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Published On: Mon, Sep 5th, 2016

Somaliland:Improved Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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human_rights_first[1]HUMANITAS QUO VADIS ?

While the French Burkini ban enforced by armed Police confronting beachgoers at the Riviera and its subsequent overturn by France’s highest administrative court filled the summer-lull and news-holes for the mainstream media, the many problems – bothering everybody concerning the development of humanity in a fair and just way for all of humankind – have not been solved.

Since the days of Adam and Eve the body of a woman and men’s view of it has been politicized, but since the Bikini bans over sixty years ago the weird interferences of politicians, their lawyers and their law enforcers as well as of religious fanatics and their henchmen and also their provocateurs have come around full circle. In all this hullabaloo rational thought and profound data seem not to be in high demand.

In response to the islamophobic machinations of the French state against the Burkini, which go far beyond the often abused and misquoted laïcité of French law, a facebook user, who subsequently had his account closed by Zuckerberg’s watch-hounds, posted photos of fully clad Catholic nuns wading into the water (which were quickly tweeted and re-tweeted and thereby spread) wearing their habits while the poster was wondering whether the French police “would make these ladies take their clothes off, too.”

Double standards prevail everywhere. So, obviously it is not just a stately but still a religious tussle and people have to emancipate themselves to overcome it all, if liberty, equality as well as sister- and brotherhood shall have any meaning in future again.

The undressing of Muslim women by French authorities has a long colonial history. Such a practice of imperial subjugation goes against women’s empowerment and should have no place in today’s society. We stand in solidarity with Muslim women in France and condemn the practice of stripping women at gunpoint and fining them for their beliefs, like we stand for the right of women to not be arrested and fined when they appear like men bare-breasted on hot summer days.

Actually, the aboriginal right of humans to walk naked on Earth or to bath naked in nature was conclusively researched and compiled by Dr. Klaudia Odreitz into a 700-page thesis for her doctoral degree. Her attempt to defend her dissertation naked was, however, denied by the University in Austria.

The ban on Burkinis in France is not only ‘‘a grave and illegal breach of fundamental freedoms’‘ but a ‘‘stupid reaction’‘ to recent terror attacks, the UN human rights office has said. Demanding its immediate end, a spokesperson for the rights agency insisted the suspension had only succeeded in increasing tensions. “It is frankly a stupid reaction to what we are having, facing, in terms of terrorist attacks. It does nothing to increase security, it does nothing to improve public order, if anything, it stimulates friction, and therefore undermines public order. If anything, it is having a counterproductive effect,” said Rupert Colville, the spokesman for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“The enormity of the issue which the photo [of French Police forcing a Muslim woman to strip off her Burkini] captures comes in sight when we view things in an even broader perspective and realize that the second world war was preceded by a rise in secular fundamentalism, represented by communism, totalitarianism, and fascism. The nations of the world came together to formulate a Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, after these forces had run their vicious course,” states Arvind Sharma, who is Birks Professor of Comparative Religion at McGill University, Canada, and he asks: “Should the religions of the world not come together and formulate their own declaration of human rights, before the forces of religious fundamentalism get out of hand?”

It is therefore worthwhile to have a look at the efforts of the upcoming 3rd Global Conference on Worlds Religions after September 11  using the Burkini War as booster to conclude the release of a Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions.

Article 19 of this declaration runs as follows:
Everybody has the right to freedom of opinion and expression….The term : expression includes not only the language one speaks, but also the food one eats and the clothes one wears.

Please read and reflect the whole proposed Declaration (and send us your constructive thoughts):

Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions
first proposed on 10th December 1998, re-compiled on September 7, 2011 – to be adopted in October 2016 in Montréal
(- slightly tweaked by the ECOTERRA collective as our contribution to the final version – for current status click link.)

