On 15 October 2015, the continent winners attended a grand final. Jane Josefowicz was awarded the Junior grand prize, and Mfundo Radebe was awarded the Senior grand prize. Below, you can read their winning entries, along with the other finalists, followed by runners up from around the world.

 

Jane Josefowicz, USA

Click Here to read Jane's Magna Carta
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A Magna Carta for the Modern Age
Jane Josefowicz

The Magna Carta was written so that the king would not have all the power, and so that the legal system would be just and fair. Twenty-five barons made sure that the king followed what the Magna Carta said. It saved many people. But it was a document of its time. Eight hundred years later, some rules from the Magna Carta remain in use. But other issues, not anticipated by the writers of the Magna Carta, should be addressed if we are to have a Magna Carta for modern times. These are all issues of discrimination, which perpetuates damaging inequalities between ordinary people who are neither barons nor kings and who are supposed to be equal before the law.

The police are meant to keep us safe, and to protect us from those who might harm us. They should not be the ones who are hurting us. When the people who are supposed to be protecting you hurt you, who will protect you? It is illegal to kill someone, but who arrests themselves? Police should not abuse the power that they are given. Recently the police have been shooting unarmed people of color. What is the point? What did they do? And why only people of color? All lives matter, and no one should dictate who stays and who goes.

Marriage equality need not be a reason for conflict. Love is love. But there are places where if you are openly LGBTQ+, you can be sure there is a place in conversion therapy with your name on it. That needs to stop. No one has the right to dictate whom people can love or who they can be. The LGBTQ+ community is not hurting anyone. We are all entitled to be who we are; to get married, or not, to whomever we please; and simply to have a life in which sources of ordinary happiness, like relationships, are within reach.

An underlying problem, slipping beneath the radar, is equal pay. Most people know that for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes seventy-seven cents. Fewer are aware that a man of color makes less than that, and a woman of color even less. We need to value and treat each other fairly, especially in the workforce. A white man’s dollar should be the same as a black man’s dollar, which should be the same as a woman’s dollar, which should be the same as a woman of color’s.

Although the problems that I have discussed are real, this “Modern Magna Carta” is simply my opinion. The original Magna Carta was made by collaboration and compromise, and since I am only one person, I cannot do that. Think of the differences of opinion that had to combine to create the Magna Carta. What would it be like if we combined everyone’s ideas and made a Magna Carta for humanity? The ideas would be very different as you went through the countries. But that’s not bad, for who would you be without difference? If we were all the same, we would not be anything. Difference makes us who we are. But it doesn’t make us better than others. Our differences are what we have in common.

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Mfundo Radebe, South Africa

Click Here to read Mfundo's Magna Carta
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Limiting the Powers of Government: South Africa’s Magna Carta
Mfundo Radebe

[This Magna Carta is a solution to South Africa’s problems. As a National Debate champion, Moot Courter, and young academic, I have been exposed to how legislation that does not limit the powers of government leads to many problems.]

Introduction:

“The Law is reason, free from passion.” – Aristotle.

When the Magna Carta was implemented, it was meant to legally bind the citizens of the time to the very principle Aristotle spoke of above. It was meant to encourage the law as a benchmark of equality amongst all human beings, and to portray the fact that no one should be above the Law. With the law being the standard of reason and equality, being free from passion and manipulation, it becomes befitting that the Law is articulated in a way that is fair to all, and so that it limits the influence of government and corporate involvement in its very implementation.

My Magna Carta for South Africa is thus a return to the very ideals of the Law. It is an inspection on the legal and political system of South Africa. It is an assessment of how our people’s constitutional rights are weakened, and a solution for the future going forward. The argumentation within this document can also be implemented in any other African country due to the common theme of Africanisation.

********

Let it be known that today South Africa is a great country. Having been through a period of oppression, our constitution enforces that never again will any man oppress another due to his race, gender, beliefs, or opinion. Let it be known that when the Constitution [of the Republic of South Africa] was drawn up in 1995, it was scrutinised to ensure that its citizens are protected; its structures of implementation, however, became fatally flawed. The judicial entities that were empowered with the task of implementing what would be the 21st century’s most liberal constitution failed to limit the powers of government in the control of legislation and therefore failed the vital principle of the Magna Carta: no one is above the law.

Having witnessed and drafted around the first democratic president of our land, and a man of great integrity and stature, Nelson Mandela, the law became implemented in such a way that it gave powers to the President to instil people of his own liking not only to the Constitutional Court, but to the independent bodies that protect the public. The Constitutional Court being the highest body in the country, thus, would become subjected to approval from the president of the country. Only the President could recommend a Chief Justice of the Court. Only the president could identify the next Auditor-General, the Public Protector, and approve legislation which may be against his best interests. Though this fatal flaw was not witnessed in the times of Mandela, today, under the rule of President Jacob Zuma, its influences are evident in the abuse of power by government. The people have a President, and government, who are above the Law and succept to corruption and nepotism. Let the Magna Carta written below be implemented to limit the powers of government, lest the current status quo lead to South Africa’s downfall in the future and the people suffer due to neglect.

The President may not involve himself in the implementation of the Law, whereby such involvement will prejudice the best interests of the country and its citizens. We hereby limit the powers of the president to interfere in the affairs of the Constitutional court. The president may not be required to recommend and sustain the Chief Justice of the courts, and its other 10 members. The president will ensure that under the acts of the Constitution, the right of the Auditor-General and the Public Protector, and all other bodies under this law to remain an independent body, free from government influence, is upheld. Parliament may no longer veto the recommendations brought forwards by these independent bodies, but must hastily implement them.

The president may not elect his own cabinet, or if he so wishes his cabinet should be approved by the members of parliament, with the official opposition having an equal share in the selection of the cabinet. We declare that in order to promote the human rights of the people of South Africa, involving service delivery, reduction of crime, and economic growth being used to develop the people of South Africa, the Law must set provision that only people who are capable of leading the departments of the state must do so. Thus it would allow for members of parliament to hold secret ballots to elect, or refuse election, of government members.

Government may not enforce as Law legislation that is against the best interests of the people, as the Constitution dictates. The people of South Africa witnessed a few years ago, the advocating of what was to be titled the ‘Secrecy Bill’. This bill which would increase state security and the limit right of the media to freely share information about government activities was debated on as to whether it was constitutional or not. This Magna Carta sets clarity about legislation which will further promote government corruption, nepotism, and lack of accountability, to be declared unconstitutional without need for parliamentary debate and public outcry. Thus, we limit the government from further considering reducing freedom of speech and other vital human rights in any case.

The government must prioritise, without delay, the delivery of services to its people before party politics, government benefits, and ethnic disagreements. In summary: The state must protect its separation from politics in order to allow for an effective economy, educational sector, and other key harbours of growth for South Africa. This clause of the Magna Carta is of significance importance. It identifies, perhaps, the reasons for South Africa’s stagnancy. It shows that the government must at all times prioritise the provision of services and goods such as electricity, water and job creation. It follows suit that we acknowledge that the electricity crises we face is due to lack of government involvement in the maintenance of electricity stations. The same applies for water. Our focus on a mixed economy lends us to requiring a government proactive in job creation, especially for the youth. The Magna Carta would make it legally binding for a government to spend most of its budget and service delivery time to aspects of human life which when not available make it inherently hard for the people to live. Government cannot spend lavishly on perks such as cars and holiday flights, while the people cannot afford bread. Thus the Magna Carta supports the reduction of the inequality gap evident between the government and its people.

Where the government fails to meet this law, the government must be held accountable. We would hereby declare, therefore, that the government, and the president, be subjected to a vote of no-confidence not only from the very members of Parliament who form that government (who will most likely belong to the party elect), but from the citizens of the country and the courts of the land.

********

Conclusion:

Let the limitations of rights afforded above be implemented hastily by the courts of South Africa, so the human rights of the people can be prioritised. This document must serve as the protector of the public’s standing with government. Any challenge to it is haltered by the fact that our Constitution supports the core of this document.

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Kayseka Geerjanan, Mauritius

Click Here to read Kayseka's Magna Carta
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How to make this world a better place?
Kayseka Geerjanan

As we all know the Magna Carta also known as the “Great Charter” has influenced the lives of people over a long period of time. I salute the year 1215, when it was initially sealed. My Magna Carta is about women’s empowerment.

The time has come that no atrocities against women will be tolerated. Many debates and conferences are held time and again with only few results. The only solution today is women’s empowerment. Women themselves are symbols of power. They just have to be awakened. Is it easy to carry a new life in the womb for nine months? Not doing so will wipe out mankind forever. Women can only rise up by using various tools such as education, mutual support amongst themselves, respect from men and martial arts.

We have heard about various women who have proved that the gender of a person does not matter when one has decided to succeed. We have lots of examples, such as Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, Mother Teresa and Hillary Clinton. There are so many achievers in different countries that it will be hard to mention all their names. The keyword is education. Great scholars like Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Dayanand Saraswati encouraged the Indian society to change. Girls should be given a chance to study. They are not just childbearing machines. Mahatma Gandhi once said “if you want to teach a nation, teach its women”. He also mentioned that if a mother is educated the whole generation will be educated. We cannot ignore ancient mythology where main deities for education were women. For example Athena in Greek mythology, Mother Saraswati in Indian Mythology and Minerva for Romans.

We are also impressed by Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II. We admire these powerful ladies for ruling such a big empire. In today’s world women have just not shown their capacity in politics but also in other fields such as music, medicines, sports, engineering, army and many other types of activities. We can also see that women have become famous authors, where once they had no right to read or write. They also become reporters, journalists, managing directors or even owners of business empires. Women have progressed so much today. They will have to learn income generating skills and be independent. We can try to imagine what position women will hold in the future. If one lady can do it then why is it not possible for others? Malala Yousafzai, the noble peace prize winner in 2014, is a big source of inspiration for all.

There is another major problem that has been taking place for a long time and still continues in a lot of houses around the world, domestic violence. Women have been portrayed to be gentle and weak. This notion has to be wiped off. In each and every woman lies a sumo wrestler. Mental, spiritual and physical training will enable her to face the various forms of domestic and sexual abuse. Self-defense techniques must be taught in school. “Be prepared” should become the motto. Can we ever forget the dark date 4th April 2014 when 300 girls were kidnapped in Nigeria? Severe laws will have to be made and implemented.

Women now have the right to inherit their father’s property. This is an added power and a plus point for them. My magna carta stipulates that “Every mother who gives birth to a daughter must promise that her baby girl will get all respect, justice and the right place in society or else she will forfeit the right to be called a mother.” Uranium on fission produces immense power. In the same way we will have to become uranium mothers and daughters to beget the next powerful women generation. It is always mentioned in bold letters that women take decision not only with their mind but with their heart too. In addition to this their thirst to learn and improve will definitely trigger the golden era, a heaven where men and women will live in harmony with their head held high. Only education and Respect for each other can make this happen.

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Mfundo Radebe, South Africa

Click Here to read Mfundo's Magna Carta
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Limiting the Powers of Government: South Africa’s Magna Carta
Mfundo Radebe

[This Magna Carta is a solution to South Africa’s problems. As a National Debate champion, Moot Courter, and young academic, I have been exposed to how legislation that does not limit the powers of government leads to many problems.]

Introduction:

“The Law is reason, free from passion.” – Aristotle.

