Chapter 1 - Consent Subchapter: Consent laws & rights

Human rights are universal

Two illustrated characters under a 'Free and Equal' banner, with the words 'birth, colour, sex, religion, race, language, politics' around them.

 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

ALL HUMAN BEINGS ARE BORN FREE AND EQUAL IN DIGNITY AND RIGHTS.

“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. “

When something is universal, it exists everywhere and involves everyone – there are no exceptions.

Rights are like needs – they are necessary to exist and function in the world.

Freedom, equality, dignity, safety, education, shelter, privacy, religion, expression, movement, respect - all these are fundamental human rights.

If any one of these rights was to be removed, we’d consider it to be a significant violation and compromise to our quality of life.

 

Relationships and human rights

Universal rights exist everywhere, including intimate relationships.

The Relationship Field Model recognises that all intimate personal relationships are free and equal – one person can’t just take what they want from another person or do what they want to them.

To do something to another person against their wishes ignores that person’s individual rights and is in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 

Three illustrated couples in a split-panel image. Each couple is made up of different religions, genders or race.

 

In our society, people are free to form intimate relationships with whoever they choose, provided no laws are being broken.

They are also free to end a relationship, at any time and for any reason.

The decision to end a relationship may be thoughtful, or hurtful, but it is the individual’s decision and they have every right to make it, without fear of consequence.

Starting a relationship and ending a relationship are major decisions and can have long-lasting consequences for everyone involved.

Along the way, there will be many small decisions, each of which is important, and contributes to the overall health of the relationship and the level of respect each person shows to the other.

In any relationship, each person should be focussed on maintaining the other person’s individual rights, particularly when it comes to the person’s right to maintain control of their body.