Whereas human beings are led to affirm that there is more to life than life itself by inspiration – human, natural and divine;
Whereas the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948 bases itself on the former;
Whereas any exclusion of the world’s religions as positive resources for human rights is obnoxious to the evidence of daily life;
Whereas the various communities constituting the peoples of the world must exchange not only ideas but also ideals;
Whereas religions ideally urge human beings to live in a just society and not just in any society;
Whereas one must not idealize the actual but strive to realize the ideal;
Whereas not to compensate victims of imperialism, racism, casteism and sexism is itself imperialist, racist, casteist and sexist;
Whereas rights are independent of duties in their protection but integrally related to them in conception and execution;
Whereas human rights are intended to secure peace, freedom, equality and justice — and to mitigate departures therefrom — when these come in conflict or the rights themselves;
Now, therefore, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Faculty of Religious Studies, at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada;
The signatories to this Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions, as legatees of the religious heritage of humanity do hereby propose the following as the common standard of achievement for the followers of all religions or none, on the 10th day of December, 1998, as all people are brothers and sisters on the face of Earth.


All human beings have the right to be treated as human beings and have the duty to treat everyone as a human being.


Everyone has the right to freedom from violence, in any of its forms, individual or collective; whether based on race, religion, gender, caste or class, or arising from any other cause.


(1)Everyone has the right to food.
(2) Everyone has the right to life, longevity and liveability and the right to food, clothing, shelter and security to sustain them.
(3) Everyone has the duty to support and sustain the life, longevity and liveability of all.
(4) Everyone has the right to be cared for with dignity at the end of life, to die with dignity, and to have one’s dead body treated with dignity. It is the duty of everyone to ensure this.


(1) No one shall be subjected to slavery or servitude, forced labour, bonded labour or child labour. Slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all its forms.
(2) No one shall subject anyone to slavery or servitude in any of its forms.


(1) No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, inflicted either physically or mentally, whether on secular or religious grounds, inside the home or outside it.
(2) No one shall subject anybody to such mistreatment.


(1) Everyone has a right to recognition everywhere as a person before law; and by everyone everywhere as a human being deserving humane treatment, even when law and order has broken down.
(2) Everyone has the duty to treat everyone else as a human being both in the eyes of law and one’s own.


All humans are equal before law and entitled to equal protection before law without any discrimination on grounds of race, religion, caste, class, sex and sexual orientation. It is the right of everyone to be so treated and the duty of everyone to so treat others.


Everybody has the duty to prevent the perpetuation of historical, social, economic, cultural and other wrongs.


(1) No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile by the state or by anyone else. The attempt to proselytize against the will of the person shall amount to arbitrary detention, so also the detention, against their will, of teenage children by their parents, and among spouses.
(2) It is the duty of everyone to secure everyone’s liberty.


Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by a relevant, independent and impartial legal body, in determination of the rights and obligations applicable and of any criminal charge against themselves. Everyone who cannot afford a legal defender must be provided one by the legal body.


Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be considered innocent until justly proven guilty.


(1) Everyone has the right to privacy. This right includes the right not to be subjected to arbitrary interference with one’s privacy; of one’s own, or of one’s family, home or correspondence.
(2) Everyone has the right to one’s good name.
(3) It is the duty of everyone to protect the privacy and reputation of everyone else.


(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement anywhere in the world and of residence in the land of one’s ancestors as well as anywhere else, if invited to reside and welcomed by the local community.
(2) Everyone has the duty to abide by the laws and regulations applicable locally and in that part of the world.
(3) Aboriginal or indigenous people’s rights prevail over the customary rights of newly arrived people.


Everyone has the right to seek and secure asylum in any country from any form of persecution, religious or otherwise, and the right not to be deported. It is the duty of every country to provide such asylum.


(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality, while the self-determination of one’s nationality on valid grounds must be respected.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of one’s nationality nor denied the right to change one’s nationality.
(3) Everyone has the duty to promote the emergence of global peace among the nations.


