Monday, April 19, 2010

New Human Right: the right to Vacation?

"I'm Jennifer Lynch's travel agent."

Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) chief Jennifer Lynch may have been a woman ahead of her time when she enjoyed a taxpayer-funded $8200 trip to Vienna in 2008. It's now clear she wasn't wasting public funds - Lynch was just an early adopter of the new human right to go on vacation.

Vacationing a human right, EU chief says
Katherine Laidlaw, National Post:

"The European Union has declared traveling a human right, and is launching a scheme to subsidize vacations with taxpayers' dollars for those too poor to afford their own trips"...
Human rights take a trip to la-la land
Tasha Kheiriddin, blogging for the Post:

"This announcement makes a complete mockery of the term “human rights”, which is already so abused as to have completely lost its meaning..."
(ahem, ahem, BCHRT re Guy Earle Trial)

It's true that a vacation has health benefits - stress-relief, family bonding, cultural-consciousness-raising, uptake in citizen morale and productivity upon return - so it's indeed a worthwhile activity for community and government to encourage.

But why create a new human right? A human rights insider explains:
"The human rights industry is growing increasingly more desperate for conditions and causes that justify their existence going forward. But really, it's the government jobs, government office space and taxpayer-paid expense credit cards they truly aim to preserve."

1 comment:

  1. In Germany vacation is called Urlaub. 30 days are considered the norm, or more depending in seniority. Many people I've talked to cannot take 30 days without losing influence over the project that they are working on. Its also worth mentioning that work weeks are shortened from what used to be 40 hours to 35 hours. These rules apply to employees but not consultants. Before outsourcing and globalization became the norm this is what Rudi Dutschke had to say. Funny but true ("boring" and "inhumane")