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."