R10 Our right to a private life

Civil Rights

A person’s home should be a place of safety and security where people can enjoy family life. People should be free to practise and enjoy their own culture, faith, music and food, as long as this does not stop others from doing the same.

Each person should be able to live a private life, with the freedom to live in peace in their home. They should be able to write and receive letters, emails and telephone calls in privacy without these being monitored by the authorities. People should be able to move about freely and share in the cultural life of their community, enjoying all kinds of arts, meeting together and enjoying opportunities to learn.

The authorities do not have the right to enter and search a person’s home without a legal document giving them this right. Employers should not have the right to take away a person’s right to a private life. Unless a person is suspected of a crime, their lives and movements should not be watched and monitored.

  • Read Matthew 22:35-40. Jesus gave us two commandments that sum up the whole of his teaching. Here the Pharisees are trying to trick Jesus by asking him to pick out one of God’s commandments as the most important. However, Jesus cleverly summarises the first four commandments into one and the remaining six commandments into the second.
  • How do we show our love for God?
  • Do we love ourselves and value our character and gifts? Do we have a sense of peace about where God has placed us?
  • Who are our neighbours? Does this just mean people who live nearby or do this mean all other people we have some awareness of or contact with?
  • How do we show our love for our neighbours?
  • How do we treat others in our community? How do we respect their right to live their lives the way they choose?
  • We often treat people of different races, castes or religions differently and lack respect for them. How do we respond when people of other cultures celebrate in different ways? Do we enjoy the variety of cultures in our world or do we resent these differences?
  • What rights do parents have to monitor their children’s activities? How difficult is it to find the right balances between caring and interfering in their right to privacy?
  • In what ways may people’s right to privacy be restricted? What examples are we aware of ?
  • What action could we take to prevent unnecessary interference in people’s privacy in our country?

Articles 3, 12, 18, 19, 27 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights