Fundamental Principles of Human Rights and Freedoms

Fundamental Principles of Human Rights and Freedoms

This Document

Transition Port Angeles is committed to fundamental principles of human rights and freedoms. This governing document is the foundation of the principles we support, and in no way should be construed as a limiting document, or excluding any principles not listed.

Principles of this nature have been described in charter documents of various countries and regions, some of which we have looked to for inspiration and source material. To make the Charter as relevant and meaningful as possible, we chose to describe the principles in terms we hope will resonate, rather than simply endorse a document written for a wholly different purpose.

We believe that every human being possesses intrinsic rights and freedoms, and that all human beings are equal in worth and dignity and entitled to equal protection. We believe that these fundamental principles of human rights and freedoms, fundamentals of which are listed below, constitute the basis for justice, liberty, and peace.

Each of these rights may be subject to and limited by local or non-local law, but it is our intent with the Charter to describe and advocate for the adoption of these rights, with the understanding these enumerated rights are a basis, not a limitation. We therefore adopt them as the set of fundamental principles underlying Transition Port Angeles.

Foundational Rights

1. Every human being has the right to life with dignity, and to personal security, health, inviolability and freedom.

2. Every human being, and no other entity, possesses legal personhood.

3. Every human being has the right to cultural identity, as well as the right to maintain and express that identity.

4. Every human being has the right to citizenship and the protections, rights, and privileges implied by that citizenship. No one may be deprived of their citizenship.

5. Every human being whose life is in peril has the right to assistance. Every person must come to the aid those whose lives are in peril, either personally or calling for aid, by giving them necessary and immediate assistance within the best of the assisting person’s abilities.

6. A person’s private life is inviolable.

7. A person’s home is inviolable.

8. All persons have the right to safeguard their dignity, honor and reputation.

9. All persons have the right to the peaceful enjoyment and free disposition of their property. No person may be compelled to surrender property.

10. No one may be experimented upon without explicit and informed consent. No one many be subjected to medical treatment when explicit and informed consent is possible. All persons have the right to set limits on the extent of medical treatment they are willing to receive, and to have those limits respected.

11. No one may be subjected to cruel or degrading treatment, torture, or otherwise be treated in a manner contrary to the respect due to a human being.

12. No one may enter upon the property of others or take anything therefrom without their express or implied consent.

13. Every person has the right to non-disclosure of confidential information. No person bound to professional secrecy by law, honor, or occupation may, even in judicial proceedings, disclose confidential information revealed to that person by reason of position or profession, unless authorized to do so by the one who confided such information.

14. Every person possesses the fundamental freedoms, including but not limited to freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, freedom of culture, freedom of creativity, freedom of peaceful assembly, and freedom of association. Every person has personal agency through which to exercise all fundamental rights and freedoms. These fundamental rights and freedoms are themselves self-executing – that is, they require no special circumstances or actions to be expressed.

15. In exercising one’s fundamental freedoms and rights, a person shall maintain a proper regard for public order and the general well-being of the citizens of Port Angeles and those with whom we interact. In this respect, the scope of the freedoms and rights, and limits to their exercise, are the concern of the entire community.

Equal Rights

16. All persons have the right to full and equal recognition and exercise of their human rights and freedoms without distinction, exclusion or preference based on age, race, color, sex, gender expression, pregnancy, sexual orientation, civil status, religion, convictions, affiliations, language, origin, social condition, economic status, cultural expression and identity, a disability or the use of any means to manage a disability, genetic character, place of residence, ancestry, or physical appearance. Discrimination exists where such a distinction, exclusion or preference has the effect of nullifying or impairing such right. No one may harass or exploit a person on the basis of any such ground.

17. No one may distribute, publish or publicly exhibit any notice, symbol or sign involving discrimination, or authorize anyone to do so.

18. No one may, through discrimination, refuse to furnish goods or services ordinarily offered to the public.

19. No one may, through discrimination, inhibit the access of another to public transportation or a public place, such as a commercial establishment, hotel, hospital or clinic, restaurant, theater, cinema, park, camping ground, or trailer park, or inhibit another from obtaining the goods and services available there.

20. No one may practice discrimination in respect to the hiring, apprenticeship, duration of the probationary period, vocational training, promotion, determination of seniority, transfer, displacement, laying-off, suspension, dismissal or conditions of employment of a person or in the establishment of categories or classes of employment.

21. No one may practice discrimination in regard to the admission, enjoyment of benefits, suspension or expulsion of a person to, of, or from an association of employers or employees or any professional order or association of persons carrying on the same occupation.

