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The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

 Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness.

 For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children.

And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to

 poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.




The West is well aware of the brutality of communist China. Issues like forced abortion and sterilization, forced organ harvesting of prisoners, Protestant and Catholic priests in gulags (sometimes working to make toys and machine tools while standing in vats of acid), the rape of Tibet, the gendercide against female babies as old as two years of age -- most of these atrocities have made headlines worldwide. Add to that the bullying of Taiwan, the export to the West of massive amounts of heroin, and even the threatened launch of nuclear weapons against the U.S., and Americans have much to be concerned about with respect to China. Yet, there is one more chapter in the China book the West has not yet seen. According to Western diplomats based in Laos, Communist China controls, orchestrates and directs the crackdown against Christians in Stalinist Laos, in Vietnam, in Burma -- indeed, throughout most if not all of Southeast Asia. China directs the ongoing genocide against the Hmong hill tribes of Laos and Vietnam (known as "Montagnards" in Vietnam -- the French word for "Mountain people"), according to the sources. Additionally, China is reportedly arming the fascist Burmese regime in its genocidal campaign against the Christian Karen hill tribes of eastern Burma. As first reported by WorldNetDaily, the Vietnamese Montagnards must trek over a thousand kilometers to escape the machine guns of the communist Vietnamese government. These Montagnards are ethnic Hmong hill tribes who are currently turning to Christianity in droves. Last week, U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen traveled to Vietnam in an effort to seek "engagement" with its military, which almost exclusively controls the Vietnamese economy. Not unexpectedly, Cohen said nothing in defense of the persecuted Christian Hmong of Vietnam. Much to the chagrin of the Clinton administration, the U.S. has virtually no influence in the Indochina region -- better known these days as the "Greater Mekong Subregion." One of the last unspoiled, natural habitats on earth, the region is currently being carved up by Japan, China and the European Union while America sits on the sideline.

"In the past, America bravely fought against communism in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Today, the Marxists and communists in those nations are still in power and are consolidating that power," said Ray Billingsly, a former British SAS officer who served in Cambodia. "It's ironic that the pro-communist Vietnamese types like Clinton have their hands tied now when it comes to influencing Indochina. Europe, China and Japan never opposed communism in Southeast Asia, and thus they are welcomed by the communist nations as economic partners." In Stalinist Laos, the ethnic Hmong hill tribes have suffered a horrendous genocide at the hands of the ruling Pathet Lao government. This genocide, which continues to this day unabated, includes the use of Russian-made and exported biochemical weapons, forced repatriation of Christian Hmong from refugee camps in neighboring Thailand, and the imprisonment of Hmong citizens engaging in simple Bible studies. Reminiscent of past genocidal nightmares, the Pathet Lao have bashed the heads of Hmong babies against trees, impaled women and thrown them off high cliffs and other horrible acts too terrible to recount. Incredibly, all of this has happened under the nose of the United Nations and the U.S. State Department, which deny the existence of these documented atrocities. China's crackdown begins "I first noticed China's involvement in controlling dissent in Laos after the U.S. bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in April of 1999," said a Western diplomat in a secret interview with WorldNetDaily. The diplomat asked that his name not be used, in fear that it would hinder his ability to help persecuted Laotian Christians in the future. "About 1,500 Laotians protested the bombing in front of the U.S. Embassy here in Vientiane. The Pathet Lao ordered a media blackout of the event, at the request of the Chinese government. You would think that China would be happy about the protest. But they weren't.

