„Let us abandon the obsolete division of rights into artificial categories of first, second and third generation rights – with their intrinsic prejudices. Let us consider redefining human rights in functional terms. I am suggesting a functional paradigm of enabling rights (such as the rights to peace, food, health and homeland), inherent rights (such as equality and non-discrimination), procedural rights (such as access to information, freedom of expression and due process) and what I would call outcome rights, that is, the practical realization of human dignity in the form of the right to our identity, to achieve our potential and to be just who we are, free to enjoy our own culture and opinions. The absence of this outcome right to dignity and self-respect is reflected in much of the strife we see in the world today.“

—  Alfred de Zayas, Alfred-Maurice de Zayas 2013 Report of the Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order 67th session of the General Assembly http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=12732&LangID=E.
Alfred de Zayas photo
Alfred de Zayas165
American United Nations official 1947
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„For us, democracy is a question of human dignity. This includes the political liberties, the right to freely express our views, the right to criticize and to influence opinion. It embraces the right to health and work, to education and social security.“

—  Olof Palme Swedish 20th century prime minister 1927 - 1986
In: Nancy I. Lieber, ‎Institute for Democratic Socialism (U.S.) (1982) Eurosocialism and America: political economy for the 1980s. p. 222.

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„The right to have our environment protected for the benefit of our generation and the benefit of future generations is our most crucial human right.“

—  Lewis Pugh Environmental campaigner, maritime lawyer and endurance swimmer 1969
Context: The right to have our environment protected for the benefit of our generation and the benefit of future generations is our most crucial human right. I do not say that lightly - especially given South Africa’s past.

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„The basic notion of justice, is that the rights of everybody are equals, in principle. In the rights of others, we have to respect our own rights. It is only in that condition that we can reasonnably require that it be respected by others.“

—  African Spir Russian philosopher 1837 - 1890
p. 44 - (Gandhi said the same thing in All men are brothers; Simone Weil too, at the beginning of L'enracinement (the translator).

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Hillary Clinton photo

„If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.“

—  Hillary Clinton American politician, senator, Secretary of State, First Lady 1947
Context: If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are and women’s rights are human rights once and for all. (September 5, 1995) http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/hillaryclintonbeijingspeech.htm

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„Our respect for human rights requires us to execute him.“

—  Nouri al-Maliki Prime Minister of Iraq 1950
As quoted in "Saddam Hanged" http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,251-2523732,00.html, by The Times Online.

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„As all human rights derive from human dignity, it is important to recognize that human dignity is not a product of positivism but an expression of natural law and human rationality. Although an abstract concept, human dignity has engendered concrete norms of human rights, a practical mode d’emploi strengthened by enforcement mechanisms.“

—  Alfred de Zayas American United Nations official 1947
Interim report of the Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Alfred Maurice de Zayas http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/IntOrder/A.67.277_en.pdf.

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„The primary error of the advocates of land nationalization is in their confusion of equal rights with joint rights, and in their consequent failure to realize the nature and meaning of economic rent… In truth the right to the use of land is not a joint or common right, but an equal right; the joint or common right is to rent, in the economic sense of the term.“

—  Henry George American economist 1839 - 1897
Context: The primary error of the advocates of land nationalization is in their confusion of equal rights with joint rights, and in their consequent failure to realize the nature and meaning of economic rent… In truth the right to the use of land is not a joint or common right, but an equal right; the joint or common right is to rent, in the economic sense of the term. Therefore it is not necessary for the state to take land, it is only necessary for it to take rent. This taking by the commonalty of what is of common right, would of itself secure equality in what is of equal right — for since the holding of land could be profitable only to the user, there would be no inducement for any one to hold land that he could not adequately use, and monopolization being ended no one who wanted to use land would have any difficulty in finding it. Part III : Recantation, Ch. XI Compensation

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„In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as 'right to work.' It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr. American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement 1929 - 1968
Context: In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as 'right to work.' It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. It is supported by Southern segregationists who are trying to keep us from achieving our civil rights and our right of equal job opportunity. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone…Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights. We do not intend to let them do this to us. We demand this fraud be stopped. Our weapon is our vote. Speaking on right-to-work laws in 1961, as quoted in Now Is the Time. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Labor in the South: The Case for a Coalition (January 1986)

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„What's needed is a way to say something in the middle — neither "all rights reserved" nor "no rights reserved" but "some rights reserved" — and thus a way to respect copyrights but enable creators to free content as they see fit. In other words, we need a way to restore a set of freedoms that we could just take for granted before.“

—  Lawrence Lessig American academic, political activist. 1961
Context: Common sense is with the copyright warriors because the debate so far has been framed at the extremes — as a grand either/or: either property or anarchy, either total control or artists won't be paid. If that really is the choice, then the warriors should win. The mistake here is the error of the excluded middle. There are extremes in this debate, but the extremes are not all that there is. There are those who believe in maximal copyright — "All Rights Reserved" — and those who reject copyright — "No Rights Reserved." The "All Rights Reserved" sorts believe that you should ask permission before you "use" a copyrighted work in any way. The "No Rights Reserved" sorts believe you should be able to do with content as you wish, regardless of whether you have permission or not.... What's needed is a way to say something in the middle — neither "all rights reserved" nor "no rights reserved" but "some rights reserved" — and thus a way to respect copyrights but enable creators to free content as they see fit. In other words, we need a way to restore a set of freedoms that we could just take for granted before.

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