When the Magna Carta was implemented, it was meant to legally bind the citizens of the time to the very principle Aristotle spoke of above. It was meant to encourage the law as a benchmark of equality amongst all human beings, and to portray the fact that no one should be above the Law. With the law being the standard of reason and equality, being free from passion and manipulation, it becomes befitting that the Law is articulated in a way that is fair to all, and so that it limits the influence of government and corporate involvement in its very implementation.

My Magna Carta for South Africa is thus a return to the very ideals of the Law. It is an inspection on the legal and political system of South Africa. It is an assessment of how our people’s constitutional rights are weakened, and a solution for the future going forward. The argumentation within this document can also be implemented in any other African country due to the common theme of Africanisation.

********

Let it be known that today South Africa is a great country. Having been through a period of oppression, our constitution enforces that never again will any man oppress another due to his race, gender, beliefs, or opinion. Let it be known that when the Constitution [of the Republic of South Africa] was drawn up in 1995, it was scrutinised to ensure that its citizens are protected; its structures of implementation, however, became fatally flawed. The judicial entities that were empowered with the task of implementing what would be the 21st century’s most liberal constitution failed to limit the powers of government in the control of legislation and therefore failed the vital principle of the Magna Carta: no one is above the law.

Having witnessed and drafted around the first democratic president of our land, and a man of great integrity and stature, Nelson Mandela, the law became implemented in such a way that it gave powers to the President to instil people of his own liking not only to the Constitutional Court, but to the independent bodies that protect the public. The Constitutional Court being the highest body in the country, thus, would become subjected to approval from the president of the country. Only the President could recommend a Chief Justice of the Court. Only the president could identify the next Auditor-General, the Public Protector, and approve legislation which may be against his best interests. Though this fatal flaw was not witnessed in the times of Mandela, today, under the rule of President Jacob Zuma, its influences are evident in the abuse of power by government. The people have a President, and government, who are above the Law and succept to corruption and nepotism. Let the Magna Carta written below be implemented to limit the powers of government, lest the current status quo lead to South Africa’s downfall in the future and the people suffer due to neglect.

The President may not involve himself in the implementation of the Law, whereby such involvement will prejudice the best interests of the country and its citizens. We hereby limit the powers of the president to interfere in the affairs of the Constitutional court. The president may not be required to recommend and sustain the Chief Justice of the courts, and its other 10 members. The president will ensure that under the acts of the Constitution, the right of the Auditor-General and the Public Protector, and all other bodies under this law to remain an independent body, free from government influence, is upheld. Parliament may no longer veto the recommendations brought forwards by these independent bodies, but must hastily implement them.

The president may not elect his own cabinet, or if he so wishes his cabinet should be approved by the members of parliament, with the official opposition having an equal share in the selection of the cabinet. We declare that in order to promote the human rights of the people of South Africa, involving service delivery, reduction of crime, and economic growth being used to develop the people of South Africa, the Law must set provision that only people who are capable of leading the departments of the state must do so. Thus it would allow for members of parliament to hold secret ballots to elect, or refuse election, of government members.

Government may not enforce as Law legislation that is against the best interests of the people, as the Constitution dictates. The people of South Africa witnessed a few years ago, the advocating of what was to be titled the ‘Secrecy Bill’. This bill which would increase state security and the limit right of the media to freely share information about government activities was debated on as to whether it was constitutional or not. This Magna Carta sets clarity about legislation which will further promote government corruption, nepotism, and lack of accountability, to be declared unconstitutional without need for parliamentary debate and public outcry. Thus, we limit the government from further considering reducing freedom of speech and other vital human rights in any case.

The government must prioritise, without delay, the delivery of services to its people before party politics, government benefits, and ethnic disagreements. In summary: The state must protect its separation from politics in order to allow for an effective economy, educational sector, and other key harbours of growth for South Africa. This clause of the Magna Carta is of significance importance. It identifies, perhaps, the reasons for South Africa’s stagnancy. It shows that the government must at all times prioritise the provision of services and goods such as electricity, water and job creation. It follows suit that we acknowledge that the electricity crises we face is due to lack of government involvement in the maintenance of electricity stations. The same applies for water. Our focus on a mixed economy lends us to requiring a government proactive in job creation, especially for the youth. The Magna Carta would make it legally binding for a government to spend most of its budget and service delivery time to aspects of human life which when not available make it inherently hard for the people to live. Government cannot spend lavishly on perks such as cars and holiday flights, while the people cannot afford bread. Thus the Magna Carta supports the reduction of the inequality gap evident between the government and its people.

Where the government fails to meet this law, the government must be held accountable. We would hereby declare, therefore, that the government, and the president, be subjected to a vote of no-confidence not only from the very members of Parliament who form that government (who will most likely belong to the party elect), but from the citizens of the country and the courts of the land.

********

Conclusion:

Let the limitations of rights afforded above be implemented hastily by the courts of South Africa, so the human rights of the people can be prioritised. This document must serve as the protector of the public’s standing with government. Any challenge to it is haltered by the fact that our Constitution supports the core of this document.

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Xue-Ern Neo, Malaysia

Click Here to read Xue-Ern's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Xue-Ern Neo

It was a bright day at Runnymede near Windsor, 15 June 1215. King John of England stepped forward briskly and fixed his royal seal to the bottom of the charter. Baron Fitzwalter and the Archbishop Stephen Langton of Canterbury stared at him with unfriendly eyes. King John had only agreed to sign the charter after no one had wanted to join his army to fight the barons. As you all are probably wondering, what is this charter?

What was its history?

Well, let me tell you about it. First of all, it’s called the Magna Carta.

It’s an implementation of law that every king and government had to follow. The Magna Carta promised access to justice swiftly. The Magna Carta made life in England much better than it had ever been under the rule of King John who had ruled with an iron fist.

That was 800 years ago. Today in the 21st century, the Middle East holds many war-torn countries which have gone to war over religion. Can you imagine it? Millions and millions of people are dying every day, all because of a religious dispute. It’s like there isn't any law anymore in the Middle East. What does law, order and justice mean? What are they worth if people aren't using them anymore? All these wars have got to stop. Why can’t people just work religious things out without having to pick up weapons and kill each other? All the religious wars just doesn’t make sense. This wasn’t why the human race was born. We have to live in peace, not kill each other over some religious argument. So if I had a chance to write the Magna Carta which everyone had to follow, it would look like this:

MAGNA CARTA

           
  • EVERY HUMAN BEING HAS NO RIGHT TO INSULT OR COMMENT HURTFULLY OTHER PEOPLE’S RELIGIONS OR RACES
  •        
  • EVERY HUMAN BEING SHALL BE ONLY ALLOWED TO PREACH ABOUT THEIR OWN RELIGIONS AND ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SECRETLY CONVERT OTHER PEOPLE.
  •        
  • EVERY HUMAN BEING SHALL BE ONLY ALLOWED TO CONSUME OR TAKE DRUGS MADE LEGAL AND PRESCRIBED AT THE STATED AMOUNT.
  •        
  • EVERY SUSPECT SHALL BE JUDGED FAIRLY IN COURT AND IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.
  •        
  • THERE SHALL NOT BE ANY MALEVOLENTIA USED BY ANY LEADER OF STATE OR COUNTRY
  •        
  • EVERY HUMAN BEING IS ALLOWED TO MOVE FREELY FROM COUNTRY TO COUNTRY PROVIDED THAT THEY HAVE THE PROPER AND ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS NEEDED.
  •        
  • THERE SHALL BE NO WAR, CRIME AND LOATHSOME ACTS MADE IN THIS WORLD
  •        
  • EVERY HUMAN BEING IS ALLOWED TO JOIN ANY RELIGION ONLY BY HIS/HER OWN FREE WILL.
  •        
  • THERE SHALL BE NO MORE HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THIS WORLD.
  •        
  • THERE SHALL BE ORDER, LAW AND JUSTICE WITHHELD IN EVERY COUNTRY AND STATE.
  •        
  • TAXES SHALL BE EXACTLY THE SAME FOR EVERYONE NO MATTER HOW WEALTHY OR POOR THEY ARE.
  •        
  • TAXES SHALL NOT BE USED BY LEADERS OF COUNTRY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF CITIZENS.
  •        
  • THERE SHALL BE NO MORE SCAMS MADE IN THIS WORLD.
  •        
  • THERE SHALL BE NO MORE CHILD ABUSE OR ABANDONING A CHILD
  •        
  • THERE SHALL BE NO MORE ANIMAL ABUSE IN THIS WORLD.
  •        
  • THERE SHALL BE NO MORE CORRUPTION OF GOVERNMENTS, LEADERS OF STATE AND COUNTRY OR COMPANIES.
  •        
  • ANY GOVERNMENT SHALL ONLY BE ALLOWED TO SENTENCE ANY SUSPECT TO DEATH FAIRLY, PROVIDED THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS CONCRETE PROOF AND APPROVAL FROM THE SUSPECT’S COUNTRY, NO MATTER HOW DASTARDLY THE CRIME COMMITED.

There; that is my Magna Carta I would write if I even had the chance to. If only the clauses that I have written down came into the world and people actually obeyed them, it would definitely make the world change for the better. I would like to quote Harriet Tubman, ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have in you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world’. I myself would certainly hope for these clauses to come into the world to make it a better place and fulfilling my greatest dream.

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Fathima Nifra, Sri Lanka

Click Here to read Fathima's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Fathima Nifra

Magna Carta is a peace treaty which granted the people certain rights and made the king bounded by laws. It was signed between an undisputed king, King John and his barons in 1215. At that time England was not a good place for people to live. The officials of the government were cruel and corrupt and the people were imprisoned without a trial. Also the economy was in a mess. As king John was quarrelsome, he ruled the country ignoring the law of the country. So as a result a group of barons including Barons Fitz Walter and Archbishop Stephen wrote a charter to assure a great government. It was a great charter document to challenge the king’s rule and feudal abuse.

But laws written in the Magna Carta are not used in modern democracy. So some of the important laws have faded away. For the 21st century if there's a magna carta for whole world, then it will be a peaceful and a pleasant place for all the people in this world to live in harmony. I will introduce a new Magna Carta.  These are the clauses for My Magna Carta:

1) Some developed powerful nations try to put down upon developing nations. Each and every nation should be kept under the law.
2) Each and every individual in the world should have the freedom to follow their own religion as a human right. We should safeguard the liberties, customs, rights, and traditions of all the other religions.
3) Any citizen from any country shall not be seized, imprisoned or expelled his rights except by the law of the country.
4) Any person even a slave couldn't be fined or put in prison without a fair trial.
5) A fairer system of justice.
6) A fairer system of taxation. The taxes are immensely going up, so there should be a fairer system of taxation in order to develop the economy.
7) Force restrictions on business and trade nationally as well as internationally.
8) Every student, the holders if future should learn the history of their own country in their own mother tongue.
9) Each and every city in the world shall have their own ancient customs, liberties and traditions. 10) All the higher and lower officers of justice, constable sheriffs and lawyers should not be appointed or graduated without knowing the laws of the country.
11) The criminals and the breakers of law have to be seized by the maximum punishment of the law. It can be government officials or either normal people.
12) Each and every individual either it can be rich, poor, ordinary or even a serf should granted with their own universal rights.
13) Safeguard privileges, liberties and rights of clergy and nobles.
14) There is no right to impose new laws by ministers as their wish.
15) Nor government can break the law instead they introduce new laws which include a clause saying it doesn't apply to government.
16) Defence forces of the country should include only the people of the country.
17) Both men and women should be granted civil rights.
18) Government should pay attention to the will of the people of the nation when introducing new laws.
19) Rich, poor, ordinary and each and every person including government officers should protect the human rights of other people.