The Chinese thought it might be a stamp of approval for all sorts of public expression. That would destabilize their puppet regime here in Laos." The diplomat then explained the next massive crackdown, which occurred on October 26, 1999. During WorldNetDaily's first investigative journalism trip to Laos, this reporter, along with other foreigners in Laos, witnessed a grand celebration of the culmination of Buddhist Lent held on the shores of the Mekong River. Yet not far away, only a few blocks in fact, an equally impressive display was unfolding as the Laos Secret Police Intelligence Unit was arresting a group of anti-Stalinist protestors in front of the presidential palace. The Vientiane-based Western diplomat told WorldNetDaily, "The Pathet Lao's secret police had arrested at least 50 protestors, some of whom are still in prison, including 10 students," as of this writing. "Then there is the well-documented arrest of Christian missionaries from America, France and Thailand," he added, referring to the 44 Christians imprisoned in Laos in 1998 from the Evangelical Church of Christ. Most of the 44 were members of the Little Rock, Arkansas-based "Partners in Progress" group. Those imprisoned in this case were officially charged with "creating social division." "What concerns me more is that China has ordered the Pathet Lao to increase the amount of time that government employees must spend in communist political indoctrination training. You see, it is totally inevitable that more persecution is coming against Christians. And also inevitable that more protests of the government will erupt due to Laos' failing economy." Other diplomats and sources interviewed by WorldNetDaily in Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Ponsavan said that 46 Christians are being held in Laos without trial. Most of those imprisoned are being held in very harsh conditions. A European diplomat told this reporter, "There is a connection between the 1997 Asian meltdown and the current crackdown against dissent in Laos. The Pathet Laos saw the protests against the governments in South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand after the '97 crash."

"The Pathet Lao fear massive protests against their regime. The crackdown on Protestant Christian groups appears related to religious crackdowns in China and Vietnam, which are close allies of the communist leadership in Laos," he said. "Certainly the Pathet Lao keep a special eye on these events [protests and religious meetings] and are briefed by the Chinese secret police, PLA and also the Vietnamese government at special bilateral meetings on controlling Christians." Why are Christians so hard to control? "Because they have a long-term view of life, believe in heaven and freedom and they are not afraid to die for their faith," says Intelligence analyst Don McAlvany in his McAlvany Intelligence Advisor. Keeping score on the persecution A representative of a Bangkok-based non-governmental organization, or NGO, told WND that 11 Christians are currently being held in Attapeu province in Laos. Three Christians are currently in jail in Luang Prabang (WorldNetDaily had the chance to visit them), 15 in Saavannakhet, four in Udomsay, seven in Xieng Khouang and six in Houaphan. The source believes the persecution of Christians in the southern Laotian city of Savannakhet began in November and December of 1998. At that time, Nouhak Phoumsavan, the ex-president of Laos, visited the region and declared it to be a "Christian-free zone." Phoumsavan ordered the arrest of Evangelical Church leader Pa Tood, who had been arrested twice previously. Pa Tood's relatives told WorldNetDaily he had been "kept in solitary confinement day and night, with his legs in a wooden stockade. The Pathet Lao offered him bail if he would only renounce Jesus Christ as the Son of God and say that Jesus had no healing powers, and never did rise from the dead." The Pathet Lao government's charges against the groups, shown to WorldNetDaily by European diplomats, said the Christians had been detained because they had a "belief in Jesus religion," and "tried to use the Bible as a means of propaganda for conversion against the [Communist] Party." Most of those detained belong to the Lao Evangelical Church. These Christians are farmers from the Hmong ethnic hill tribes, although Oy and Bru hill tribes are also represented in those currently in prison for their faith.

The Loatian foreign ministry denies the detentions, especially those of a religious nature. A top-level Japanese trade official in Vientiane told WND, "Christians may well be made the scapegoats for Laos' economic problems. I am not a Christian, but I am saddened to see any peaceful group persecuted. It's a terrible thing. But this is the world we live in. And today the world revolves around trade and money. Everything else is just conversation." And the Chinese involvement in the crackdown? "Between 1990 and the October 26th incident of 1999, there was not a single incident of protest against the Pathet Lao. I can tell you why. In 1990, three ex-government officials in Laos passed around a petition calling for economic reform. The officials were all imprisoned at the request of the Chinese government. The officials were sentenced to 14 years in prison. One of them died while in custody. After that, the people in Laos knew that civil disobedience in even the smallest respect was impossible." For its part, while China's demand that India surrender the teenaged Buddhist Karpama Lama back to Beijing had made global headlines, away from the limelight communist China has been increasing its persecution of evangelical Christians. For example, in December of last year, Beijing outlawed several major evangelical organizations (whose membership reach as high as 3 million) as "evil groups." In that month alone, over 100 evangelical leaders were arrested across China. In Hunan province, six evangelical Christian leaders were sentenced to gruesome logai gulags for leading the "evil cults." Other Protestants have been sent to the gulags for simply organizing a Bible study and/or posting the meeting on the Internet. Rabbi David Saperstein, the chairman of a U.S. congressional commission to monitor religious freedom and persecution around the globe, has said of China's increasing persection, "In the last few months there has been a clear pattern of escalation."

