Employment equity programs are about designing society, not about rights- that is only propaganda. Real rights apply on an individual basis, not a group basis (designing a society applies on a group basis). In addition, the relationship of an employee to an employing organization is in essence a contractual one with normally no basis for imputed equity in the organization.
The starting point is a correct theory of human rights. The population then creates a government to protect these rights. That is, rights come before government, not the other way around. The theory of universal rights also provides a vital standard against which the conduct of any government can be judged. If it is found seriously deficient the theory provides justification and motivation for taking corrective action even to the point of rebellion.
The theory in Human Rights, What Are They Really? expounds on the principle that all people have the same fundamental rights. Therefore, there are no rights of Group X that are more than or different from those of anyone else. The only proper context for “Group X Rights” is if some fundamental rights of Group X have been neglected in law or the enforcement of law. Possibly some or many people do not understand this distinction; therefore talk of women’s rights, worker’s rights, etc., tends to be confusing and counterproductive.
The existing doctrine came from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights issued by the United Nations in 1948. The sources of this document were the numerous articles written in the 1920’s – 1940’s by idealists whose intent was to eradicate not only the patent mistreatment of people but their deprivations as well. In other words, they were trying to design an ideal society. When rights are invented to support a human purpose they are tied to that purpose and usually to the values, philosophy and possibly religious beliefs of those persons who formulated and supported that definition of rights. Other people with different values, philosophy or religion might choose different rights. Therefore, rights that originate in this manner may not be universal. Articles 22-29 of the UN declaration are called “social and economic rights” and come into this category.
Rights that are enforced on everybody must really be universal rights. To be universal they must be evident to everybody regardless of gender, race, cultural group or religion. Other subjects that fit this criterion are mathematics, the laws of science, and the balance of nature which are irrefutable by any rational person. The source of human rights is, admittedly, not so thoroughly bonded together but can still pass the test of truth apparent to any reasonable person. From this approach the theory of human rights in the subject book was developed and can properly claim to be universal and correct. Much of the prevalent doctrine on rights cannot.
(2014 May 17 speech to the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa in Toronto)
My topic today is the value and importance of human rights. To illustrate the value of such rights I would like to use an …