In my magna carta I have proposed 19 clauses for the 21st century. As I think these clauses will attack the corrupt qualities of every citizen in every country and lead the world to be a great peaceful place. As the world is limited within a palm because of the development of science and technology, the world is full of illegalities. I propose to force these 19 clauses to minimize the illegalities and to make the world a peaceful global village. This will cause to a massive change. My magna carta depicts that nobody, even the government, is above the law. Once this is implemented the freedom and civil rights of each and every person will be granted. 

                       

Today taxes are arising up as they fell in 1215. It's because there is no any fairer system of taxation and because of non implementation of a magna carta in modern democracy.

     

In my 4th clause of my magna carta I mentioned government can't arrest or make fine without cause or a fair trial. This is named as habeas corpus in 1215. But it was not revised. So I introduced as one of my clause and this grants the rights of the every citizen to a fair trial in court.

                                                                     

As in 11th clause of my magna carta no business can be done or trade owners can't go simply anywhere for trade. The government has restrictions to impose. No matter what they want to sell or buy they are forced to obey rules and regulations imposed by the government. So the international business will be free of crimes. Crimes that involved national security could be decided by the secret courts.

In this 21st century developed and powerful nations try to capture and put down the developing countries. They try to make their colonies everywhere in the world in order to earn money. So to eradicate this situation each and every nation should be kept under the law as I mentioned in 1st clause.

The officers of justice should know the law of the country. Officers of justice should not be appointed without knowing the law of nation. The people who govern and have money try to get higher posts using their power. So in order to have a fairer system of justice as I mentioned in 5th clause, the 10th clause should be imposed.

As the democratically elected Parliament became more powerful, they thought the Magna Carta was no longer necessary. But my belief is that a Magna Carta is essential. Also it can bound up the power of Parliament by law.

WHO WOULD BE BETTER OFF -

The people of 1215 with MAGNA CARTA? Or the people of 21st century without it?

In 1215 due to the Great Magna Carta England immensely experienced the freedom of their kingdom. So according to my opinion every country in the world should have their own government with a new magna carta suitable for the 21st century. So this is MY MAGNA CARTA to make the whole world an independent sovereign global village.

I can feel that I'm not better as a citizen WITHOUT a MAGNA CARTA..........

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Ella McEvoy, Australia

Click Here to read Ella's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Ella McEvoy

Freedom.  It’s one of the most important values in our society today. It allows us to be who we want to be, think as our thoughts desire and act in a way that expresses our feelings. The Magna Carta was the first of a kind. Though it was not specifically the beginning of democracy, it was the first document to limit the monarch’s power over the people of England. The original Magna Carta was created to deal with individual disputes of the era but it later became a general idea of the rights of people and the limitations of government.

Even though the Magna Carta was created 800 years ago it is still a relevant document to our society today. Erwin Griswald, Dean of Harvard law school states “The Magna Carta is not primarily significant for what it is, but rather for what it was made to be.” This enlightens the true meaning of the Magna Carta. It is not the document and its specific content itself that it is famous for, but rather the ideals that the Magna Carta represents. The Magna Carta has heavily influenced modern day constitutions.  For example, the United Nations has been impacted by the Magna Carta and states that it was one of the most important parts of the history of human rights.

The Magna Carta is law above any leader of state, country or monarchy. It shows that even though a leader may believe that they are above the rest of their people it puts that leader back into their place and proves that people are equal no matter their gender, race or background.  An example of a government’s power being limited is the execution of the Bali 9. The Australian government tried every different way to try and get the Indonesian government to stand down on their execution threats. They tried a prisoner swap and absolutely exhausted all avenues to save the Bali 9. However, the Indonesian law states that any person who enters or leaves Indonesia with drugs on them will be executed. Though this is sad, they were executed. This is a prime example that sometimes the power that the government has is power not strong enough to overrule the law.

The Magna Carta was an important document of the time but if we implemented the original rules that it stated it would be completely unhelpful and irrelevant to our everyday lives. If there were to be a modern day Magna Carta the main themes that it should include are; education for all, gender and racial equality and free access to healthcare. In Australia we have almost achieved this. We have education and access to health care and even for free if necessary and gender and racial equality has come a long way since it began. However, in poorer countries especially third world ones these important life necessities are an unachievable reality.

The United Nations has started a petition to get free education for all. This is a baby step to achieving these three important goals. If only it were so easy as to introduce a modern day Magna Carta, but obviously it is not. We cannot create a document to rule supremely over all inhabitants of the earth. That would be working backwards to exactly what the United Nations have been working towards for so long, that no humans views and opinions are to rule over everybody else’s. But, if it were fair and reasonable to have a document that rules over everyone and everything the most important things are health, education and equality of genders and all races. This action would allow everyone to improve the people that they are. Education is one of life’s greatest tools, as Malala Yousafzai, a women’s rights activist and youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize stated “Let us pick up our books and pencils, they are our most powerful weapons.” Education is knowledge. Knowledge is power. If we educate those in third world countries we can stop the long endless cycle of poverty and underdevelopment.

The Magna Carta is one of the most significant historical documents but is not only famous for its individual messages but rather the ideas that it symbolises. One-day education and healthcare should be accessible freely for all and equality must be achieved for all genders and races. This is the only way that we can achieve a more peaceful world with less poverty, sickness and lack of knowledge.

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Jack Donnelly, Australia

Click Here to read Jack's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Jack Donnelly

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 4 May 2015
[on the request for a modern Magna Carta]
70/260. A Modern Magna Carta (“Grand Pact”)

FOREWORD:

Many praise the sealing of the Magna Carta in 1215 as the foundation of modern human rights. This praise is not entirely unwarranted; however, it must be remembered that the document was never designed to epitomise the values of empathy, egalitarianism and social mobility that its remembrance tends to reflect in modern society. Rather, the barons, in their negotiations with King John, sought to advantage themselves, either directly by reducing the king’s power, or indirectly by gaining the favour of the masses. Increasing the general social mobility of British society through greater monarchical accountability, and eventually, the formation of a general, open parliament was merely an afterthought. In this manner, the history of the Magna Carta is not so much a lesson in empathy, so much as utility.

Yet if not utility, what purpose do rights serve? My Magna Carta seeks not to reject the utilitarian nature of its namesake, but rather to embrace the benefits of a practical document of rights that is readily diffusible to the masses. As such, my proposed modern Magna Carta seeks to recognise the practicalities of today’s society, its technology and social intricacies. It seeks to highlight the limitations of the laws and liberties in such an alien environment. Furthermore, it endeavours to, in a manner similar to the original document, create a better framework for human co-habitation on a global scale, using the legal apparatus available to us now. As such, my Magna Carta is designed in the context of a United Nations General Assembly resolution, whereby it has the ability to be signed and ratified by all nations.

PREAMBLE:
The General Assembly,
Remembering the importance of the Magna Carta of 1215, and subsequent revisions of 1216, 1217 and 1225, and the 1265 formation of the De Montfort Parliament with respect to their impacts on the formation of self-determination principles, and endorsement of greater social mobility and a more comprehensive scope of justice,

Recognising that elements of governmental transparency and freedom of speech and expression of both individuals and organisations are essential to any functioning democracy,

Noting with concern recent incidents of censorship and arbitrary detention, particularly in areas of the world entangled in sectarian conflict

Recognising the necessity of a new “Grand Pact” capable of diffusing information of universal human rights to the masses with respect to a modern, globalised world,

Acting under Chapter IV of the United Nations Charter:

OPERATIVE CLAUSES:

The General Assembly:

Decrees that individuals have the fundamental, inalienable rights to the following liberties and freedoms, and that these rights shall not differ between individuals, nor shall they be diminished with time, changing circumstances or public opinion:
1.      INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS TO SECURITY, FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT AND IDENTITY:
a.      All individuals have the right to personal and social security, encompassing not only a lack of violence, but also the elements necessary for sustainable peace to exist, including access to essential food, water and shelter.
b.      All individuals have the right to citizenship of a nation of Earth, and under no grounds may an individual have his or her citizenship removed so as to become a stateless person.
c.      All individuals have the right to freedom of movement and domestic travel within their own country
d.      It is the responsibility of the state to protect the personal identities of all individuals, by manner of:
i.      Preventing discriminatory acts against the individual’s identity that threaten a meritocratic society,
ii.     Not condoning legislation that marginalises, or by any means treats citizens differently to the majority population because of a difference between that citizen and the majority’s sexuality, religion or race,
e.      All individuals have the right to enter into relationships with other individuals and have those relationships recognised, regardless of the sexuality of the partners to the relationship.
2.      INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH, RELIGIOUS ASSOCIATION AND EXPRESSION:
a.      All individuals have the right to speak freely to the public about any topic of their choosing, in any manner they wish
b.      The use of words considered derogatory or insulting to other individuals in society does not constitute grounds for restricting such freedom of speech
c.      Individual rights to freedom of speech extend beyond the spoken dimension of expression, into all avenues of expression, including:
i.      Digital expression, through the use of graphics, text, or a combination of both, such as the memes of popular culture,
ii.     Written expression, formally or informally,
iii.    Action, including the act of participating in industrial action or protest of a more general sort.
d.      Individuals’ right to freedom of speech about matters pertaining to national security may only be limited where an open court impartial to the workings of a state’s defence system and of suitably high stature is convinced beyond reasonable doubt that limiting that individual’s right to freedom of speech is the only manner in which significant damage to such a state’s national security can be averted.
e.      Individuals have the right to seek information about any topic related to the workings of their nation, unless the state can prove to an impartial, open court of suitable stature that releasing the information would cause severe damage to national security.
f.      Individuals have a right to associate with a religion, without fear of retribution, discrimination or other violence launched against the individual on a religious basis, provided that:
i.      The individual joining the religion does so with full consent granted, without duress or other undue influence coercing such an individual into joining,
ii.     The religion’s nature does not encompass values detrimental to society as a whole (i.e. a lack of respect for law and order), and
iii.    The individual never attempts to force his or her religious beliefs upon another individual.
3.      INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS TO PRIVACY:
a.      Where an individual’s right of privacy is breached in order to maintain national security, or the security of other individuals, it is the responsibility of the state to perform every possible action to minimise the magnitude of such a privacy breach.
4.      INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS TO SEEK REFUGEE STATUS AND ASYLUM IN FOREIGN NATIONS:
a.      Individuals have the right to seek refugee status in foreign nations, even if doing so requires methods of travel normally considered illegal, provided such individuals are fleeing from
i.      Persecution which could reasonably endanger their personal security
ii.     Significant climate change that has rendered their previous home inhospitable
5.      INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS RELATING TO JUSTICE:
a.      Every individual has the right to a free and fair trial amongst fellow civilians.
b.      States may not detain their citizens indefinitely without a formal criminal conviction.
c.      All citizens have the right to expert legal representation provided for them by the state.
6.      REQUIREMENTS OF STATES:
a.      All states must adopt a democratic model, whereby every citizen has an equal amount of power in general elections held at intervals of between 2 and 6 years.
b.      Every nation’s premier legislative body must have at least two separate arms capable of dissenting with one another.
c.      All states must provide the following services to all citizens (in order of priority for states who lack resources to establish all services immediately)
i.       Primary and secondary education,
ii.     Basic healthcare,
iii.    Social welfare, retraining and workplace reintegration programs, and
iv.     Public recreational and cultural facilities.

