“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

Desmond Tutu

As an ethical guide to the project the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was picked as a set of perameters to work within.  This creates a broad landscape to demarcate talks and knowledge which is acceptable to share within the project and reminds us of the importance of commonly shared values which are a work in progress…


Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world… Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people…


Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law… Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations… Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom…


Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in cooperation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms… Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge… Now, therefore:  The General Assembly, Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations…


…to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international… …to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.


Article I: Born Free and Equal

All human beings are born free and
equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed
with reason and conscience and
should act towards one another in a
spirit of brotherhood.


Article 2: Entitled to Their Rights

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and
freedoms set forth in this Declaration,
without distinction of any kind, such as
race, colour, sex, language, religion, political
or other opinion, national or social
origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be
made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional
or international status of the
country or territory to which a person
belongs, whether it be independent,
trust, non-self-governing or under any
other limitation of sovereignty.


Article 3: Life, Liberty and Security

Everyone has the right to life, liberty
and security of person.


Article 4: No Slavery or Servitude

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude;
slavery and the slave trade shall
be prohibited in all their forms.


Article 5: No Torture or Degrading Treatment

No one shall be subjected to torture or
to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
or punishment.


Article 6: Recognition by the Law

Everyone has the right to recognition
everywhere as a person before the law.


Article 7: Equality Before the Law

All are equal before the law and are entitled
without any discrimination to equal
protection of the law. All are entitled to
equal protection against any discrimination
in violation of this Declaration and
against any incitement to such discrimination.


Article 8: Right to Effective Remedy

Everyone has the right to an effective
remedy by the competent national tribunals
for acts violating the fundamental
rights granted him by the constitution
or by law.


Article 9: No Arbitrary Arrest, Detention or Exile

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary
arrest, detention or exile.


Article 10: Right to a Fair Hearing

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a
fair and public hearing by an independent
and impartial tribunal, in the determination
of his rights and obligations
and of any criminal charge against him.


Article 11: Presumed Innocence

1. Everyone charged with a penal offence
has the right to be presumed innocent
until proved guilty according to
law in a public trial at which he has had
all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

2. No one shall be held guilty of any
penal offence on account of any act or
omission which did not constitute a
penal offence, under national or international
law, at the time when it was
committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty
be imposed than the one that was applicable
at the time the penal offence
was committed.


Article 12: Freedom from intererence in Private Life

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary
interference with his privacy, family,
home or correspondence, nor to attacks
upon his honour and reputation. Everyone
has the right to the protection of the
law against such interference or attacks.


Article 13: Freedom of Movement

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of
movement and residence within the
borders of each State.

2. Everyone has the right to leave any
country, including his own, and to return
to his country.


Article 14: Right to Seek Asylum

1. Everyone has the right to seek and to
enjoy in other countries asylum from

2. This right may not be invoked in the
case of prosecutions genuinely arising
from non-political crimes or from acts
contrary to the purposes and principles
of the United Nations.


Article 15: Right to Representation by the State

1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.

2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of
his nationality nor denied the right to
change his nationality.


Article 16: Right to Family

1. Men and women of full age, without
any limitation due to race, nationality or
religion, have the right to marry and to
found a family. They are entitled to
equal rights as to marriage, during marriage
and at its dissolution.

2. Marriage shall be entered into only
with the free and full consent of the intending

3. The family is the natural and fundamental
group unit of society and is entitled
to protection by society and the


Article 17: Right to Property

1. Everyone has the right to own property
alone as well as in association with

2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of
his property.


Article 18: Freedom of Thought

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.


Article 19: Freedom of Opinion and Expression

Everyone has the right to freedom of
opinion and expression; this right includes
freedom to hold opinions without
interference and to seek, receive and
impart information and ideas through
any media and regardless of frontiers.


Article 20: Freedom of Peaceful Assembly

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of
peaceful assembly and association.
2. No one may be compelled to belong
to an association.


