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Assignment #13: What is our responsibility for helping fellow human beings in search of security and a better life?

late January 2021

A few weeks ago, we did a posting about human rights and marginalized populations.    In the responses, many of you acknowledged that among the folks who are marginalized are often “from away” or “not from here” or “migrants,” “immigrants,” “refugees.”


According to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 (the document is translated into 500 languages), everyone has:


  • the “right to life, liberty, and security of person.”  (Article 3)

  • the “right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” (Article 13)

  • the “right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” (Article 14)

  • the “right to a nationality” and “no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.”  (Article 15)


There was an interesting article in the New York Times in 2018: Eduardo Porter and Karl Russell, “Migrants are on the Rise Around the World, and Myths about them are Shaping Attitudes,” New York Times, June 20, 2018.  Please read through the article and the many ways it presents data.


After reading this, what do you think?


Do we have a responsibility to admit people seeking security and/or a better life to each of our nations?   What obligations do we have to comply with the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights?   Do you believe that everyone is entitled to the rights that the document specifies?   Tell us why or why not.

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