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Marie Georgette Spiteri, Malta (Special Commendation)

Click Here to read Marie's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Marie Georgette Spiteri

800 years ago, King John created the Magna Carta as a tentative peace treaty between him and his rebelling barons, but it was unsuccessful. Nevertheless, Magna Carta served as a template for most of the world's constitutions. Generations have evolved and nowadays we are encountering different issues from 800 years ago. So I'm writing a modern version of the Magna Carta that covers issues that we're encountering today, as a whole world, and which probably our descendants will also face in the coming years.

Every country in the world, even the most developed one, has a percentage of its population which is homeless, with little or no supply of clean water and good food. This can be either the cause of drugs and other addictions, loss of jobs or the obsessive crave of rich people to become richer, ignoring the ones in need . Today we have social services which sometimes come in useful and missionary help for those in third world countries. Speaking of third world countries, missionary help is not enough and in addition, because of low health levels, many die with conditions such as HIV. This is also because the cure vaccination is very expensive and many couldn't afford it. These people don't benefit from these rights and in order to help them , the whole world must take action. We must all join our resources and share them equally between all those who are in need.

Some people get overwhelmed with the power they obtain and become victims of Tyranny. If a country is not sovereign yet but the citizens want sovereignty they can do so either by protesting or by the leaders talking to their rulers. Protesting is a very important right as it shows that the protestors have had enough but one has to use it sensibly, otherwise it could backfire. Good reasons to protest are when one is not paid fairly for the work they do or when their beliefs and dignity are disrespected. On the other hand, some choose to protest for fatuous reasons, such as wanting more than they deserve or don't want rules. One has to be very cautious about the type of protests, whether they are genuine or not.

Today our life is mainly based on technology and each key we press, leaves an efootprint. Apart from companies and the government there are other people who obtain these efootprints and data, despite applying Authentication or having firewalls around your data. These could either be police tracking a criminal or a malicious person who tracks someone for a bad cause. One way of protecting our data is to be aware whom we give our personal information to. One can do very little to protect their data but one can apply firewalls and other IT security checks which at least give indication when someone is trying to hack the system. At the end of the day it's up to the companies and government not to abuse with this data, though it should be a right that only the government could access it.

From the first day of Earth, people started discovering how different each individual is. People are different in many aspects such as how they look, their beliefs and their feelings. We live in a pluralistic world so the 'normality' is that everyone lives peacefully together, but, there were always those people who are stubborn and don't want to open up to new ideas. One has the right to express their own views without losing or risking their life. This leads to terrorism; which is in fact people who are extremist about their views and are ready to kill and die to change other's views. Many people are standing up to change the world into a more open-minded one, for example in Malta, homosexuals recently obtained the right for civil union and to adopt children, the latter of which is still a controversial issue for some.

If we individuals tolerate each other and contribute to keep peace, freedom and safeguarding of private data, I believe the world would be better, with a high standard of living.

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Sofija Jovanovic, Serbia (Special Commendation)

Click Here to read Sofija's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Sofija Jovanovic

Once upon a time, there was a troubled king. And a letter came to his aid.

To wear a crown of gold and resolution is a mighty task. To wield the pen of peace and yet say your mind, change the future, but leave the past unscathed, perhaps an even mightier. I have not lived long enough to recognize this world as it is –imbibe all its hills and planes, mounds and valleys, and stay unaltered –let alone to understand its faults. I have not been allotted the right of a coherent opinion for much time, either. I am a child and a child I will stay until my hair turns white and my languid thoughtlessness becomes incongruous with it. I am a child and a child I will stay for as long as humanly possible, because I’ve glimpsed the realm of adulthood and have been flinching ever since.

My logic may be the haggard excuse one too many have called upon before me; I accept the accusation with a heavy heart and a light head. Today it will shelter me from harm. Tomorrow, too. Though, admittedly, there will come a time it will no longer resemble principle, but fear, and I no Peter Pan, but a coward, I want to explain it. Albeit a coward-to-be, I have words. I want them heard. I need them heard.

Hunger has a narrow face, eyes as dark as ink. It slithers across continents – a gasping void of pallor and bones, leaving nothing but despair in its wake – when it can be stopped so easily; when it doesn’t have to exist. Whether you agree with me or not, try and see. Reach out a helping hand. Offer a smile and a shake of the head the next time you want to throw food away. We’ve come together before to rebuild a fallen building or city – Haiti is on its feet and Nepal’s getting there. Why not do it again, but this time for the entire planet instead? Let there be bread, for everyone.

Disinterest is a spreading disease. It has skipped oceans in strides and swallowed generations whole. Targets are selected seemingly at random, but no-one is safe. Kids have strayed from finding themselves to stare at screens and complain and judge, when really there’s nothing to be dissatisfied about or judgmental toward. It’s not like that with merely book covers and obligations anymore. Apparently, one glance is enough to tell whether a girl is entertaining or a boy worth their time. A click sufficient a gesture to form friendship! There are the backlashes too –these not quite profane but immeasurably cruel things only children are capable of. They destroy and they hurt because they don’t know another way. Give them an opportunity. Present them with a freedom so gallant it cannot be refused. Open museums, libraries, parks. Let there be a choice, for all.

Hate is the worst of all demons. And as surely as gravity is the reason we don’t float – it is bred, not born; a feeble brute seeded deep inside our bellies. We rarely feel it grow, yet always know when it’s there. There is no going around it, I realize. There is no pulling it out by the roots. When a sixteen-year-old girl looks in the mirror, one cannot bind the curling tentacles glaring at the reflection menacingly; cannot tell her “You beautiful, beautiful creature, stop being so hard on yourself”. When a man shakes a fist in the direction of two boys kissing, one cannot calm the baneful flame rising in his chest; cannot draw atop the fleeting winds “Affection comes in many, many forms, don’t resent what you don’t understand”. Hate is the most difficult to do away with. It perseveres no matter how gentle the originating idea is or how coarse an approach we use. But sometimes silencing it is enough. Antifeminism, racism, xenophobia, envy –they’re all different forms of the same deformity, omnipresent, overbearing – yet mankind still exists, despite their darkness. Teach whomever you can to fight the corruption. Advise those of us less fortunate who you fail to touch directly. Respect all. Man may be raised to hate, but he is created to cherish. Let there be love, for better or for worse.

Albeit a coward-to-be, I have words. Some are mine, and some are borrowed:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
― Thomas Jefferson

But all of them are true.

We often take for granted the life we are given, all the rights it entitles with it. We often close our eyes in the face of hunger, disinterest and hate; look the other way. It’s only natural we do – angels shouldn’t walk among the ephemerals. We often forget that somewhere someone conjured our now and worked for it and wrote and fought the public skepticism with wisdom. Eight hundred years ago that battle started and it is still on-going. Eight hundred years ago a letter rose from the ashes of conflict and remains standing until this day. Magna Carta is that letter. It is the phoenix whose wings we have flown atop for very, very long.

I am a child and as every child all I wish is to grow up, billow, bloom. I am a child and as every child I dream of the future and believe in change. Don’t take that away from me. Don’t take it away from yourself. Don’t let the world come undone.

Open your mind to the minds around you. Breathe trust. Collect words, not money.

Give what you love and love what you are given.

Have an opinion, but don’t impose it on others.

Throughout history, disasters have been common enough. Revolutions, wars, body counts as expansive as nations –we’ve seen them all. Breaks were short and few and far between, repose seldom really present, yes, but they existed! The good times have perpetually dwarfed the bad!

Since the turn of the century, though, that balance has visibly shifted, its boundaries blurred by media riptides and scorn. Having kicked off the decade with the 9/11 truth movement, through the Fukushima Daiichi cleanup hoax, Arab Spring and MH370 conspiracy theories, only to circle back to Charlie Hebdo this January, people have lost their grip on the difference between public knowledge and public opinion. Privacy has fallen through the cracks and anything short from voluble has become a direct insult.

Space isn’t but the portion of air at a given instant. It is the right to grieve; the freedom to feel whatever aftermath in private, perhaps more intimately; to think about what could have been done differently; contemplate that which remains.

“Privacy –like eating and breathing –is one of life’s basic requirements.”
― Katherine Neville

To all of those whose loved ones passed in the aforementioned sites and dates; to the people that have lived and died on TV and in papers, in front of family members or alone, who I’ve met or haven’t, but paid little mind to what their departure meant; I’m sorry.

To the ones that don’t just listen, but hear; thank you.

This is my letter. This is my phoenix. This is my Magna Carta.

Once upon a time, there was a troubled world. And a child came to its aid.

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Jane Josefowicz, USA

Click Here to read Jane's Magna Carta
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A Magna Carta for the Modern Age
Jane Josefowicz

The Magna Carta was written so that the king would not have all the power, and so that the legal system would be just and fair. Twenty-five barons made sure that the king followed what the Magna Carta said. It saved many people. But it was a document of its time. Eight hundred years later, some rules from the Magna Carta remain in use. But other issues, not anticipated by the writers of the Magna Carta, should be addressed if we are to have a Magna Carta for modern times. These are all issues of discrimination, which perpetuates damaging inequalities between ordinary people who are neither barons nor kings and who are supposed to be equal before the law.

The police are meant to keep us safe, and to protect us from those who might harm us. They should not be the ones who are hurting us. When the people who are supposed to be protecting you hurt you, who will protect you? It is illegal to kill someone, but who arrests themselves? Police should not abuse the power that they are given. Recently the police have been shooting unarmed people of color. What is the point? What did they do? And why only people of color? All lives matter, and no one should dictate who stays and who goes.

Marriage equality need not be a reason for conflict. Love is love. But there are places where if you are openly LGBTQ+, you can be sure there is a place in conversion therapy with your name on it. That needs to stop. No one has the right to dictate whom people can love or who they can be. The LGBTQ+ community is not hurting anyone. We are all entitled to be who we are; to get married, or not, to whomever we please; and simply to have a life in which sources of ordinary happiness, like relationships, are within reach.

An underlying problem, slipping beneath the radar, is equal pay. Most people know that for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes seventy-seven cents. Fewer are aware that a man of color makes less than that, and a woman of color even less. We need to value and treat each other fairly, especially in the workforce. A white man’s dollar should be the same as a black man’s dollar, which should be the same as a woman’s dollar, which should be the same as a woman of color’s.

Although the problems that I have discussed are real, this “Modern Magna Carta” is simply my opinion. The original Magna Carta was made by collaboration and compromise, and since I am only one person, I cannot do that. Think of the differences of opinion that had to combine to create the Magna Carta. What would it be like if we combined everyone’s ideas and made a Magna Carta for humanity? The ideas would be very different as you went through the countries. But that’s not bad, for who would you be without difference? If we were all the same, we would not be anything. Difference makes us who we are. But it doesn’t make us better than others. Our differences are what we have in common.

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Isabelle McMullen, USA

Click Here to read Isabelle's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Isabelle McMullen

The Magna Carta was a document written in order to subdue the rash and unjust actions of King John in 13th century England, yet it somehow still affects documents and life eight hundred years later. The Magna Carta has survived over eight generations not because the people know exactly what it says, but rather because the ideas of the Magna Carta were so influential that they have settled in the background of everyday thinking, court trials, law practices, property disputes, and documents that govern society today.

