Monday, March 19, 2018

Water and sanitation is not a human right, not an entitlement

Last February 04, 2018, Rotary International posted this,

"Clean water and sanitation is a human right. When people, especially children, have access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, they lead healthier and more successful lives."
A friend and an active Rotarian (I am an ex-Rotarian) Bruce Hall posted this in his fb wall:

Rotary is wrong. Water and sanitation is not a human right, thought it can be a civil right.

Human rights are those things that we have because we are human, that we are born with, that we have been endowed with by our Creator.

Human beings are born with the ability to communicate, to pray, to move, to think... human beings are born free. Someone must use violence or threaten to use violence (like an army or a police force) to take away those things. Those are human rights. When violence is used to take away those things from us, that is oppression. Our human rights are violated.

We are not born with a lifetime supply of water or sanitation.

We must work hard -- and we must work together -- to provide those things to ourselves and to others. If we don't have water and sanitation, that might be our fault, or the fault of others, or the fault of no one.

The lack of water is NOT ALWAYS the result of oppression. If we die of thirst in the desert or on a lifeboat at sea, who oppressed us?

The lack of human rights is ALWAYs the result of oppression, is always the result of someone's act or threat.

Thirst can be the result of oppression, or someone taking away our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but it could also be the result of something else. Therefore water cannot be a human right. 

I agree with Bruce here. People can live on top of high hills and mountains far from natural water sources and government should bring pipe water to them because water is their "human right"? Bad proposition.

Re UN SDGs declaring that water is a human right, almost everything should be a "human right" for the UN actually. Free healthcare, free education until university, free books, free medicines, free condoms, etc. And soon free iPads, free flat tv, free cars for the poor?

Bruce added:

To take away human rights requires an act and therefore an actor. It requires oppression. To have human rights requires no action, no actor. We have human rights BECAUSE WE ARE HUMAN. Nothing more is required. A government isn't required, technically, for us to have our full human rights. However, there will always be people who may try to take away our human rights. Therefore we band together to defend ourselves, and we might call that government. Governments are instituted among men, as the saying goes.

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