Article 4

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

I am the woman
Shivering on the corner of
Higgins and Main
As you drive by and decide
Whether or not to stop.

I am the girl
Working in a sweatshop
Miles and thoughts away
As you walk through the Gap and decide
Which shirt to buy.

I am the woman
Dusting your lamps and
Mopping your floors
As you check your phone and decide
Where to go for lunch.

I am the working poor.
I am the child labourer.
I am the illegal immigrant.

I am a slave.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights wall at ...

Universal Declaration of Human Rights wall at the UN (Photo credit: Jordan Lewin)

Notes: I’m currently participating in a Summer Writing Institute entitled Writing for/as Human Rights and Social Justice. It’s for teachers wishing to explore the possibilities for teaching writing as social justice pedagogy. Yesterday there was an activity where we each got an article from the Declaration of Human Rights. After discussing the articles in a round robin sort of way, we returned to reflect and write a response to our article. I was given Article 4. This was my response.

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