A form of the Magna Carta that would be beneficial to society in the 21st century is a guideline for proper moral action. Morals are personal guidelines and behaviors, shaped either by religion or ethics. Due to the great diversity of religions and social norms in the world today, we need a document that can bring humankind together into a cohesive, united society. An entire society cannot conform to a single idea of what is right, but if each individual abides by the regulations set in place by this document, humans can bind together to form a more peaceful world. This document based on the Magna Carta would apply to the entire world instead of just the United States, because all humans have the same desires and needs, no matter what age, economic status, or nationality.

If any country suffers a mass casualty of 25,000 people, no matter the cause, all declared allies of said country must provide aid to the best of its financial ability.

Wars are started for a number of reasons. Throughout history, nations have struggled to put their own civilians’ lives at risk for another country in need. As the dominant species of life on Earth, humans must stick together. Humans have the capabilities to inspire both great change and great progress in the world. Humans have been able to create gas from simple pond algae and corn, but have also created atomic bombs and other weapons of mass destruction. Instead of using power simply to protect and better the lives of one’s own people? Humans must evolve to become creatures whose primary goal is to protect the lives of all humans instead of constantly striving to better our own social or economic standings and lend aid at the first chance possible. It is the responsibility of powerful government leaders to provide support for those who are expected to support them.

No leader can declare war on another country without first suffering a loss of 100 of its own citizens, or proposing a peace treaty that will be approved by the United Nations. Furthermore, all government weaponry and aid must be withdrawn and returned to the country to which it belongs during the creation of the treaty.

Humans are quick to raise arms against the first threat that looms in the distance. If citizens are in danger it is both correct and necessary to provide defense, but first with a peaceful solution to the problems at hand in order to avoid unnecessary turmoil and create a safer and more desirable world. Each government is taxed with the duty to protect its citizens, and often we interpret protection to mean war. War is an extreme action that shows citizens that the government is doing something to protect the nation, but declaring war creates a false sense of power and security. War can also be used as a means to obtain wealth and resources, but is it better to gain power at the cost of thousands of innocent lives? People should behave like the highly intelligent, articulate creatures we are instead of beastly animals that break out into a fight at the first sight of danger. If we reason with one another we may not be able to avoid war entirely, but perhaps we can protect the lives of innocent citizens and eventually change the mindset of humans to resort to peace an agreement rather than war whenever possible. This regulation in a 21st century Magna Carta would support the right of all citizens of any nation to protection by the government.

All children of any race, nationality, gender or economic status are required to receive vaccinations at the first time possible after birth. If a family is unable to support a child with vaccinations, then the child must either receive a financial sponsor, or be put up for adoption.

When a baby is born, she is the most innocent creature in the world. She has not yet succumbed to temptations or developed selfish or conceited thoughts. She does not get to choose her name, date of birth, place of birth, nor her parents. Each and every baby born into this world has the right to a fighting chance at living a healthy life. No child has done anything to deserve proper or improper treatment; therefore, requiring all children to have vaccines at the soonest time possible after birth will not only drastically increase human survival rates around the globe, but even eradicate diseases before the generation of our children and grandchildren. Furthermore, not only will the increase of vaccinations increase the survival of a population, but more specifically will give each and every human being equal opportunity to life a healthy life. In addition, if more and more members of society are healthy and able instead of constantly fighting sickness, it will not only improve the quality of life for the individual, but help the economy of our world. Healthy humans are able to uphold jobs and use their minds to do what humans do best: discover, invent, and better the world. There will be less people that are a burden on the government and instead young babies will become the responsibility of either the parents or a sponsor. Also, a baby is much more likely to be adopted than a sickly child that can no longer be properly cared for by their family. No child deserves to grow up in a situation in which her family does not have the means to properly vaccinate the child, and with the help of the sponsor or adopted parents, the child has the opportunity to live a life where she will be able to support children of her own. At birth, it is our right as living creatures, created by some greater force, to have an equal opportunity to live a healthy and prosperous life, and it is our duty as citizens to help others in any way that we see necessary.

The Magna Carta describes a set a rights, responsibilities, and duties for citizens of England, but its ideas have travelled through history to influence crucial documents that serve as the basis of moral conduct and due process today. I believe that in the 21st century, many of the greatest challenges humans face are caused by a lack of moral action. This abbreviated draft of my proposed 21st Century Magna Carta describes a check on the power of those who are able to declare war, the responsibility of governments, the rights of citizens, and the rights of those who do not yet have a voice for themselves.

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Valentina Errazuriz, Chile

Click Here to read Valentina's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta: Majorities
Valentina Errazuriz

Doing things only because other people want you to do them is very bad, but it happens constantly. Before, people had to protect themselves from the king’s tyranny. Now, we have to protect us from the majorities´ tyranny about thinking, doing and being.

Majorities are not always bad, sometimes they are good and help us decide what a group of people –a country for example- should do. But we have to be careful, because we should not impose a unique way of doing things to minorities. We have to have the right to be ourselves and to choose by our opinion not by the others.

Today, this topic is more important than before. On one hand, TV, internet and other communication systems make people think that there is only one way of being happy and right; that being different is bad. On the other hand, social networks make that whatever we do is known by a lot of people almost immediately and cannot be changed. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but could prevent us of doing things we like in order not to be criticized.

In this context we have to define a new set of rights we have to have in mind in our relationship with other people:

I. The right to be yourself and to choose by your own opinion, not by the opinion of others. Because if everyone had the same opinion there would be no heterogeneity in the society and it would not progress.

II. The right of doing things other don’t like. It does not mean that you always do things others don’t like, but if you want to do something you don’t need the approval of all the rest.

III. The right of doing things that are not cool. There are things you want to do, but you don’t do them because you are afraid of what would others say. For example, going to mass a week day, chasing insects with your little brother, etc.

IV. The right of being friendly with people that nobody likes. Because not because others don’t like someone it doesn’t mean that her or he is a bad person.

V. The right of being motivated when others are not. Many times good ideas are not done because no one in a group wants to be seen as enthusiastic but you just need one to start and the rest follows.

VI. The right of dressing comfortable. Sometimes you buy clothes or dress only thinking what other people may say instead of choosing by what you prefer.

VII. The right of not doing what the rest is doing. As much as you need to be able to do what you like, you need to feel free not to do what the group is doing because you find it wrong, risky or just plain boring.

VIII. The right of going to sleep early… whenever you feel tired.

IX. The right of believe in things anyone else believe. Sometimes we believe in the teeth fairy or in Buda and other people have to respect that.

Above all, we need to protect the “right to be wrong”, because there is no way to be happy and no possibility for us to have new ideas and discoveries than being able of making mistakes.

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Rocio Lopez, Chile

Click Here to read Rocio's Magna Carta
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My Carta Magna
Rocio Lopez

The Magna Carta left the humanity one of the most essential and important legacies of all time which are concentrated in the values of freedom and equality of the human being. After the Magna Carta many other ideas and documents, deriving from this article, were stated and pronounced for the well-being of the society after countless injustices and unfairness committed throughout in history. Vital documents acknowledged in history include the Rights of Man and Citizen (1789) written in the year of the French Revolution or the Bill of Rights (1791) written in the USA are the path to the beginnings of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights ratified in the year 1948 and still present in the 21st century. This is the worldwide accepted document proclaimed by the international organism of the United Nations concerning the universal problems or equality, fairness and freedom. The Magna Carta is effectively the father of the Universal Human Rights and this is why the letter is so relevant in history and vividly present nowadays. But are all the terms stated being properly respected and followed as it should be?

If I was told to write my Magna Carta tomorrow, I would emphasize in conflicts within the society that have not being fully accomplished yet by the Declaration of the Human Rights and I will also focus on more actual problems that were not visible at that time. This means giving serious importance to gender equality, environmental issues, sexual orientation support and cultural diversity, for instance.

On the first place I consider gender inequality a very important topic that has been improved over time but I can still notice differences to unequal treats to men over women since I was little. How is it possible that in the 21st century women are still being paid less than men for the same amount and quality of work? Or are even being deprived or expected to hold their studies down due to the fact that they might have children at one point of their lives?. Women’s education has been inconsiderate, their skills have been questioned and their opinion has been completely ignored just to the fact that they, we, are women. I definitely think that this is outrageous and discriminatory but mostly disrespectful to every single woman in the world. This is why I think that international organisms that have being already working with this conflict for a while now, should focused even more to end this mentality in our society that is still present in our daily life once and for all.

Secondly, more current conflicts within the society such as sexual orientation should be given some serious concern for discrimination and prejudice to a percentage of the whole world's population. This topic is not that new now and there are still many cases in which people are not allowed to marry to the person they love, adopt children or are even beaten up to death for just thinking differently. An example of this is the Zamudio case in Chile, my country, where a homosexual boy was beaten up and even tortured in the street for being gay and the bruises lately ended with his life awaking the necessity of a law that would protect them from this serious type of discrimination. Cases like this are visible in the whole world still and we have to change it. I think that there should be more specific laws for this type of discrimination and include this community to the society. The world is changing, it is always changing and will keep changing until the end of time. A very recent example is the right of gay marriage in the USA proclaimed by the US Congress a few weeks ago. I would keep emphasizing in this topic for more equality and hopefully end with this type of discrimination modifying the society's way of thinking.

Another important conflict, that I would give importance, is the global cultural diversity referring to the discrimination and segregation given to immigrants and also to native communities. Many times they are not treated the way it should be, giving them poor or no jobs and separating them from the society that we all should be living in. They have a right of property, a right of opinion, a right to practice their culture and traditions without the fear of being judged by the society. They should all have access to the same quality of education like everyone else have. This is what happens for example in Chile with the native Mapuches. And the same thing happens with disabled people were all over the world they face intimidation and unequal treat because, in some cases, they present different capacities than the rest of us. We are all born equal and should be treated equal in our life.

Last but not least, another issue that was not taken in count before because it was not an issue during the time of the Magna Carta, is the environment. Our environment is our world, it is where we live and therefore it concerns our life. I don’t think that we’ve given that much support to make a real change and an impact in the whole world. Problems may include diseases, fires and therefore destruction and the death of many thousands of animals. Through these numbers of reasons, I would give more relevance to this essential issue that, as previously said, concerns us all as one community.

In conclusion, the Magna Carta has developed the essential values and bases of the common human understanding and interaction worldwide leaving many crucial and essentials legacies and is the father of many documents but most importantly, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Its history and evolution has determined the new social culture and universal laws that we inherit generation after generation. The morals and beliefs written in these documents include liberty, equality, dignity, fairness and respect of every single human being. Although the bases established aren’t always respected or accepted by all countries, the world has the knowledge of the existence of this document that should be enforced and respect it to the ends of the human race. Its relevance comprises the world’s social and moral values within society to take care of the rights of the human being. And if I were to write my own Magna Carta I would probably give more importance to things that I think that have not been changed enough and also specify the terms to avoid discrimination and encourage more equality and freedom, as I described before.

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Laura White, UK*

Click Here to read Laura's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Laura White

My Magna Carta calls for simple laws that create liberty and a better future for our world, that everyone is entitled to. Every leader is held accountable against these rules, no matter their status and are punished severely if they are broken.