(1) All adult men and women have the right to connubial or conjugal life in free choice and by ways of formal marriage or other egalitarian forms accepted by society, the dissolution of connubial or conjugal life, and to single life. The rights of children shall be adhered to and fulfilled by both parents equally and fairly and the children’s rights shall not be affected by a separation of their parents.
(2) Members of a family have the right to retain and practice their own religion or beliefs.
(3) Everyone has the right to raise a family.
(4) Everybody has the right to renounce the world and join a monastery as well as to return to lay life, provided that adequate arrangement has been made for one’s dependants.
(5) Marriage and monasticism are two of the most fundamental institutional innovations of humanity and are entitled to protection by the society and the state.
(6) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. It is the duty of everyone to extend special consideration to mothers and children.
(7) Everyone shall promote the outlook that the entire world constitutes an extended family.


(1) Everybody has the right to own property, alone as well as in association with others. An association also has a similar right to own property.
(2) Everyone has a right not to be deprived of property arbitrarily. It is the duty of everyone not to deprive others of their property arbitrarily. Property shall be understood to mean material as well as intellectual, aesthetic and spiritual property.
(3) Everyone has the duty not to deprive anyone of their property or appropriate it in an unauthorized manner.


(1) There shall be no compulsion in religion. It is a matter of choice.
(2) Everyone has the right to retain one’s religion, to change one’s religion and to transmit one’s religion.
(3) Everyone has the duty to promote peace and tolerance among different religions, ideologies and world-views.
(4) Everyone has the right not to have one’s religion denigrated in the media or the academia.
(5) It is the duty of the follower of every religion to ensure that no religion is denigrated in the media or the academia.


(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, where the term expression includes the language one speaks; the food one eats; the clothes one wears; the religion one practices and professes, without unjustly imposing them on others.
(2) It is the duty of everyone to ensure that everyone enjoys such freedom.
(3) Children have the right to express themselves freely in all matters affecting the child, to which it is the duty of their caretakers to give due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.


(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of assembly and association for peaceful purposes, and the duty to do so peacefully.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association, or to leave one without due process.
(3) Everyone has the right to resist injustice either singly or jointly and it is one’s duty to do so.


(1) Every adult citizen has the right to vote, to elect or be elected and thus to take part in the government or governance of the country, directly or indirectly.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in one’s country and the duty to provide such access.
(3) It is the duty of everyone to participate in the political process.


Everyone, as a member of society, has a right to social security and a duty to contribute to it.


(1) Everyone has the right to same pay for same work and a duty to offer same pay for same work.
(2) Everyone has the right for just remuneration for one’s work and the duty to justly recompense for work done.
(3) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of one’s interests or not to join a trade union.


(1) Everyone has the right to work and to rest, including the right to support while seeking work and the right to periodic holidays with pay, including medical and maternity/paternity leave if necessary.
(2) The right to rest and recovery extends to animals and to land, air and waters used by human activities.


(1) Everyone has the right to health and to medical insurance. It is the duty of the state or society to provide it.
(2) Everyone has the right to protect Earth, nature and its creation as well as to live in a healthy environment, to have clean air as well as safe water and food.
(3) Every child has the right to a childhood free from violence of abuse and it is the duty of the parents to safeguard this.


Everyone has the right to free education and the right to equality of opportunity for any form of education involving restricted enrolment.


(1) Everyone has the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community and the right to freely contribute to it.
(2) Everyone has the right to share scientific advances and its benefits and the duty to disseminate them, and wherever possible to contribute to such advances.
(3) Everyone has the right to the protection of their cultural heritage. It is the duty of everyone to protect and enrich everyone’s heritage, including one’s own.


Everyone has the right to socio-economic and political order at a global, national, regional and local level which enables the realization of social, political, economic, racial and gender justice and the duty to give precedence to universal, local, regional and national interests in that order.


(1) One is duty-bound, when asserting one’s rights, to take the rights of other human beings; of past, present and future generations, the rights of humanity, and the rights of nature and Earth into account.
(2) One is duty-bound, when asserting one’s rights, to prefer non-violence over violence.


(1) Everyone has the right to require the formation of a supervisory committee within one’s community, defined religiously or otherwise, to monitor the implementation of the ARTICLEs of this Declaration; and to serve on it and present one’s case before such a committee.
(2) It is everyone’s duty to ensure that such a committee satisfactorily supervises the implementation of these ARTICLEs.