"China is the largest holder of America's foreign debt. As such, they are America's bank. There is persecution and marginalization of Christians in America going on right now, so we can't expect the U.S. government to help our brothers and sisters being persecuted in China now, or in Laos and Vietnam," says Eunice Xu, of the Hong Kong-based China-Indochine Christian House. Xu was educated in France, and maintains close ties with Christians in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam as well as mainland China. "If the West believes it can use money, trade and development as a carrot to end the persecution of Christians in Asia, they are very mistaken," added Xu in an interview with WorldNetDaily. An economic disaster Laos was admitted over two years ago to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, erected in the 1960s as an anti-communist alliance. Yet today it includes Stalinist Laos, communist Vietnam, Marxist Cambodia and fascist Burma. According to the American Embassy in Laos, the Kip -- Laos' official currency -- has lost 87 percent of its value since July of 1997. June of 1997, some will recall, marked the beginning of the Asian economic meltdown, which began in Thailand. In September of 1999, Laotian finance minister Khamphoui Keoboulapha instituted an International Monetary Fund plan to create an artificial shortage of the Kip. This boosted the Kip's value to 7,600 Kip to one U.S. dollar. However, instead of going along with the IMF plan, almost all Laotians switched to using U.S. dollars and Thai baht for their everyday financial transactions. Yet, the Laotian financial meltdown rolled on. Wages worth $100 in July of 1997 are today worth no more than $30. Inflation is growing at 130 percent per year in the Stalinist paradise of Laos. Direct foreign investment is down from a peak of $1.2 billion in 1995 to a mere $150 million today.

For its part, Thailand had given Laos almost 45 percent of its total amount of foreign investment, but given Thailand's economic meltdown, that figure has shriveled considerably. Even the World Bank has cut back its feeding orgy of the Pathet Lao. World Bank aid reached a high of $50 million in 1995, but has now been cut in half. Having driven its Western-educated middle and upper classes abroad since the 1975 communist takeover of the nation, the Laos government suffers under gross macroeconomic mismanagement. The Politburo, led by Khamtay Siphadone, is exclusively composed of communist military cadres who have no training or education in market economics. One German diplomat said, "We are scaling back our loans to the Pathet Lao. The one-party system in Laos, Stalinist as it is, can't bring reform to the economy." Germany has been the second largest bilateral donor of aid to Laos, ranking just behind Japan. "Inflation is now over 300 percent in Laos since the mid to late 1990s. This is the highest in all of ASEAN," added the diplomat. Prince Soulivong Savang, the 36-year-old exiled crowned leader of Laos, currently residing in France (Laos' former colonial ruler) has repeatedly said that the "Pathet Laos are a human rights disaster." The prince has tried to get the U.S. to negotiate a return to democracy in Laos. "If I had a chance to go back to Laos, the first thing I would bring is freedom. But this is not going to be an easy task. Democracy has to be learned, and people have to learn their rights. In light of the disastrous economic situation in Laos right now, and the fact that Laotians abroad are successful, we can go back and help rebuild the country," said the prince, who has been trying to gain access to meet with top officials at the U.S. State Department. Unless a radical and totally unexpected transformation occurs in Laos, it appears that economic depression, public outcries for political and monetary reform, and religious persecution of Christians will continue to go hand and hand for the next decade, and possibly into the next generation.

