English Reading Practice

Human Right Number 21:
The Right to Democracy

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

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

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

Here is the The Right to Democracy 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 21 (the simplified version):

"21. The Right to Democracy. We all have the right to take part in the government of our country. Every grown-up should be allowed to choose their own leaders."

Now read the short story about this important human right.

The Right to Democracy  

Antonio sees his old friend Casey at the pub. "Hey Casey! How are you?"

"Okay," Casey says, but Antonio can tell he is not really okay.

"Wow, you look tired!" Antonio says.

"Yeah," Casey says, "I do not get much sleep lately."

"Why, what is up?" Antonio asks.

"My apartment is right beside the skate park. The kids there are so loud. They drink, shout, fight, and play loud music all night long."

"Oh, wow, I am sorry!" Antonio says. "Talk to someone at City Hall about it!"
Casey smiles sadly, "They do not care. City Hall does not listen to people like me."

"That is not true," Antonio says. "City Hall exists for people like you. This is a democracy. You have a right to be heard. In fact, it is your responsibility to speak up! If no one speaks up, then nothing ever changes, right?"

"I guess so," Casey says, "I just feel so small."

"You are small," Antonio says. "So am I. But all of us together are not small. We need to speak up. I could help you get a petition together, if you like. We could then present a list of signatures to City Hall."

"Really?" Casey starts to look hopeful.

Antonio smiles. "Really. We have a right to democracy, right? Let's use it!"

And now, practice:

Exercise 01

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