Any such Universal Declaration of Human Rights must be coherent with the proposed

Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth


We, the peoples and nations of Earth:

considering that we are all part of Mother Earth, an indivisible, living community of interrelated and interdependent beings with a common destiny;

gratefully acknowledging that Mother Earth is the source of life, nourishment and learning and provides everything we need to live well;

recognizing that the capitalist system and all forms of depredation, exploitation, abuse and contamination have caused great destruction, degradation and disruption of Mother Earth, putting life as we know it today at risk through phenomena such as climate change;

convinced that in an interdependent living community it is not possible to recognize the rights of only human beings without causing an imbalance within Mother Earth;

affirming that to guarantee human rights it is necessary to recognize and defend the rights of Mother Earth and all beings in her and that there are existing cultures, practices and laws that do so;

conscious of the urgency of taking decisive, collective action to transform structures and systems that cause climate change and other threats to Mother Earth;

proclaim this Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, and call on the General Assembly of the United Nation to adopt it, as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations of the world, and to the end that every individual and institution takes responsibility for promoting through teaching, education, and consciousness raising, respect for the rights recognized in this Declaration and ensure through prompt and progressive measures and mechanisms, national and international, their universal and effective recognition and observance among all peoples and States in the world.

Article 1. Mother Earth

(1) Mother Earth is a living being.

(2) Mother Earth is a unique, indivisible, self-regulating community of interrelated beings that sustains, contains and reproduces all beings.

(3) Each being is defined by its relationships as an integral part of Mother Earth.

(4) The inherent rights of Mother Earth are inalienable in that they arise from the same source as existence.

(5) Mother Earth and all beings are entitled to all the inherent rights recognized in this Declaration without distinction of any kind, such as may be made between organic and inorganic beings, species, origin, use to human beings, or any other status.

(6) Just as human beings have human rights, all other beings also have rights which are specific to their species or kind and appropriate for their role and function within the communities within which they exist.

(7) The rights of each being are limited by the rights of other beings and any conflict between their rights must be resolved in a way that maintains the integrity, balance and health of Mother Earth.

Article 2. Inherent Rights of Mother Earth

(1) Mother Earth and all beings of which she is composed have the following inherent rights:

(a) the right to life and to exist;

(b) the right to be respected;

(c) the right to regenerate its bio-capacity and to continue its vital cycles and processes free from human disruptions;

(d) the right to maintain its identity and integrity as a distinct, self-regulating and interrelated being;

(e) the right to water as a source of life;

(f) the right to clean air;

(g) the right to integral health;

(h) the right to be free from contamination, pollution and toxic or radioactive waste;

(i) the right to not have its genetic structure modified or disrupted in a manner that threatens it integrity or vital and healthy functioning;

(j) the right to full and prompt restoration the violation of the rights recognized in this Declaration caused by human activities;

(2) Each being has the right to a place and to play its role in Mother Earth for her harmonious functioning.

(3) Every being has the right to well-being and to live free from torture or cruel treatment by human beings.

Article 3. Obligations of human beings to Mother Earth

(1) Every human being is responsible for respecting and living in harmony with Mother Earth.

(2) Human beings, all States, and all public and private institutions must:

(a) act in accordance with the rights and obligations recognized in this Declaration;

(b) recognize and promote the full implementation and enforcement of the rights and obligations recognized in this Declaration;

(c) promote and participate in learning, analysis, interpretation and communication about how to live in harmony with Mother Earth in accordance with this Declaration;

(d) ensure that the pursuit of human well-being contributes to the well-being of Mother Earth, now and in the future;

(e) establish and apply effective norms and laws for the defence, protection and conservation of the rights of Mother Earth;

(f) respect, protect, conserve and where necessary, restore the integrity, of the vital ecological cycles, processes and balances of Mother Earth;

(g) guarantee that the damages caused by human violations of the inherent rights recognized in this Declaration are rectified and that those responsible are held accountable for restoring the integrity and health of Mother Earth;

(h) empower human beings and institutions to defend the rights of Mother Earth and of all beings;

(i) establish precautionary and restrictive measures to prevent human activities from causing species extinction, the destruction of ecosystems or the disruption of ecological cycles;

(j) guarantee peace and eliminate nuclear, chemical and biological weapons;

(k) promote and support practices of respect for Mother Earth and all beings, in accordance with their own cultures, traditions and customs;

(l) promote economic systems that are in harmony with Mother Earth and in accordance with the rights recognized in this Declaration.