22. No binding contract may contain any clauses involving discrimination. Such clauses are without effect.

Political Rights

23. Every person has the right of petition to executive, legislative and/or judicial bodies, as appropriate to each circumstance, for the redress of grievances.

24. All persons have the right to be a candidate and to vote at an election within the electoral district in which they reside.

Judicial Rights

25. Every accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law.

26. Every accused person has the right to a full and complete defense and has the right to examine and cross-examine witnesses.

27. Every accused person has the right to be assisted free of charge by an interpreter in a preferred language.

28. Every person arrested or incarcerated must be treated with humanity and with the respect due to a human being.

29. Every person has the right to a full and equal, public and fair hearing by an independent and impartial body, for the determination of rights and obligations or of the merits of any charge brought.

30. Every person confined to a correctional facility while awaiting the outcome of trial has the right to be kept apart, until final judgment, from prisoners serving sentence.

31. Every person arrested has the right to be immediately informed, in a language the person understands, of the grounds of the arrest.

32. Every person arrested must be either brought promptly before the appropriate judicial body, or released. Every accused person has the right to a trial within a reasonable time.

33. Every person has the right to be represented by legal counsel or to be assisted by one before any judicial body.

34. No person arrested may be held without bail, without cause, except on grounds provided by law and in accordance with prescribed procedure.

35. No accused person may be held guilty on account of any act or omission which, at the time when it was committed, did not constitute a violation of the law. No laws may be applied until after their publication to the general public.

36. All persons deprived of their liberty have the right to challenge the lawfulness of the deprivation.

37. All persons accused have the right to be promptly informed of the specific offense with which they are charged.

38. All persons arrested have the right to immediately advise next of kin, or other person of their choice, and to have recourse to the assistance of an advocate. Every such person has the right to be informed immediately of those rights.

39. No one may be tried again for an offense after final judgment, either for acquittal or for conviction.

40. No one may be deprived of liberty or rights except on grounds provided by law and in accordance with prescribed procedure. No one may be detained without charge.

41. No one may be subjected to unreasonable search or seizure. No one may be subjected to search which is cruel, degrading, or otherwise contrary to being treated with humanity and with the respect due to a human being.

42. No one may be sentenced to a punishment greater than permitted by law and the respect due to a human being.

43. Those confined to a correctional facility have the right to separate treatment appropriate to their sex, age, or physical or mental condition.

44. Accused persons may not be compelled to testify against themselves at their trial.

45. Where the punishment for an offense has changed between the time of commission and the time of sentencing, the convicted person has the right to the lesser punishment.

46. No testimony before a judicial body may be used to incriminate the person who gives it, except in a prosecution for perjury or for the giving of contradictory evidence.

Economic and Social Rights

47. Children have the right to the protection, security and attention that parents or the persons acting in their stead are capable of providing.

48. Children have the innate right to the fundamental freedoms listed herein, and the innate right to express those freedoms as they see fit.

49. All persons have the right to educate themselves in the manner they see fit, so that they can fully function as individuals within their society and cultural groups. Parents or the persons acting in their stead have the right to give their children a religious and moral education in keeping with their convictions; however, this does not overrule their children’s rights.

50. Married or civil union spouses have, in the marriage or civil union, the same rights, obligations and responsibilities. Together they provide the moral guidance and material support of their family and the education of their common offspring.

51. Every person has the right to enjoyment of cultural treasures and heritage of their community or cultural group, and the duty to protect them for future generations.

52. Every person has the right to access, collect, and disseminate information in all forms. Censorship and other comparable impediments to the flow of information must never be enacted. The access to, collection, dissemination, and preservation of information may only be abridged for reasons such as the inviolacy of private life.

53. Every person in need has the right, for self and family, to measures of financial assistance and to social measures provided for by law, sufficient to ensure an acceptable standard of living.

54. Every person has a right to live in a healthful environment in which biodiversity is preserved for the benefit of current and future generations. Every person has personal agency in this regard; it is the responsibility of each to live in such a manner as to promote a healthful environment for all.

55. All persons who work or desire to work have the right to fair and reasonable conditions of employment which have proper regard for their health, safety and well-being.

56. All persons have the right to participate in a constructive manner in building the future of their communities and cultural groups.

Affirmation of this Document

In the spirit of the future we wish to facilitate, we affirm our whole-hearted support of this constituent governing document of the Charter of Transition Port Angeles by our signatures:


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