Michael Young Columbia University delivered at the International Coalition for Religious Freedom Conference on "Religious Freedom and the New Millenium" Washington DC, April 17-19, 1998

I don’t think I have ever been asked to cover all of Asia in 20 minutes, but I will try to do that with two central thoughts. Let’s start with a scripture verse from the Christian Bible’s book of Matthew. It says, “Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.” To the extent one believes that, many Asian governments provide blessings to Christians. Persecution is extensive, but there are also rays of hope. It is very much like quoting Dickens: “It was the best of times and the worst of times.” I want to cover both positive developments and approaches as well as the very severe problems. I will begin by examining some of the reasons for religious persecution.

The reasons differ from country to country and within particular countries from religious group to religious group. One reason is a fear of external influences. Many Asian countries are particularly sensitive to the prospect that there will be destabilizing external influences. China is very vocal in that regard, as are a number of other Asian countries. Many religions are considered foreign and are therefore particular targets. In some cases, groups that have a separatist agenda are often also both ethnically and religiously identified.

Sometimes these groups are supported by external religious organizations or people who are identified with a particular religion. There is also fear in a number of these countries regarding internal political stability and the integrity of borders. Third, many of these countries fear religions, both domestic and foreign, as possible alternate sources of legitimacy and allegiance on the part of the people that may undermine the state’s ability to control its population. Religions often provide a convenient scapegoat in the event of political unrest caused by failed economic, social, or political policies. Religions often are blamed for some of these failures and, therefore, become easy targets for persecution on the part of the government. There also exists in Asia, as in many other regions, some basic secular hostility to religion.

Religion is viewed as somehow antiquated, superstitious, or pre-modern, and it is the government’s job to stamp out those influences in the process of rationalizing societies. Finally, in Asia, as in many other places, it is important to acknowledge the effect of plain bureaucratic ineptitude. Ignorance, inefficiency, and policies with unintended consequences are major problems in some countries. As in other parts of the world, if a government feels a loss of authority when a religion presents an alternative set of allegiances, it may try to exercise more control over the daily life of its citizens. It may also react with indoctrination campaigns. One can see in these circumstances that the reason for religious persecution often relates to the mechanisms that the government uses. To complete this picture, allow me to turn to some specific countries.

Asia presents a fairly good case study in examining why the degree of religious persecution varies from country to country. A number of variables are important to consider: history, current demographic patterns, and so forth; but the variable that seems most profound in these cases, and most causally related, seems to be the degree of confidence the government has in itself and the degree of legitimacy. The higher the degree of legitimacy, the greater the government’s confidence in its own ability to rule, the more space it gives religion. Less confidence and a lower degree of legitimacy seem to intensify persecution rather dramatically. Looking at it from that perspective, I suggest several patterns. The first, starting on the good end of the spectrum, are the liberal democracies, such as they are. They tend to be relatively confident and believe themselves to have a relatively high degree of legitimacy. They also tend to have relatively low levels of religious persecution. It is also the case, however, that most of these countries have relatively high degrees of ethnic uniformity as well. Religion does not tend to play a politically divisive role, as it does in some other countries. Japan is a fairly good example of this first pattern. Japan is a country with relatively little overt hostile persecution of religion.

In fact, in the postwar period it is arguable that Japan has swung a little bit too far the other way and has not adequately supervised the activities of some organizations that claim a religious identification and therefore some immunity from government inspection. The clearest example of that is Aum Shinrikyo, which engaged in a series of murders and gas attacks. These are things about which the police almost certainly had a relatively large amount of information well before the culminating attack on the subway in Tokyo. Much of this stems from Japan’s use of religion, particularly Shintoism, as a device to mobilize patriotic support and to enhance the militarization of Japan prior to World War II. This has caused the government to exercise tremendous caution when dealing with religions. That has been, by and large, a healthy caution, though now the pendulum is swinging just a bit the other way to occasion some enhanced supervision. The problems that occur in Japan tend to be problems similar to those in other liberal democracies—bureaucratic ineptitude, some fundamental secular hostility, and a lack of understanding in the ways in which governmental regulation may adversely affect religious worship and religious activities. South Korea is similar to Japan in many ways, though it has generally been less confident.