Article 4. Definitions

(1) The term “being” includes ecosystems, natural communities, species and all other natural entities which exist as part of Mother Earth.

(2) Nothing in this Declaration restricts the recognition of other inherent rights of all beings or specified beings.

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In order to avoid that the implementation of such emancipated declarations would take another 25 years or more of endless and useless debates at state- and UN-level conferences, one just could revise or amend them to one’s personal wishes and hang them on the front porch of one’s private premises. Declare it the overall governing principles from where your private sphere starts – at the door of your apartment or at the main-gate of your huge ranch or private beach, at the entry of your factory and estate or at your bedroom door – like all people and communities, peoples and nations have the right to declare nuclear-, bio-weapon- or biocide-free zones in their spheres.

Given the fact that most of Earth’s land-surface already is under private or at least non-public ownership, that could maybe do the trick to get such universal laws de facto and de jure in place serving humanity and Earth pro-actively – except of course where Burka-clad, fully masked Anti-Terror”-Police troopers storm your bedroom – sent by fascist state-terrorists to go and get you just because you once again posted something seeking the truth about a certain Hillary or stood up for animal rights.

However, the universal principles delineated above,  combined with the AQUA CARD system (*) would offer a good chance to prevent or to quell most local, domestic or external violent conflicts – if adhered to by all parties, which is where awareness creation and education come in.

“Go alone and away from all books, go with your own heart into the storm of human hearts and see if somewhere in that storm there are bleeding hearts.” – Carl Sandburg


NOTE: The declarations above are – unlike the attempt e.g. of the World Parliament in its Second and Fourth Sessions of the World Constituent Assembly (1977 & 1991) to establish a global constitution or of similar endeavours, which all are just ways to push peoples and people into a NWO-like global governance – the mere effort to determine basic and essential rights and freedoms as they should be enjoyed by all humanity and Earth, since we are all one and have the same basic needs.


(*) ECOTERRA’s AQUA CARD system: It is a simple aqua-marine-coloured (hex code: #66DDAA or #33FFCC) rectangular (e.g. 15×10 cm) carton – with or without the universal word STOP or وَقْفة (e.g. in red – hex triplet #FF0000) printed on it (and with or without a clipart pic of a glass of water).
Everyone can carry it and if raised, it signals to the aggressor:
“Halt, Stop right now with anything you do to me, because you are violating universally guaranteed rights!”

Especially for children and teens, but also for adults in situations where one side has been rendered speechless due to verbal or physical violence or abuse directed against the victim, it offers the chance to silently “shout-out” with this form of non-verbal communication. Specifically in a confrontation where people have become speechless due to the overwhelming aggression launched against them, it sends a clear signal.

Water (aqua) is Life, and it is the most basic human right to ask for and to receive a glass of water – even in the most horrific circumstances. This break gives a moment to think and to reflect, which often is already sufficient to de-escalate a conflict and to calm a situation down – thereby giving a chance for resolution finding.

Especially in bullying school environments it works wonder, if bystanders or onlookers then feel encouraged to gear up into action when the aggressor doesn’t adhere to the demand of the victim to stop – clearly visible to all.

More sophisticated AQUA CARDs with actually binding legal texts relevant to a specific country’s constitution and jurisdiction added to the relevant fundamental freedoms as well as basic human rights of the UN-Charter and printed on its back, have been used successfully in demonstrations in numerous states to halt police violence and so far it was never misinterpreted as a call to turn the water-cannons on against the demonstrators, who merely are asking for a ceasefire by waving the card – without having to surrender.

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