A FUNDAMENTAL FLAW IN THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS?
There are many reasons why we see the need for the World Alliance of Independent Thinkers, certainly as we are navigating our shared interconnected world into the 21st century. However the most symbolic one is to be found within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
Did you know that article 29, paragraph 3, of the UDHR authorizes the United Nations (UN) to suspend or remove any individuals right or freedoms that is contrary to their proclaimed purposes and principles? And, more importantly, no due process of law exists to check this power?
If your answer is no, I wager a fine glass of wine you're not alone.
On 30th January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO), responsible for international health within the United Nations system, declared COVID-19 to be a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’. Beholden to this pinnacle of international treaties UN member states, particularly in the EU, were obliged to ‘adopt strict measures affecting citizens' rights in a way unparalleled since the Second World War’, de facto suspending the human rights of their citizens.
Indeed, article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and Article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), allow for the suspension of human rights during a stated emergency. Again, without mechanism of recourse to the individual.
Which leads us to the following First Principle: can we really claim to be living as free and sovereign individuals if our fundamental human rights do not allow for a legal venue to protect us against the state or international bodies, even in times of declared catastrophes? Does this not mean in fact that, contrary to Article 1 of the UDHR, all human beings are NOT born free and equal in dignity and rights?
"Surely we are individuals first, and citizens second? Not the other way around!"
Jeroen Sluiter, founder WAIT!
This is why we see it as our mission to introduce an online manifesto with the aim to become part of international law, explicitly pertaining to the rights of the signatory in assertion of their sovereignty over, or equal to, the state and international bodies; especially in terms of privacy, bodily integrity and online data, and equally in times of declared catastrophes.