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Right to Employment and Education as Human Rights

Right to Employment and Education as Human Rights

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Published by: Oli Md. Abdullah Chowdhury on Nov 14, 2009
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10/29/2010

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Law and Our Rights
 “All Citizens are Equal before Law and are Entitled to Equal Protection of Law”-
Article 27 of theConstitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh 
Law Campaign
Right to employment and literacy ashuman rights
Oli Md. Abdullah Chowdhury
 
EVERYONE has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment”- said in Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Theconstitution of our country as articulated in Article 20 also refers work a right, duty and matter of honour for every citizen who is capable of working. Still, there are huge unemployed people in thecountry and scarcities of work not only affect unemployed but also their families. Many familiessuffer from poverty as they do not have earning member in the family. Especially, female-headedhouseholds often suffer from chronic poverty as women fail to secure job due to the reason that theydo not have necessary education or skill.It has been further articulated in Article 20 of the constitution, “The State shall endeavour to createconditions in which, as a general principle, persons shall not be able to enjoy unearned incomes, andin which human labour in every form, intellectual and physical, shall become a fuller expression of creative endeavour and of the human personality”. However, the grim reality is that there is littlescope provided for poor people to express creative endeavour.Moreover, the number of people suffering from poverty has increased over the years. Shiree, apartnership between UK Department for International Development (DFID) and Government of Bangladesh (GoB) reveals that 63 million people still live in poverty and 30 million of these live inextreme poverty. However, a recent poverty assessment done by World Bank reveals thatBangladesh remains a poor country with an estimated 56 million people in poverty in 2005 anddisparities in incomes and human capabilities across income and occupational groups, gender, andregions.Literacy competence is an essential learning outcome contributing to economic development. Asnarrated in “The Global Challenge of Literacy”, UNESCO reflects that a map of areas of high illiteracyin the world corresponds quite closely with a map of high levels of poverty. In this perspective, it isnot literacy on its own that makes a difference, but rather what it enables people to do in order tobenefit from new freedoms and address poverty- accessing information, using services they have aright to and reducing vulnerability to disease or ecological change. Literacy is one of the features buta universal one that is linked with poverty reduction, economic growth and wealth creation.Literacy is a means for development, enabling people to access new opportunities and to participatein society in new ways. Literacy is also a right in itself precisely because, without it people will nothave equal life chances. In societies today both 'developed' and 'developing' the pace of economicand social change is such that learning continues throughout life. Thus, the use of literacy must alsochange and adapt for example, when bookkeepers have to handle complex computer programmesrather than recording figures in a ledger, their literacy needs change.The Right to Education is a fundamental human right. It occupies a central place in Human Rightsand is essential and indispensable for the exercise of all other human rights and for development. Asan empowerment right, education is the primary vehicle by which economically and sociallymarginalized adults and children can lift themselves out of poverty, and obtain the means toparticipate fully in their communities. None of the civil, political, economic and social rights can beexercised by individuals unless they have received a certain minimum education.The UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960) echoed the UDHR in affirmingthe right to education and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966)stressed the responsibility to provide basic education for individuals who could not complete primaryeducation. In 1975, the Persepolis Declaration spoke of literacy as a right in itself, and in 1981, the
http://www.thedailystar.net/law/2009/01/04/index.htm (1 of 2)1/25/2009 2:13:22 PM

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