Why some essential items are considered human rights but not others?

Society Sadaf Riaz
Opinion
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Photo : Dreamstime

In article 25 of the universal law of declaration of human rights says, “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, and housing and medical care and necessary social services”. It is noticed that water is missing as a human right.

Here we will highlight the issue that how water is considered only a “need” and how this concept affects people. We also need to decide that this is the way to organize our world?

Why UK is facing a deficiency of ventilators and PPE to fight Covid-19?

The UK and other governments tend to store tens of thousands of weapons to kill people, but they never thought to supply protective clothing to save people.

In 2019 according to armscontrol.org, the UK spent $8.7 on nuclear weapons. They could have paid 30,00 ventilators, 100,000 ICU beds, the salary of 40,00 British doctors and 50,00 British nurses.

Why the government and its people consider this as an acceptable preference? Arguably, both want the “right to protect life”; one protects us from wars by having a superior arsenal while others protect us from pandemics through the healthcare system.

Why some people do not consider water as a human right?

It is well known that “healthcare is a human right, not a commodity”. Why many of us think that private insurer should provide healthcare, which set the terms to its benefits?

Noticeably water is missing as a human right. Quran reveals that humans are having four essential rights since existence: water, food, shelter, and clothing. The Quran reveals:

“And [mentioned] when We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate to Adam’, and they prostrated, except Iblees; he refused. So We said, ‘ O Adam, indeed this is an enemy to you and to your wife. Then let him not remove you from Paradise so you would suffer. Indeed, it is for you not to be hungry therein or be unclothed. And indeed, you will not be thirsty therein or be hot from the sun”.

(Sarah Taha verses 116-119)

Many people do not believe that water is a human right. In a documentary the former CEO of Nestle Group, peter Brabeck-Letmathe stated NGOs “bang on about declaring

water a public right. That means as a human being you should have a right to water. That’s an extreme solution. The other view says that water is a foodstuff and should have a value.” Water was undergrounded from a right to “need” under such influence.

As a result, utilities are no longer in hands of the government but in hands of corporations. Government is the regulator, not the provider and the regulations are set by the corporations.

People do not realize that when they buy water from Nestle, they are buying the packaging and bottle, not the water as water is their right.

Thus utilities are defined as rights; they must be available and equally accessible to all human beings.

Burnie Sander’s model proposes ‘Economic Bill of Rights’; healthcare; affordable housing; secure retirements and a living wage.

Now is the better and easier time to make it a reality, this is the time to fight for our rights.

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