern day saint in another life, this time round I just want to feel like I have helped out even just one person.

Bloggers Unite


  1. So you did it! Interesting to see that chart. Looks like most human rights fall in the bottom two layers of that pyramid, though certain protections of the family and conscience bring us up all the way to the top of your pyramid. Maybe human rights are fundamental not only from a physiological but also a psychological point of view.

  2. Excellent I posted about whats going on right here in San Antonio and I feel it was totally ignored.Regardless I still spend time with the kids on the block and reinforce POSITIVE ideas and behavior.I take my son and his two friends swimming almost everyday.My son is the only one with a Dad at home.It breaks my heart but I can see that I have had a strong influence on these young guys.
    There's no community today I would NOT want to be a kid in the streets of America today.Thanks for some a great post I appreciated it:)

  3. do they have cake red? cake and water? that'd be good, right?

    smiles, bee

  4. Great post Claire. We take far too much for granted and its so sad there are so many who do not have that luxury.

  5. Brilliant post Claire. I truly felt your heart in this. Very original and you've given me alot of food for thought. Thanks for being you!

  6. This is very informative. I investigated many of your links.

  7. I gotta be honest and say that I hardly think of human rights, and definably have never seen a triangle chart like that, but you've definably given me some food for thought. I usually think about animals, and their rights, but perhaps focusing on human rights is ok too. :)

  8. @Mark, yes you gave me the kick up the arse I needed :)

    From a counselling point of view, you need to have all your needs met from the bottom two layers, for counselling to be really affective. So they are the most important part of the chart. I suppose its like building your house on solid foundations.

    @john, I am sorry you feel like your post is being ignored maybe folks just haven't had the time to comment yet.Thanks for taking the time to comment here and being a positive role model for your son.

    @empress bee, Bee they have no cake or water! :(

    @Petra, yep your right. I know people don't need reminding of it all the time but its nice to have a gentle reminder every now and then.

    @tricia, I found this post a struggle, I thought great thoughts but then struggled to write it down. I am glad you liked it though :)

    @relax max, cheers, some of the sites I have linked are great and I only found myself recently.

    @chica, I think a lot of people, myself included think like that. This is something I have being thinking more about only since I started studying to be a counsellor. On one hand it seems very self indulgent to think about personal growth and self improvement whilst there is so much else going on in the world. While on the other hand its the people that are so in tune with themselves that help out so much.

    Thanks for the comments guys!


  9. Very well written, Claire! :)
    Do you need me to bring you some water?

  10. Claire what an excellent post! I love the way you incorporated the charts to illustrate basic physiological needs all the way to our own self actualization's.

    Water should be deemed a fundamental need as opposed to a commercial right!

  11. You did it! And you did it well, Claire. Doodle and all....your post made perfect sense, too.

    Well done.

  12. Love the post! Dang, I haven't thought of Maslow's Heirarchy in years! Ahh...brings back memories.

    Well done :)

  13. I've always been a human rights advocate, but haven't been as involved as I'd like. Still, I never try to shut myself off to abuses. It gives your life perspective. The things that people bitch about in the free world are so stupid and meaningless when people are getting raped and tortured and dehumanized day after day in so many places.

    Nice post, Claire.

  14. Great post. WaterAid is one I've been following for years ever since a colleague went to work for them. I confess before that I hadn't heard of them but they do excellent work, not just in water but sanitation too.

    We have such a lot to be grateful for in the developed world, but what really distresses me is that so few people realise.

  15. A very interesting and helpful post. Thanks for your thoughts on human rights. As the Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reminds us, “…recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

    Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds

  16. @crazy working mom, I am a little thirsty.

    @iriegal, As I have said I struggled with this topic as all Human Right issues deserve to be shouted about and listened too and acted upon. I suppose I was trying to ask why some people act and why some people don't.

    @Anok, cheers for that, I still feel bad for not putting more time into it.

    @drowsey monkey, I think its a great way of explaining things, its not a perfect explanation but its something that has stuck in my mind.

    @.45, You continue to surprise me, in a good way. I have come late to this party too, so I hope with my counselling work I get to do something worthwhile. Thank you :)

    @a. Thanks for the comment, what I read about them sounds great and I really to look into them more and see if I can send some money their way. I think people realise but they don't know what to do, so don't.

    @dave donelson, Thanks for the nice comment, I need to spend some time reading up a bit more and will be doing another post on this matter.

    Thanks for all the great comments.