Interestingly, even when the government was clearly less confident in itself, and less legitimate, religious tolerance remained fairly high. This was true even for religions that were not indigenous, such as Christianity. There may be a couple reasons. One is that the Christian movement in Korea had relatively little organizational cohesion and tended to break into a large number of somewhat smaller churches. Therefore, the political force may have been somewhat muted. Another possible reason is that Christianity was viewed, at least partially, as an implicit rejection of Japanese values. Japan, having occupied Korea for many years, has generated tremendous hostility within Korea. Christianity was viewed in many ways as a strong rejection of Japanese values and was therefore not discouraged by the government. Korea has its share of problems in relation to religious freedom, but they tend to be of the kind I described in the case of Japan. The Philippines and Taiwan are also on this side of the spectrum, as is Thailand to some extent.

We begin to shift a little bit in the case of Thailand. Buddhism is the state religion in Thailand, but, by and large, restriction of other religions is not so great. Singapore is an interesting case. Here, we begin to move along the spectrum a little more.This country is somewhat less confident and less legitimate, with ethnic minority groups having less democracy than is true in some of the other countries I just talked about. There is a fair amount of government scrutiny of religion. Religions are required to register. Some are banned, including Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Unification Church. The justification for the Jehovah’s Witness ban is that they refuse to perform military service, to salute the flag, and so forth. Although the forms this persecution takes may not be as horrendous as some of the other areas mentioned today, clearly the government does take actions designed to try and eliminate proscribed religions. For example, recently a 72-year-old woman, a Jehovah’s Witness, was arrested for possessing Jehovah’s Witness literature. The entire building in which she lived was raided and the literature was seized. Now let me turn to the other end of the spectrum. What are probably two of the most repressive regimes in the world are in Asia, Burma and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or North Korea. They are an example of just about everything you can think of that is bad in terms of trying to stamp out religion. They do this predominantly through extensive registration requirements and monitoring all religious activities. Only authorized religious activities are permitted. The few authorized religious organizations that do exist appear to be sham organizations, with the possible exception of Buddhism. In Burma, the government favors Buddhism because it is viewed as an indigenous religion.

Government officials are often seen presiding at Buddhist ceremonies. All other religions are strongly discouraged. There is a small Muslim population. The Burmese government seems to both stimulate Buddhists to attack Muslims and sit by and tolerate the destruction of Muslim property, including mosques and other holy places. There are no Bibles permitted in native languages in Burma. North Korea is similar. It has destroyed all foreign religious activity for fear of foreign influence, as well as for fear of subverting the domestic regime. There are a few state-sponsored religious organizations, which appear to be designed to interact with religious charitable organizations that have been providing aid and food to Korea. It appears, by all accounts, that these are completely staged religious activities. The people who run them seem quite unfamiliar with the doctrine of the churches they supposedly represent. The only religious activity in these organizations appears to occur on a government-scheduled basis. People who have gone to supposedly Christian churches without scheduling their visit in advance have found them locked and empty. There really doesn’t appear to be a serious religious component to government-authorized organizations. Religious organizations that are not authorized are simply not tolerated. It is hard to get more information from within North Korea as to the exact extent of persecution or the actual size of the religious community there. What is clear is that the government exercises very severe control over all kinds of speech and assembly, as well as virtually every aspect of a person’s life. Therefore, it is not unlikely that there is religious intolerance as well. Vietnam follows the same pattern.

It severely restricts religion, though in recent years there has been some relaxation. You must have government permission to train clergy, hold conventions, have any non-regular services, or promote, transfer, or assign clergy. It is hard, if not impossible, to obtain materials. Everything is under government control. There are three government organizations under which all religious activities are supposed to be sponsored: the United Buddhist Church of Vietnam, the Catholic Patriotic Organization, and the Christian Missionary Alliance. The Vietnamese government routinely arrests anybody who practices or exercises any form of observable religion outside of the scope of these three organizations. Let me spend just a few minutes on China. China is obviously a country, given its size and importance, about which we need to be very concerned.

