Wednesday, 22 January 2014

GINS #6: World Charter

Recently, I had an assignment that asked to create a Charter that could apply to the whole world. Once we got into a group of 4 we realized that the books we read focusing on Global Issues all had different problems from around the world. The specifics about the books we read are below, feel free to check them out!

While creating this document, our group faced a lot of conflict and debate in relation to the specifics. One example of this was our mini debate in the beginning discussing Freedoms vs. Rights. Heather believed that freedoms were something that was very similar to a right, but I argued that freedoms were not enforced. Personally, I believe that rights are guaranteed, enforced and must be followed, whereas freedoms are a choice. One thing that we concluded after debating as a group was that in the World Charter we would change freedoms to rights. For example, in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms there is a set section for Fundamental Freedoms discussing ideas like the freedom to express your own opinion. Although, after talking about this with our group, we brought up interesting perspectives like an example of Afghanistan where the Taliban over power. With the freedom to expression, would people even be able to speak up? Who would protect them? This is why we created the right to express yourself freely. Additionally, as you may have noticed we used the idea of expression over speech, because we all believe that an individual can project their identity in many ways other than just talking and it is important that everyone is recognized in society. For collective rights section, our group also discussed the specific cultures values around the world, but we found a hard time trying to create separate collective rights indicating cultural significance around the world. Instead we added the right to practice the religion of your choice under Fundamental Rights section of our World Charter. In relation to this, we were thinking of creating collective rights based on locations of the world, specifically hemispheres. The reason this came up was because the identities and languages are generally the same in these areas, but again I felt that this was unnecessary as cultural rights was something that should be more “broad” and applicable to everyone. This also introduced the idea of worldview and that different parts of the world have different perspectives. This is also why it makes it so confusing to create a World Charter.

Paradise of the Blind ← Communism
My Forbidden Face ← Women’s Rights (The treatment of women in Afghanistan during the Taliban Rule)
The Flying Carpet of Small Miracles: Dictatorship in Iraq ← Overthrown by US army, but the country faced a lot unnecessary damage

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World by John Wood ← About illiteracy and equality issues


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