Author Topic: Is water a right?  (Read 453 times)

Hope

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Is water a right?
« on: January 08, 2016, 03:22:07 PM »
Wary though I am of posting anything I've seen on Facebook now, I thought this was worth a go

http://action.storyofstuff.org/sign/nestle_water_privatization_push

Are you willing to sign the petition - perhaps even give up stuff produced by Nestle?
Are your, or your friends'/relatives', garages, lofts or sheds full of unused DIY gear, sewing/knitting machines or fabric and haberdashery stuff?

Lists of what is needed and a search engine to find your nearest collector (scroll to bottom for latter) are here:  http://www.twam.uk/donate-tools

ProfessorDavey

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Re: Is water a right?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2016, 03:23:16 PM »
Wary though I am of posting anything I've seen on Facebook now, I thought this was worth a go

http://action.storyofstuff.org/sign/nestle_water_privatization_push

Are you willing to sign the petition - perhaps even give up stuff produced by Nestle?
Is water a right? - Yes.

Outrider

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Re: Is water a right?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2016, 03:27:05 PM »
Is water a right? - Yes.

I don't think it is. Should it be... that's one to which I can say yes, but actually is it? Not generally speaking, no.

O.
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Shaker

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Re: Is water a right?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2016, 03:29:26 PM »
I don't think it is. Should it be... that's one to which I can say yes, but actually is it? Not generally speaking, no.
... which would have been my response.
Why did the blind man fall into the well? Because he couldn't see that well.

Hope

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Re: Is water a right?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2016, 03:30:27 PM »
I don't think it is. Should it be... that's one to which I can say yes, but actually is it? Not generally speaking, no.

O.
So, are you saying that it is a right, but that this right is often ignored - or are you saying something else?
Are your, or your friends'/relatives', garages, lofts or sheds full of unused DIY gear, sewing/knitting machines or fabric and haberdashery stuff?

Lists of what is needed and a search engine to find your nearest collector (scroll to bottom for latter) are here:  http://www.twam.uk/donate-tools

ProfessorDavey

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Re: Is water a right?
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2016, 03:32:03 PM »
I don't think it is. Should it be... that's one to which I can say yes, but actually is it? Not generally speaking, no.

O.
From the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 25
1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services...

Interesting that it doesn't specifically mention water - but without water there is no standard of living, indeed there is no living.

Shaker

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Re: Is water a right?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2016, 03:32:57 PM »
So under the terms of the UDHR it seems that water is deemed to be a right.
Why did the blind man fall into the well? Because he couldn't see that well.

ProfessorDavey

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Re: Is water a right?
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2016, 03:33:32 PM »
So under the terms of the UDHR it seems that water is deemed to be a right.
Yes

But I guess there remains a discussion over whether this is a 'positive right' or a 'negative right'

A positive right is one where there is an obligation on others (often government) to ensure that the right is fulfilled - in this case to ensure that water is provided, whatever the circumstances.

A negative right is one where there is an obligation not to prevent access to that right. So in this case, not to prevent individuals accessing available water, albeit no obligation to take positive action to ensure they have water.

I would have thought it would be a positive right.

A good example of a 'negative right' is this one from the UDHR:

'Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.'

So a government should not prevent you from practicing your religion, but there is no obligation on the government to build you a church (i.e. a positive right).
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 03:41:30 PM by ProfessorDavey »

Outrider

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Re: Is water a right?
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2016, 04:06:58 PM »
So, are you saying that it is a right, but that this right is often ignored - or are you saying something else?

I guess I'm trying to say that the idea that there are intrinsic 'rights' is a nonsense. Rights are things afforded by society, so we only have the rights that are agreed upon.

The UDHR makes a vague statement, it's in other places that the specifics are detailed. Your (and my) reading of it suggests to us that water SHOULD be considered a right, but the reality is that societies will see that provision as a competing interest against the other competing interests. Unless they make a specific determination to recognise that need formally, you don't have that right.

I can't think of many places that have made that statement - they might be out there - and until it's widespread then we don't actually have that right, no matter how obvious it seems to be from the intent of the UDHR.

O.
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Hope

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Re: Is water a right?
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2016, 05:37:44 PM »
I guess I'm trying to say that the idea that there are intrinsic 'rights' is a nonsense. Rights are things afforded by society, so we only have the rights that are agreed upon.O.
Thanks for the clarification.  It may simply be that, as its the end of the week, my brain is working to rule!!  Still struggling with my concentration.
Are your, or your friends'/relatives', garages, lofts or sheds full of unused DIY gear, sewing/knitting machines or fabric and haberdashery stuff?

Lists of what is needed and a search engine to find your nearest collector (scroll to bottom for latter) are here:  http://www.twam.uk/donate-tools