China manifests virtually all forms of religious persecution for all of the reasons we have discussed. One thing that is particularly interesting about China, however, is the lessons one can learn about the new forms that religious control and persecution may take. I stress this point because I think there is a very strong analogy to what is going on in Russia and some of the eastern European states these days. China is beginning to reduce explicitly police-based persecution of religion in terms of simply shutting down churches and running people out of town. Instead, it has shifted to a much more legally based persecution. There has been this very strong shift, probably for several reasons. Number one is that their more overt persecutions seem not to be working very well. Number two, religious interest is clearly on the rise in China, and the authorities are obviously very worried. Number three, there has been very strong external pressure from the West to establish a more predictable legal regime that respects human rights. These reasons seem to have combined in the minds of the Chinese leaders to create a system in which they accommodate the West by creating laws, while in fact, the laws that they are creating are particularly effective devices for controlling the legal religious organizations and for the persecution of undesired religious groups. These laws are characterized by an increasing tendency to create an overreaching law that creates registry powers and then to delegate authority to local levels of government to interpret and apply the laws in practice. The effect over the past few years, and the last year in particular, is that we have seen local provinces and some autonomous regions issuing very elaborate directives about how religions are to be handled. Local interpretation of these laws suggests religion and religious groups will be handled in a very strict, draconian way. Indeed, one sees substantial evidence of such treatment in China. At the same time, the leaders at the central level are professing that these laws are just.

They profess that every country needs to regulate religions and have them registered to provide adequate tax benefits and so forth. They are willfully blind as to the way in which these laws are actually being interpreted and implemented at the local level. Combined with the absence of an effective judiciary, the absence of lawyers who are trained to defend religious groups and individuals and the tremendous bureaucratic discretion and control of power at the local level, we are witnessing the creation of a legal system that may—and indeed the Chinese leaders anticipate will— be more effective in suppressing religion than their prior efforts. Let us take a brief look at these laws, which are designed to put religion under state control. You have to register. Registered religions are all designed to achieve the policies of the government. There can be no foreign influence. There is a very strong and effective organization that will not register all who apply. There may be some difficulty in registering. There are also difficulties for any religion that is not willing to profess its allegiance to the state, both ideologically and administratively. A number of religions have explicitly chosen not to register. Unregistered groups may be charged with a variety of offenses; their property may be destroyed or confiscated, leaders fined or jailed, and followers punished by loss of employment, housing, fines, etc., not to mention possible physical abuse. Other groups have chosen to try and operate on the fringe. Those who operate on the fringe are subject to quite severe persecution and arrests of all different sorts. These include a case in which elderly people were arrested at 11:00 or 12:00 at night as they were trying to perform a funeral mass for an elderly nun who had passed away. They were arrested and sentenced to three years of education. Adherence to religion is grounds for dismissal from the Communist Party.

Achievement of any political post is predicated on membership in the Communist Party. Therefore, one effectively controls political participation as well. The Chinese are concerned about separatist movements in Tibet and in several provinces in western China with a high concentration of Muslims. In these areas the persecution of religion is much more active, intense, and aggressive, and is much more military oriented. Let me close with one last case study I think is quite interesting.

Indonesia has many of the characteristics that might lead one to think that it would be inclined to persecute religion. It has, however, achieved a fairly delicate ethnic balance. If ethnic warfare were to break out, it could be so explosive that it would destabilize the country almost instantly. While one would not go so far as to say that the government has worked diligently to provide great public space, it nevertheless has worked to some extent to encourage toleration. For example, there were a series of riots in one part of the country where there had been mob violence against Christians and Buddhists by a Muslim community.

