Can We Keep Human Rights Up To Date With Technology?

mobile phone Lynda Hurst from the Toronto Star asked a simple, yet ridiculous (imo) question yesterday: “Is a cellphone a basic human right?

Plain and simple: No, it’s not. Neither is my iPhone, laptop, & internet service. We’d all love if they were though! In my opinion, air and water are the only basic human rights that are actually given to us. They’re the only things that are available just about anywhere for free (except the water to a certain degree). You have the right to have a cellphone. However, I don’t feel that the government is obligated to give you one for free.

I discovered this article via Mark Evan’s blog where he voices his opinion on the topic. Once again, I disagree for many of the same reasons that Mark does. Don’t we have other things that are more important for our government to focus on making a right let alone a privilege? Health-care anyone? Health-care seems more to me like a blessing.The argument for giving these cellphones away for free seems downright backwards to me.

“Studies have shown lack of telephone access is a huge problem for those who’ve fallen by the economic wayside. They can’t get callbacks if they’re job searching and risk confidence-killing isolation. "Back in the 1980s, people were asking for a basic telephone allowance within welfare assistance," says Torjman. "But it was decided not to do that.”

Economic wayside….that’s a nice way of putting poverty. As a young woman who grew up in the economic wayside, a cellphone is the last thing I would be thinking about.

       

The Better Question, Yet To Be Answered

How do you keep human rights up to date with technology?” is the better question posed by Sherri Torjman, Vice-president of the Caledon Institute of Social Policy. Can we do that? Can we truly keep human rights up to date with the ever changing and rapidly expanding field of technology? I’d love to hear your responses to this question instead!

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