English Reading Practice

Human Right Number 3:
The Right to Life

1. Watch the video at the top of the page.

2. Read the story "The Right to Life" just below it.

3. Do the exercise at the bottom of the page.

Here is the The Right to Life video. You can watch it in your own language at www.youthforhumanrights.org. (Simply click the word "language" at the top of their homepage.)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights describes 30 basic rights that each person has, simply because he or she is human.

This is human right number 3 (the simplified version):

"3. The Right to Life. We all have the right to life, and to live in freedom and safety."

Now read the short story about this important human right.

The Right to Life

Daniel is worried lately. Usually life is good for him. He owns a nice little shop where he sells souvenirs to tourists. He lives in a nice cottage with his wife and their three teenage kids. They have a dog and a cat. They have a backyard for barbeque. They host all the family gatherings, and his wife's turkey is the best in the country. What can be better than that, right?

But lately not all is well. There are dark clouds in the sky. They talk about terror. They talk about war. Something may happen. The comfortable life as he knows them may be lost forever.

"War is not good," he thinks. "War is bad for business. If there is war no tourists will come, and I won't be able to sell my souvenirs. We will have no money."

Then he thinks, "and war creates fear. People will be scared. Some will see no future."

Then he thinks, "People will fight. People will die. Families will be broken. No, war is no good."

Daniel talks to people about it. "We have the right to life!" he says, "we have the right to live in freedom and in safety!"

"What are you talking about?" people tell him. "War is a big deal. It is not up to you. It is up to the government. The government knows what to do. Only the government can decide what is best. And if the government says that there must be war, then it must be so."

Daniel does not accept this. "But isn't there a better solution? All wars end with agreements, can't we do the agreements without the fighting? Can't the government solve this peacefully? Isn't that the reason we have a government in the first place?"

Daniel decides to speak to people in his government. He decides to write them and let them know what he thinks. He knows one opinion does not matter much, but he also knows that if everyone in his own country and on the other side would do this, there will probably be no more wars.

And now, practice:

Exercise 01

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