Clause 1: Free expression

a) Everybody has the opportunity to contribute towards the politics of their place of residence, through voting, standing as a Parliamentary candidate or protesting against a policy. Politics plays a crucial role in the preservation of our moral standards, responsibilities and ultimately, the state of our future. Politicians hold the most power in to make the world a better place, this power being given to them by the people, therefore people reserve the right to remove and redistribute this power through a democratic election if they deem it necessary. This guarantees the people with the most power in their country have been chosen by the majority, so their work should benefit the majority. Some problems may arise from this, some believing in the notion that leaders are given their right to rule by some form of superior supernatural or spiritual being. However, there is a way of overcoming such a problem: by educating people that dictatorship is not the way forward. If this message is reinforced enough times the next generation will have a different perspective and as a result protest against the dictatorships, which will be supported by democratic countries.

b) Diversity is a cause for celebration, to encourage the individuality that is at the core of humanity, leading to higher penalties for discrimination, deterring potential offenders therefore encouraging the expression of oneself. Although some may believe that by inspiring uniqueness nations of non-conformists will be created, consequently leading to millions who aren't afraid to break the rules so civil wars and rebellions will be more frequent. However, those who hold this opinion are simply afraid of the unknown. For so long civilians have been expected to obey the government without challenging their authority; this is what has led to oppressive regimes who will remain in power until their people are empowered enough to do something about it. The embracement of individuality will ultimately empower civilians to challenge any political rules they do not agree with, creating a place where people are unafraid to speak their mind and therefore are able to change the world for the better.

Clause 2: Protection of security:

a) The inhabitants of this world are entitled to full social security regardless of the financial state of the government, even if this means other nations having to lend money to the less fortunate countries, certifying every person lives in acceptable conditions. Others may state that this could lead to total bankruptcy of the world, but if financially stable countries enter an international agreement to support less developed countries this is possible. Protection of social security will ensure everybody is in the best position to thrive, thus guaranteeing that future generations will have had the best childhood possible, and the best future, as children who grow up in acceptable conditions are ninety five per cent more likely to do better in school, and as a consequence have a better and more stable future.

b) It is important that we respect someone’s right to their own body, hence people should exist without threat of violence: verbal, physical or sexual. By living in a culture where violence is strictly discouraged we create a safe environment where people are permitted to speak their mind. Again this will promote diversity and individuality as people will be behave how they want, in a non-conformist fashion, as they are unafraid to live their life as they please, because violence is disrespected.

Clause 3: Access to services:

a) Access to free education is to be provided everywhere in order to allow a channel for people to escape the cycle of poverty .Education equips people with power, “Knowledge is power”: power to live a respectable life, power to earn a descent income and, most importantly the power to increase ones belief in one’s own abilities. Education is the only means that can open up the doors that lead to employment, and through it a higher quality of life. The prospects of a better future should not be lost due to lack of equal opportunities for education. Some may argue that this global free education will take government spending away from more worthy causes, however we believe nothing will benefit society more than well-educated humans.

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Alice Wilson, UK*

Click Here to read Alice's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Alice Wilson

It is the purpose of a government to ensure wellbeing and equal opportunity amongst its people, to distribute resources fairly, and to protect the weak from the powerful. Every citizen should have access to high quality education, housing, healthcare and other social services. A government should protect the interests of its people, not a few business leaders. Our current government is not doing this. This document sets out to provide a brief outline of a government that would.

1) A fairer system of representation. The current first past the post system is meant to deliver a stable government, but as neither of the main parties can gather enough support, has led to slow-moving coalitions. The system I suggest is proportional representation, to accommodate the many different parties currently involved in British politics. It would allow people to vote for what they believed in, rather than voting tactically to keep the worst party out. It would allow for a single party government, but only if that party had the full support of the country. There would be fairer representation of the wide range of political beliefs on both sides.

2) A written constitution for the country. Britain is one of only four countries in the world without a written constitution. There must be a document enshrining rights against which a government cannot transgress.

3) Increasing of union power. To ensure that it is workers that control their situation, it is important that they have the power of a union. This country's laws are too harsh to be anything but a restriction of the rights and power of the people.

4) Increased contact with and support of grassroots campaigning by the government. Politics does not start in Westminster, but with people's lives. A government cannot be truly effective in people's lives until it is controlled by the needs of those people, and it can't know the needs of those people without contact with them, and not just in the form of polls.

5) The nationalisation of all public services. A public service is run for the good of the people. This is irreconcilable with it being in the hands of those running it purely for profit.

6) Increased inheritance tax. Inheritance gives people an unfair advantage in life, and encourages the accumulation of wealth so it can be passed on. Perhaps if people knew most of it would be taken away by the government after their death, they would not be quite so keen to let money just pile up. The tax would be on a sliding scale, so the small amounts passed along in normal families would be protected, but people becoming millionaires by virtue of being born shall not.

7) The abolition of private education. The ability to buy a better education and so better future for your child is morally wrong. There is no sense of fairness in a society where private schools just confer more privilege on the already extremely privileged. If every child had to attend a state school, this would mean increased attention and pressure on the government on the funding given to state schools, and would eventually mean a better education for everyone.

8) Increased funding for the arts. It is simply not correct that STEM subjects are the most valuable ones, not for the country or the individual, and it is also not correct to try and extract a single monetary value from the vast benefits an education brings. There will be funding for the many diverse arts, not just traditional humanities.

9) Free university education. Higher education cannot be dominated by the elite, for it is not only those with rich parents who are talented.

10) Apprenticeships and other ways into the workplace available. It is no use decrying unemployment rates amongst young people when there is either no work available, or the work is unstable, low-paid and tedious.

10) Recognition of the value of work. It is undeniable that a teacher or a cleaner offers more to society than a banker or an investment lawyer, and we need to recognise this, and in monetary terms.

11) Awareness of our impact on the world. We are not the only creatures on this planet, and we are destroying it with every action. Every effort must be made to replace current energy sources with clean and sustainable ones, with a clear deadline for Britain being run entirely on green energy, and we must come to an international agreement for other countries to do the same. It must also be recognised that a few individuals turning their lights and taps off will not be what brings about change, but forcing businesses to act according to what is right rather than what makes them most money.

I think that it's important to make clear that I am not saying that following these eleven points would create a utopia, but that it would be a step in the right direction. It will not happen overnight, and it may be naively optimistic, but slowly and surely our society can, and I believe that it will, improve.

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*The UK was treated as a separate continent for the purposes of the competition.

 

Cheyenne Jordaan, South Africa

Click Here to read Cheyenne's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Cheyenne Jordaan

Rights and responsibilities are very important so that everyone has what they need and a responsibility that goes with it. My Magna Carta will be explaining the rights of children my age in South Africa.

The first right is education. The load shedding in South Africa has been happening during school hours when we need internet access and light during lessons, especially during winter. I think this is an issue that needs to be resolved. Some schools also don’t provide the students with decent teachers. Not that it happens in my school, but some teachers can’t be bothered to come to school or even teach the students properly. We as children need education but also have a responsibility to get to school on time, study hard and do homework.

The second right is clean water. There has been a lot of pollution and it is ruining our supply of water. As responsible citizens, we should have a day where people volunteer to clean up local ponds, lakes or rivers, we could even clean the beach. Clean water is important because we need it for survival. The beach cleanup will not only keep our water clean, but will also keep the sea creatures safe.

The third right is food. As human beings, we need food for survival. We also need it for getting energy to do things. Some children don’t get much food sometimes, whether their families are not very wealthy or they are not being taken care of properly. The food from the most expensive grocery store is not what is important but what is important is that we are grateful and try to eat healthy. We need food and have a responsibility to be grateful for our food and to not waste a lot.

The fourth right is clothing. Everyone needs clothing, not all of us have the most fashionable or most expensive type of clothing, but any kind will be alright for most children. Some families cannot afford clothing, that’s why we have some charities who donate warm clothes in winter, to families that are in need of clothing. School uniform is also important, even if some schools do not have it, because it allows everyone to mingle with other kids. This is because it splits them up into groups, some with the kids who wear the most expensive clothes and others who wear the ordinary clothes every day. We have the responsibility to not damage or lose our clothes and to also take care of them.

The last right I will be explaining is safety. We all need a loving home and someone to take care of us. Children shouldn't be abused but should be loved by their families. A friend of mine was abused once, that should definitely not be allowed. There is a fine line between abuse and discipline, anyone who crosses that line should be put in prison. All children deserve loving parents in a loving home. They also have a responsibility to listen to their parents and help out with chores.

Every right I have explained came with a responsibility. Everyone deserves rights and a responsibility to go with each one.

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Holly Ringwood, South Africa

Click Here to read Holly's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Holly Ringwood

My name is Holly Ringwood and I am 13 years old. I believe that there is more to us, more to this world than the destruction that is happening. Sure there have been huge tragedies in the past, but it is now, at the highest pinnacle of problems where everyone in the world needs to come together and work together to prove that we, as a world can function as a group of people we can live and as individuals and as a whole we can thrive.

What I will mention next is what I believe will make (literally) the world go round.

PROTECTION

We all need protection. Without it we could not exist and couldn’t contribute to the planet. Everyone needs protection to survive.

•PHYSICAL HARM
-People cannot be hurt by someone else. It is inhumane and not right.

•We should also be protected from development. It is totally unnecessary for us to keep on building more and more shopping centres and buildings that all contribute to pollution. We need to protect our earth; it’s the only one we have. Not everyone wants to live on Mars. In 50 years’ time, we don’t need an I-phone 72; it will be completely illogical for us to travel on carbon-emitting hover crafts. They’re just lifting us closer to the sun that will fry us anyway. We need to protect our earth which is protecting us.

•People might think it’s stupid, but we also need protection against words. There are too many people doing themselves in because of what other people say. They may not have been physically hurt, but I believe that words go much deeper than cuts. Scars and bruises eventually fade, but words get written on your heart in permanent marker. If we can stop this, we can lower, not eliminate, but lover the international suicide rates, which have heavily increased in the last few years.

FREEDOM

•FREEDOM OF SPEECH.
-The obvious one, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and is allowed to voice it when it is acceptable. You should not interrupt someone when they’re talking. Its basic human etiquette.

•FREEDOM OF RELIGION
-Another obvious one. There are too many wars and disagreements over religion. I don’t believe that there is anything I can do as one person, but I know that various religions can coincide with one another. There is the Isis War, where they are beheading Christians and journalists, and I fear for my life, its illogical, but I fear it because I am a Christian and among the many things I want to be, a journalist.

•FREEDOM TO HEALTH
-It is so unfair that 3rd world countries live in such poor circumstances. Everyone should have the right to clean, fresh drinking water and three good square meals a day, and everyone of age should have a good job so that they can support their families. The living conditions are not helping health either. Young and older people are being exposed to drugs in their own homes, live near or almost in sewerage plants and are just around toxic and unhealthy substances too often. As common wealth and 1st world countries, please, we need to do something! I feel most passionate about this because I see it every day where I live.

As I have said, as a world we can do some pretty awe-inspiring and incredible things if we could only work together, nut right now we are worlds apart, so let us unite and thrive together, let’s make the world a better a better place, because it deserves a lot more than its got. This is my Magna Carta.

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Mishka Parker, South Africa

Click Here to read Mishka's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Mishka Parker

Right of Equality :

Equality is something that I think would make a magnificent right to share amongst people of all ages. I believe that all people should not be compared to one another in a bad way because he or she is different. Many people say that equality is always about treating people the same, but equality is about treating all people in a way that the outcome for each person can be the same. Everyone deserves the right to express themselves which is why equality would make a magnificent right.

