Human Rights and Economic Practice

From the United Nations –

“Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end 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.”

“Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law”

Whether or not countries have managed to fulfil their obligations, they have frequently managed to put some of the changes needed into their statute books. I am thinking of the Civil Rights laws, the Gender Equality Laws, and the antiracism, anti-discriminatory practice laws. These exist under different names in different countries, cultural practice may well have a long way to go, but where the law exists, so too does redress, however limited its teeth.

The UN declaration does not directly consider any monetary system.

There is no “right” to an economics that would outlaw financial exploitation or usury. The nearest articles I could find were open to interpretation:

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.

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.
  • (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.

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.

Examine every budget. Examine every regulation on banking, taxes, property, social security, etc. to see how it stands up for or against Article 25.

Examine the process of money creation in a fractional reserve banking system that is actually the creation of debt to be paid with interest at a future time, that results in country after country facing debt that cannot be repaid, and also results in individuals chasing more and more hours of work, that in some of those countries no longer exists, in order to fund their personal debt, not extravagance, but the only way to reach as near as they can the standard of living of Article 25.

Campaign for Laws in Economic Practice that further Human Rights.

Western dictionaries define usury: the act or practice of loaning money at an exorbitant rate of interest, or, an exorbitant or unlawfully high amount or rate of interest… we would then have to define ‘exorbitant’.

There is a different definition: “practice that devours others’ wealth”.

No matter who practices it (IMF, the subprime lenders, or the pawnbroker and payday lender around the corner)


related information:

Greek unemployment

IMF’s latest debt sustainability analysis (DSA)


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