The government immediately went in and worked with a series of youth organizations that Indonesian youth are required to join. They created an amalgamation of those organizations that was designed to bring Islamic, Protestant, and Catholic youth together to discuss toleration. At the same time, the president went to an island that had been subject to a fair amount of Muslim persecution of religions and dedicated a 40-foot-high statue of Christ as a sign that religious tolerance was an important aspect of Indonesian society. I don’t mean to overstate Indonesia as an ideal society, but I would like to suggest that there are countries in Asia that provide examples we should encourage. Certainly, the U.S. government as well as other governments and international organizations should put pressure on those governments engaged in religious persecution and suppression to change their behavior. At the same time, there are also some countries in Asia from which I think others in the world can learn by examining the situations in those countries and comparing them to the situation in their own.


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 1

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

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of a 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

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

Article 4

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

Article 5

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

Article 6

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

Article 7

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

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 one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention, or exile.

Article 10

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

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 defense.

2. No one shall be held guilty without any limitation due to race, of any penal offence on account of nationality or religion, have the any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed.

Article 12

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

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

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

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

1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.

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

Article 16

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 spouses.

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

Article 17

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

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

Article 18

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

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

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

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 of 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

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international cooperation 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

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 work.

3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration insuring 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 interests.

Article 24

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

Article 25

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

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 merit.

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

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

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

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

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.
Hundred and eighty-third plenary meeting
Resolution 217(A)(III) of the United Nations General Assembly,
December 10, 1948




A sobering new report from the State Department finds that more than 12 million people worldwide are victims of "trafficking in persons" — trapped in forced labor, bonded labor or forced prostitution. But just 4,166 people were convicted of trafficking last year, the report says.

Even so, awareness of the reach of modern slavery has made such crimes easier to report and police, the study  says. Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca, who heads the State Department's anti-slavery efforts, noted that 116 countries have adopted anti-trafficking laws since the United Nations enacted a law against modern slavery 10 years ago. Last year marked a high-water mark, both in identifying trafficking victims and in mounting successful prosecutions.

"Countries that once denied the existence of human trafficking now work to identify victims and help them overcome the trauma of modern slavery, as well as hold responsible those who enslave others," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a letter accompanying the report.

But there's still much work ahead, the report says. The State Department estimates that only 0.4 percent of all modern slavery victims were identified last year. Human trafficking is a multibillion-dollar business — and will probably grow so long as global governments fail to crack down on it more forcefully.

"Enslaving someone still carries too little risk," CdeBaca wrote in his letter with the report. "Remediation, fines or warnings are too small a price to pay — those who would profit by stealing freedom should lose their own. Fighting trafficking commands too few resources, too little vision, and as a result, too few outcomes."

The report includes testimony from trafficking victims around the globe. One American survivor ran away from home when she was 11 and moved in with a man who sexually abused her and forced her into prostitution. When the police found her, she was charged with committing prostitution and no effort was made to find her pimp. Her lawyers are appealing the conviction, arguing that at 13, she was too young to consent legally to sex and thus could not be charged as a prostitute. The report notes that for every one person trapped in sex slavery, nine people are caught in forced or bonded labor.

Clinton said that for the first time, the State Department will rank the United States using the same standards as it uses for the other countries. The country earned the department's highest ranking, meaning that the government is in full compliance with U.N. anti-trafficking protocol. Countries near the bottom of the list include China, Saudi Arabia, India, Iran and Russia.




















A professional learns every aspect of the job. An amateur skips the learning process whenever possible.

A professional carefully discovers what is needed and wanted. An amateur assumes what others need and want.

A professional looks, speaks and dresses like A professional. An amateur is sloppy in appearance and speech.

A professional keeps his or her equipment clean and orderly. An amateur has dirty gear.

A professional is focused and clear-headed. An amateur is confused and distracted.

A professional does not let mistakes slide by. An amateur ignores or hides mistakes.

A professional jumps into difficult assignments. An amateur tries to get out of difficult work.

A professional remains level-headed and optimistic. An amateur gets upset and assumes the worst.

A professional persists until the objective is achieved. An amateur gives up at the first opportunity.

A professional produces more than expected. An amateur produces just enough to get by.

A professional produces a high-quality product or service. An amateur produces medium-to-low quality product or service.