Article 21: Right to Participate in Government

1. Everyone has the right to take part in
the government of his country, directly
or through freely chosen representatives.

2. Everyone has the right to equal access
to public service in his country.

3. The will of the people shall be the
basis of the authority of government;
this will shall be expressed in periodic
and genuine elections which shall be by
universal and equal suffrage and shall
be held by secret vote or by equivalent
free voting procedures.


Article 22: Right to Social Security

Everyone, as a member of society, has
the right to social security and is entitled
to realization, through national effort
and international co-operation and in
accordance with the organization and
resources of each State, of the economic,
social and cultural rights indispensable
for his dignity and the free
development of his personality.


Article 23: Right to Work

1. Everyone has the right to work, to
free choice of employment, to just and
favourable conditions of work and to
protection against unemployment.

2. Everyone, without any discrimination,
has the right to equal pay for equal

3. Everyone who works has the right to
just and favourable remuneration ensuring
for himself and his family an existence
worthy of human dignity, and
supplemented, if necessary, by other
means of social protection.

4. Everyone has the right to form and to
join trade unions for the protection of his


Article 24: Right to Rest and Leisure

Everyone has the right to rest and
leisure, including reasonable limitation
of working hours and periodic holidays
with pay.


Article 25: Right to Standard of Living

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, and the right to security in the
event of unemployment, sickness, disability,
widowhood, old age or other lack
of livelihood in circumstances beyond
his control.

2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled
to special care and assistance. All
children, whether born in or out of wedlock,
shall enjoy the same social protection.


Article 26: Right to Education

1. Everyone has the right to education.
Education shall be free, at least in the
elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary
education shall be compulsory.
Technical and professional
education shall be made generally
available and higher education shall be
equally accessible to all on the basis of

2. Education shall be directed to the full
development of the human personality
and to the strengthening of respect for
human rights and fundamental freedoms.
It shall promote understanding,
tolerance and friendship among all nations,
racial or religious groups, and
shall further the activities of the United
Nations for the maintenance of peace.

3. Parents have a prior right to choose
the kind of education that shall be given
to their children.


Article 27: Right to Participate in Cultural Life

1. Everyone has the right freely to participate
in the cultural life of the community,
to enjoy the arts and to share in
scientific advancement and its benefits.

2. Everyone has the right to the protection
of the moral and material interests
resulting from any scientific, literary or
artistic production of which he is the author.


Article 28: Right to Social and International Order

Everyone is entitled to a social and international
order in which the rights and
freedoms set forth in this Declaration
can be fully realized.


Article 29: Duties to Community

1. Everyone has duties to the community
in which alone the free and full development
of his personality is possible.

2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms,
everyone shall be subject only to
such limitations as are determined by
law solely for the purpose of securing
due recognition and respect for the
rights and freedoms of others and of
meeting the just requirements of morality,
public order and the general welfare
in a democratic society.

3. These rights and freedoms may in no
case be exercised contrary to the purposes
and principles of the United Nations.


Article 30: Inalienability of Rights

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted
as implying for any State,
group or person any right to engage in
any activity or to perform any act aimed
at the destruction of any of the rights
and freedoms set forth herein.

“A human being is not to be handled as a tool but is to be respected and revered”

Felix Adler


So it was thought through about the project and the guidelines which we can all agree to work within; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights seemed a good guide which has been scrutinized by a lot of people and has been worked upon.  Everyone is welcome to do a talk but it must fit within the parameters of this document, otherwise it is not the place to share what you have to say.


Of special interest here is identifying where the environment and biosphere feature in our ethics and responsibilities.  Sustainability has become a central focus of the development of Ragged University as an idea.


How sustainability is incorporated is still in development so as with everything, your ideas are welcome to help evolve the project.  One example is that the servers that this website uses are certified environmentally managed.  The ethic of looking after the environment is a responsibility to self, others, to future generations, and other species.