Freedom of Choice and Human Rights

Your freedom of choice (or mine) does not trump the human rights of another.

Human rights are  fundamentally and legislatively enshrined and set the stage for how we live together. Human rights are hardwired into our collective identity. The very act of challenging the human rights of another human being is, in effect, questioning or challenging who you are as a human being living with other human beings.

In Alberta, legislation has been passed that will no longer allow child-free rental housing in the province. The fact that legislation was in effect forced upon the government by a Court of Queen’s Bench judgement is fodder for another posting. However, the fact that Albertans are debating the legislation is disturbing.

To deny another their protected human rights is wrong. It is wrong if it happens to you or to me or to anyone. Is this something Canadian society wishes to debate? I don’t think so.

Human rights create a level playing field; they represent the “must-dos” and the “must-not’s” that govern and frame our collective behaviour.  The protected human rights of all Canadians is what fosters personal freedom and choice. It is inconceivable to me to take these benefits and then believe someone’s human rights should be denied to uphold your own personal freedoms (freedoms, not rights).

Saying things like: “I raised four kids and now I deserve peace and quiet” as rationale for an offensive against the human rights of children is at the very least unfortunate. At a deeper level, it is sad commentary on how often in society, through racism and discrimination, we use our human rights to contain, if not destroy, the human rights of those who are different from us.

Think about it. If children are denied housing because they are children, why not GEN-X only housing or Skinny People only Housing. Or worse.

We are entitled to our personal preferences and choices but only if they do not betray the human rights of others.

Some or even many might not like that, but too bad. Instead of whining about it, try to understand the fundamental  importance of this in your own life and accept that your personal choices not only do not trump human rights, but you should be advocating for the human rights of all Canadians, not feel sorry for yourself because someone else’s human rights are an inconvenience.

Again. Your freedom of choice (or mine) does not trump the human rights of another.

It can be no other way in a civil society.

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