The Right to Personal Support & Health Care for Children:

There are many children that live homeless on the streets. They have no access to warm, comfortable clothes like we do and they can't buy enough food to fill their stomachs. This issue is exactly the reason why Support and Health Care are important. Every person in our world is sharing the same planet, so should it not be that every child that is on the streets be supported with a good home, food and clean clothes? Every child deserves that,which makes it another deserving Right.

The Right of Access to Clean Water:

Unfortunately in many rural areas, the access to clean water is sometimes a bit difficult. Some of the only ways to access to clean water in these rural areas include wells & rivers. Once again unfortunately those open accesses are terribly far distances from the villages & townships of the people living in those areas. Even if the person finds close access to a tap, often the water is polluted. By drinking this water it has caused sickness which has spread through many areas and is a problem that needs to be solved. Access to clean water should really be focused as a Right, to avoid illness.

The Right to Privacy:

Private lives can be hard to protect in the case of people talking, planning, shopping and communicating online. The trouble with privacy online is a very serious case. The people that are involved in certain messaging companies have created a system in which for example: someone decides to delete a message, that private information which has been erased can still be seen. It is not only text but emails as well, that are being changed from private to public. Privacy should also be considered for all people that are well known by the public. Pictures are being taken and are being put in magazine covers, television and in newspapers. Unfortunately these pictures are been given false and unnecessary headlines which boost the credit of the news reporters as well as the person responsible for writing the articles, although it ruins the reputations of the celebrities. This issue is definitely invasion of privacy and should not be tolerated anywhere for that matter. This is the reason why The Right to Privacy is such an important issue.

These are the rights that I feel is most important and I hope that they will be taken into consideration.

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Ch. Muhammad Akmal Khan, Pakistan

Click Here to read Ch. Muhammad's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Ch. Muhammad Akmal Khan

All the people are free and have equal rights; men, women, children all have the same human rights without any discrimination of clan, race, color, status, religion etc. Everyone has the right to live freely without fear. Basic facilities should be available to all as food, water, shelter and security. Education, health, law and order are for everyone. Steps should be taken to eliminate poverty, which is one of the major problems of Pakistan.

All people have the right to freedom of Speech, expression, and freedom to criticize within a certain limit. Each person has the freedom to form own party and to vote, freedom of religion, association with any culture, choosing ones’ profession, and to live life independently without restrictions from society. Children will be independent after eighteen years of age to follow their hearts.

All have the right to free medical facilities, especially for the people living in desert and people living far from hospitals.

My country’s government has to provide free education for all people at least till basic level of education. It is the government’s duty to provide books and uniforms to every student for free. Affordable higher education should be guaranteed. Trained and experienced teachers, information technology labs should be accessible to all students, whether in rural or urban areas.

System of government should be according to wishes of the people. Democracy is government of people, by people and for people. Free and fair elections must be ensured, no rigging in election should be allowed in any case. Unity of the nation under leadership is also government’s job.

Terrorism will not be tolerated by anyone, it is one of the biggest problems of our country. We are almost accused of all the terrorist attacks. I think we should take strict measures to stop terrorism. It is not just a threat to us but to the whole world. No specific religion will be tagged with terrorism; only the individuals who are terrorists will be punished.

Corruption must be eliminated, for this reason strict law and order implementation is necessary. Accountability of corrupt traitors will be done by Politicians (opposition), judiciary and unbiased media. These institutions of the country must perform their duty impartially, if they fail to do so, they will also be held accountable.

Inflation should be controlled by the government. The price of petrol is too high. It is the need for means of transportation. While the rest of the world’s petrol price is low our petrol price is still high. The government should decrease the price of petrol.

Government must control unemployment. Many citizens of Pakistan are unemployed and they are just in their homes doing nothing. The government jobs don’t have much salary as compared to Private jobs. The government should recruit on merit and give salary befitting the jobs.

Even though we have sunlight and rivers, Pakistan still has not made enough electricity for its citizens. Load shedding must be dealt with immediately, the roof topping prices of electricity. We should use Solar Panels and utilize sunlight.

Government should lower taxes, rich people can pay the taxes but middle class and poor people are struggling to give the taxes.

To stabilize economy, a balance in export imports is necessary. Pakistan’s ratio of importing is increasing while the ratio of exporting is decreasing. Because of this the country economic system is falling.

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Ryan Chan, Hong Kong

Click Here to read Ryan's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta : To all dwelling on Earth and political entities
Ryan Chan

Welcome to the 21st century. So many changes have been seen. The 1900s versus the second millennium. The world's progressing at an unprecedented speed.

What were the greatest changes? Technological advances? Drafting of international law? Tyrannies overthrown? None would have been possible without war.

Therefore, this new Charter doesn't aim at preventing war. Instead, it is a means for belligerents to learn how to reduce negative impacts of war.

Think about the people who marvel at special stone tablets, some in Turkey and the rest in Egypt. What makes the Egyptian-Hittite peace treaty valuable? Historical value? Craftsmanship? No. People seeing the treaty wonder how man circa 3274 years ago could fraternize after long, indecisive battles and how modern man cannot. Not only did two hostile countries lay down arms, but forged an alliance, pledging mutual assistance.

We returned back to square one, our foolish acts being ceaseless. Apart from the glorious cause, there is always the darker side of war.

The old Magna Carta didn’t work well in its days. Nobody was willing to keep promises. With other interests, the King was forced to seal it.

A civilian, I'm not affiliated to any political entities. Without personal interests, this Charter is neutral and unbiased.

There are two clauses in this Magna Carta.

Clause One handles religious conflicts. It seems as though such clashes are unavoidable. Although some fight in the name of religion, the irreligious often get entangled. They may intervene or be injured, innocent or not, causing unnecessary involvement.

Notable cases of religious warfare – the Crusades and the Thirty Years’ War show that such conflicts are prolonged and inconclusive and cause irrelevant political struggles.

Think about the number of men mustered and lost, the looting by Crusaders or the shifted focus of the Thirty Years’ War. It’s evident that what the combatants did was extraneous in regard to the main objectives of these wars.

Why fight over something spiritual physically? Religious territory can overlap. It’s not physical. Religions attempting to coerce world submission to a religion for peace shouldn’t involve violence.

However, religions willing to expand aren’t cults. Some fear Muslims, whom are presumed to participate in jihad. Jihad is not evil. The definition of jihad is disputed within the Islamic community, and some do view it as physical battles to eradicate enemies of Islam. The outside world ought to avoid provocation.

Profess religions instead of pressuring people to assume them by force. Do not tag religions with members actively involved in war as targets to attack. Stakeholders should accept the religions of others and make efforts to reduce friction. The religious should show respect to other religions to allow compromise.

Clause Two focuses on political battles. If political tension is to be resolved, it is the safety of the civilians that is crucial. To minimize losses, belligerents should discuss the protection of residents by evacuation or setting up neutral zones around residential areas. Neutral groups and humanitarian efforts should not be interfered or threatened.

World War II began as a political struggle between leaders (the minority). Eventually, 50 to 80 million died, let alone injuries. It was the masses that suffered, not the handful instigating war.

It’s imperative for politicians to be aware of the plight of the population. Also, consider reality – nothing can be universally accepted and differences exist. No one has rights to make people agree to fallible remarks.

No inferior ethnic group exists. Everyone is equal. Similarly, no country is superior over all.

To conclude, innovation is better than agitation. Countries should think, not fight, their way out of crises.

Wars end in peace, regardless of nature. It’s how peace is achieved that matters. Unfortunately, it is usually short-lived.

Wars should be avoided, yet conflicts do happen. If common rules are followed, the glory of war will be restored, fewer tragedies will occur and we will benefit from war.

I hope that wars from now on would bring good to the world. Wars are essential to the progress of civilisation but there is a time when we should learn from mistakes and foster the brotherhood we treasure, when we remember our forefathers who invented peace. We see these values now and again, but I sincerely hope that they are not confined to stone tablets in museums. Live out the spirit of those who learned to settle differences and understood benefits of being amiable over futile hostilities.

The time has come. It is now.

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Alexandra Nadin Tamer, Turkey

Click Here to read Alexandra's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Alexandra Nadin Tamer

There is always something that people need to be protected from, regardless of time or place. In 2015, many people in different countries need to be shielded from their governments, even though citizens elect them themselves.

Indirect democracies are the most common kind of democracies. They allow citizens to elect their own government from different parties composed of politicians. All these parties have varying opinions about how the government should be run. People can then go and vote for the parties they think will do the best for the citizens. Thus, governments are responsible to fulfil the expectations of the voters. Unfortunately, governments do not always fulfil the responsibilities they were entrusted with. They may violate citizens’ freedom of speech, their right to privacy or equal treatment regardless of their gender, race, etc. All of these are basic human rights that should be provided by the government. The problem is that this is not always true.

One of the human rights that we possess, and often disregarded by the government, is freedom of speech. Governments may unfortunately censor things that they do not agree with. This is a clear violation of human rights, and not permissible. Another right that is breached too often is the right to privacy. Although privacy is much more difficult to obtain in the digital era, it is still something that we should be allowed to have. The government monitoring information we don’t want to share, whether digital or real, is not acceptable. One final right, discussed possibly most intensely of all, is equality. Regrettably, these discussions do not yield results easily, and gender, race, religion and other discrimination still continues, even carried out by governments.

In the end, solving all these problems comes down to controlling the government. Protests performed by citizens could potentially force the government to pass some laws, but there is still no guarantee that these laws will be effective.

The best way for the government to be controlled is for the citizens to do it. Citizens should play a larger role in the ruling of the state, for example by voting on the more important laws. Also, to control the government, citizens should be given the power to warn and/or re-elect the government when they feel that it is exceeding its limits. A council comprised of citizens could be created to do this job. However, this only creates the risk of having to control the council as well, as power is known to get to people’s heads. Therefore, it is most logical to rely less on indirect democracies, and move on to direct democracies. This way is the safest and most reliable way to control governments.

In conclusion, many of the issues that citizens are unsatisfied with arise because the citizens are not involved enough in the passing of laws and ruling of the country. Indirect democracies can lead to the government disregarding their citizens. After all, it’s not a democracy if citizens are being crushed by the government they elected themselves.

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Mihnea Sebastian Burlacu, Romania

Click Here to read Mihnea's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Mihnea Sebastian Burlacu

This year England celebrates the 800th of the Magna Carta. What is Magna Carta? Magna Carta, also called Magna Carta Libertatum is supposed to be the first Constitution from the entire world. This important act was signed by the barons of medieval England and King John at Runnymede, near Windsor Castle. The document was a series of written promises between the king and his subjects that he, the king, would govern England and deal with its people according to the customs of feudal law. Magna Carta was an attempt by the barons to stop a king, in this case John, abusing his power with the people of England suffering. I tried to remember this facts because I considered that to be important for mentioning in the beginning of my paper. This is the real history!

But, starting from this paragraph I will try to imagine a Constitution, like Magna Carta for us, children. Let’s imagine a scenario where all children could be like adults. We will need laws, we will need good management for our children virtual society. Regarding the certain inputs of our Magna Carta, children Magna Carta I can mention the most important that is … NO WAR! We don’t need argues, fights or things like that to show to entire world what strong we are. The words are the instruments that convince all people about good things, about rules and so on … This was the first point of my Magna Carta.

Second one, and almost with the same importance as first one is that we must provide freedom for all member of our society. We need freedom to help us to develop the society, to have ideas for growing our group.

