UDHR: ‘The right to a vacation and a 9-to-5 life’

Daisy Francis, CRS protection policy/issues advisor, reflects on an article near and dear to her heart:

Article 24 is my favorite article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) — the right to a vacation. Who doesn’t want this to be a universal right?

Looking closer at Article 24, you find a number of things. First, it argues that there is a “right to rest and leisure.” The UDHR was born in the ashes of World War II, when the reality of Nazi and Japanese work camps was before everyone; those trapped in camps had neither rest nor leisure. This is also why you see the second element of the Article, a call for “reasonable limitations of working hours”. The UDHR sought to stand with and advance the work undertaken by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on behalf of workers everywhere.

Today, CRS supports the battle against child labor in the cut flower industry in Ecuador. We also support the Caritas Lebanon Migrant Center on behalf of migrant workers in Lebanon. Those associations align us with the historic struggle to secure safe and just working environments and rights for adult workers (and schooling for children, a priority as outlined in UDHR Article 26). Article 24 gives expression to our belief that a life lived in dignity must be one freed from unending labor.

– Daisy Francis

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