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05.12.2005

Opinion poll: Who if not we?

On the Eve of the Day of human rights - on the 10th of December activists of Karelian branch of Youth Human Rights Group held an opinion poll. 150 people of different social backgrounds and of different age took part in it. They answered questions on the theme “Do we know our rights?” The aim of the poll was to find out citizens’ points of view about the questions that are linked to the problem of human rights violation, assessing the level of the knowledge of the theme.
The following answers were given:
- The question “Do you think that our society is fully informed about its rights?” – Almost all respondents said “no”.
- “Do you know your rights? Which ones?”- all respondents said “yes” and rights such as a right to live, to study, to work, a right to move , a right for property, being elected and to elect, a right for happiness (!). Usually respondents named only 1-2 rights.
- Which of your rights are violated? – all participants said that their rights are violated without any doubt, but which exactly- the majority didn’t answer. Only 10% said that their rights such as rights from Working Code (difficult to land a job, delaying salaries), the right for medical care free of charge, the right for costless education, the right for rest (after 11 p.m.) There was an answer: “My right for living is violated, because it can’t be called a life- it is surviving”.
- What right do you consider to be the most important? The answers were different: a right for property, a right for living, for personal liberty, for deserved old age. Nearly 30% said that all rights are important and it is impossible to single out one dominant.
- Do you think that our country is a democratic country? - There were only 10 % of positive answers (the majority - students). 90% is sure that “we are only on the first phase in building Democracy”, and “in Russia there wasn’t any Democracy and there won’t be!” and that there isn’t pure Democracy in any countries.
- So, having held the opinion poll, we found out that our society knows little about its rights because of absence of information and knowledge of the problem. Maybe the reason is an answer to the question, why we, citizens are passive in defending our rights. We just don’t know them. That’s why we sit and wait for anyone else to care about us and to save us.
- NO, we must defend ourselves. Who if not we will think of us? Think about it!! Who if not we???

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