In accordance with these two points, the third one will show entire world that we, children, consider the education the most important tool for a society to be very modern and well developed. So, the third point of My Magna Carta will be free education for all members of the society.

The fourth point of this important act should be about health. Our society need healthy people so, we will provide free health system for all people of our society.

The fifth one, and finally, last one, is about justice system. The society needs justice system which helps people to have rights, to have good laws that could help them.

All of these five points, putted together in what is called My Magna Carta are well thought out after our consideration even we are just children. After 800 year, we, children have the opportunity to show our ideas in order to participate at a virtual political system.

Our parents consider that we need to learn, we need to play for develop our ideas but, we don’t need to be mature to see that in our world we have too many wars, we have too many argues, we have poor people without food and without basic things for their life. This is the main reason for my thinking. This is the reason for my project which I called My Magna Carta. This could be considered like a primary Constitution for any country of our planet. Am I wrong? I suppose not!

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Ainara Maria Montellano Badillo, Mexico

Click Here to read Ainara's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Ainara Maria Montellano Badillo

This is a version of the Magna Carta written by me. It has laws and opinions invented, improved, or copied by me to add to the Magna Carta.

Both men and women of any age, race, religion, height, nationality or opinion must be given food, home, medical aid, a legal, caring family (necessary for underage children),free education if private schools are unavailable or not affordable, the right to vote, the same chance to a family, job, salary, and partner. I think this law is important so there is no unfairness or inequality between people. All laws written here apply to any person with any characteristics.

No man (or woman, for that matter) shall be taken, imprisoned or in any way destroyed except by the lawful judgement of his peers, or by the law of the land.

To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or delay, right or justice. I think this law and the former are fair because they were accepted long ago and have stayed for a long time with no problems (that I know of).

Every tree if cut should be cut down with permission from the owner, and several more trees will be planted to replace the chopped tree.

No wild animal will be restrained from freedom under any circumstances. This law and the former seem fair to me since animals and plants are living creatures, just like us humans.

Citizens of a land or city must be informed of any plans being used or created by the government. This seems like a good idea to me, because people have the right to know what will happen to their home.

All religions and non-religions and all followers of said religions should be treated equally and non-violently. This should work out because discrimination solves nothing and this tries to stop it.

Handicapped/disabled people (this law also applies to pregnant women) should be given what needed medically and socially, and in the workplace, given time to heal or give birth (with full pay), until they are ready to go back to their home or workplace. I think this is fair since people need time to rest when important events like surgery or childbirth happen. Women, if they don´t have time to pay attention to the child(ren) should be given access to a childcare center.

Buildings must be built to nurse or shelter anyone in need, even if the government money was going to be used elsewhere- like statues, libraries, etc. I think this is fair because some governments use money up in statues while there are thousands of people living in the streets.

Weapons should not be allowed, unless when used for self defense, and using timed tranquilizing or sleep darts. I think this is important, it would stop many murders.

Any kind of abuse or conflict (including blackmail, slavery and kidnapping) should be controlled and informed to anyone able to stop it or solve it diplomatically. I think this is an important law to make life easier and safer for the unprotected.

Public service (government) employers will be punished more severely than people that don´t work for the government. I think this is fair because government workers that do something illegal are betraying the whole country, on that high level.

Basic education, water, food and home should be free of charge. This should make it easier for people with scarce money to have a nice, easy and comfortable life.

Every government whether democratic, a monarchy, etc. Must treat their citizens equally, and fairly, without any ridiculous/ insensitive tasks assigned by the government, and the government should pay attention to the people´s opinion. I think this would be an important law to have, since equality and opinions are important for a good place to live.

Natural resources must be used with care and measure and will only be used and taken with permission from the owner of the territory. This law should help the planet, since natural resources will be used less and will be less needed.

Legal, and good police supervision should be given to elders, children, and adults alike, at all places. The protection shouldn´t be too close, unless request. This law should make people feel and be safer.

These are the laws I think should be added to a modern Magna Carta.

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Isabella Henderson, Bermuda

Click Here to read Isabella's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Isabella Henderson

The Magna Carta or “Great Charter” is one of the most important foundational documents in international human rights, establishing the legal landscape for the evolution of parliamentary democracies, the United Kingdom’s declaration of rights and the Constitution of the United States of America. However, as important as all of these declarations of rights remain, they apply to places and times which are becoming less and less relevant to me: a twelve year old girl in Bermuda. I have been given the opportunity to write my own Magna Carta and, for this project, have chosen to write a Charter of Rights for my country, Bermuda.

The first right of Bermuda, is possibly the most important rule and is one which covers a lot of crucial points: Equality of Opportunity. Dissimilarities should not be used to disfavour any person whatever their sex, gender, ethnicity, religion or age. Bermuda is a diverse community, but underneath we are all the same and should be entitled to the same opportunity.

Another right of Bermuda should be that everybody should be allowed to enjoy Bermuda’s environment and unique oceans; however nobody should be permitted to destroy it. Keeping Bermuda’s environment clean and free from pollution is extremely important to our community because we get the water that we drink from the rain and this is essential for Bermudians.

Violence crime is a global issue and Bermuda is no exception. Therefore it is still an issue that is necessary to be addressed. This is obviously extremely dangerous and there should be a fundamental right for everyone to feel safe and comfortable at home and in the streets.

18 year olds are allowed to vote. 16 year olds are allowed to fight in a war and risk their lives for their countries. I think that a rule should be that the voting age should be lowered. If individuals are allowed to fight for their countries rights then they should definitely be allowed to vote for their country as well. This would extend the right to participate in a democratic process.

Bermuda is one of the wealthiest countries in the world however many Bermudians suffer health issues due to poor diet and nutrition. Bermuda imports most of its food, much of which is processed and high in sugar and saturated fats. Nutritious food is expensive any many Bermudians with lower incomes have poor diets. It should be a fundamental right to have access to an affordable nutritious diet.

The Magna Carta has been usually influential charter of right throughout the ages. It inspired many universal rights. This Bermuda charter of rights addresses the principal issues that Bermuda faces today and I feel that if Bermudians embraced these rights and duties that Bermuda would be a better place for all.

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Lily Davies-Potter, UK*

Click Here to read Lily's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Lily Davies-Potter

Magna Carta 2015 - What does this mean for us, now? I have considered this is in the spirit of the original document of 1215. It will have core values that are in line with the original Magna Carta. That is, fairness for all citizens. Limiting the power of the ruler. A fair judicial process along with freedom and tolerance to shine forth upon our clouded hills.

I feel passionately about modernising the Magna Carta through my proposal which I will outline in the following areas:

- Education and the Voice of young people
- Poverty and Inequality
- And the Environment

The unfairness of large class sizes, lack of facilities and poorly maintained buildings is causing inequality for children and young people today. Are we going to allow the focus on academic results rather than pupils’ progress and wellbeing? This is hindering the prosperity of a ‘Great’ Britain, as well as damaging our future as an educated nation.

Teachers need more support for example; more teaching assistants in the classrooms and greater access to educational psychologists to help assess pupil’s needs. Schools should be measured on pupil wellbeing and value added data rather than raw examination results. Currently 16 per cent, or 5.2 million adults in England, can be described as "functionally illiterate", they have literacy levels at or below those expected of an 11-year-old – this is not acceptable.

I would like to propose that young people have more input in to society and the running of the government, and that 16 year olds would be able to vote. Young people have an important voice and it is vital that they can have input into their own future and that of the UK.

Surely, there would be no opposition to a proposal of a nation where all children and young people are educated to their own specific needs and have a voice to influence society and policies?

Poverty in the UK is rising with increasing numbers of homeless people in addition to adults and children living in unacceptable housing. One in two children in most deprived areas live below the poverty line, while 2.3 million are classified as living in relative poverty. Often these children do not have enough to eat and arrive at school hungry. Food bank usage has increased but also so has childhood obesity which is the highest in Europe. One third of children in the UK are overweight or obese and around one in three people admitted to hospital or care homes in the UK are found to be malnourished or at risk of malnourishment.

I suggest a minimum standard of living for all citizens; schools will be funded to provide more sports teaching and facilities, cookery and nutrition lessons.

Many people live in built up areas with little green space and they cannot get to the countryside or coast very easily. Our physical environment is very important as it provides spiritual refreshment. This is especially important for children. Think of a time when you were happy as a child and felt peaceful – it was probably when you were outside playing in a natural environment. It is so important to have the freedom to feel the sun on your face and the wind in your hair, without these opportunities life is limited.

I propose that people have the right to access the country side, coast and green spaces like parks. Maybe this could happen by providing free or reduced cost of public transport at weekends.

When considering new buildings the architects need to think about the green space areas and maybe old abandoned buildings could be either knocked down and made into green areas or changed into accommodation so that new houses do not need to be built which would decrease spaces for parks.

More allotments should be made available to allow people to grow some of their own food.

The Magna Carta needs to be both celebrated and updated as we are now 800 years on from when the original was published. We do not want to take anything for granted in the twenty first century, but we face different challenges to freedoms and it is vital to acknowledge and address these.

I dream of a fairer and more tolerant United Kingdom with its citizens at the heart of the country. Would you not agree that education and considering the voice of our young people is the key to solving the issues we are faced with today?

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Siew Yen Loke, UK*

Click Here to read Siew Yen's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Siew Yen Loke

We all come from somewhere. I happen to come from one of the most fascinating countries on the planet, where towering skyscrapers merge into melting-hot jungles of intense greenery. Though brought up overseas, I have been largely exposed to the dominant issues within Malaysia’s walls by frequent studies of recent political articles concerning this area. It is my conclusion that those in the country are commonly denied some of their most basic human rights. Where I living in Malaysia I may be subject to imprisonment for this statement - but this only shows how backward in certain aspects our culture has become.

Inequity is a major concern and still constantly prevalent in our daily lives. Malaysia has been offered the services of millions of Chinese and those of multiple different nationalities, but is it happy? No. Malay-only universities are a sure sign that immigrants are not wanted, for fear that they will steal the university places and jobs which should supposedly belong to the original inhabitants of the country. I am not saying that Malaysia is the only guilty party. Numerous campaigns against foreign immigrants echo each other all over the world. In the United Kingdom, UKIP stands up to promote British people. However, there are many problems with this argument. How far are we going to examine the history of the world to determine who is British and who is not? How is it ethically correct to favour one nationality over another, when it is widely accepted that we are all equal? How to define who is ‘at home’ from who should ‘go home’? It is far simpler, and much fairer, to accept with welcoming arms those who will bring no detrimental effect upon the country and possibly even help it prosper.

The right to free speech is internationally accepted as an inalienable one. Man should be allowed to choose what he does or does not say, to his own good or bad. Criticism can be and often is constructive. Why, then, are those foolish enough to openly criticize the Malaysian government made to serve a prison sentence? No system is perfect. Why should the Malaysian one be any exception? It is only right that people are provided with the opportunity to speak up for what they believe in; there should be no distinction between valid and invalid opinions. Imprisonment changes nothing.

When the Sedition Act is one day finally abolished, I will know that the Malaysian government has at last seen sense. Currently they are actually considering extending the sentence to include a longer maximum jail term, and to what end? Not only this, but Malaysia’s politicians have also recently passed a horrendous anti-terror legislation reintroducing detention without trial, a law which could send numerous completely innocent individuals to prison for years. This defies our most common principles.

We all come from somewhere. We all deserve fair chances and equal rights. And just as skyscrapers blend seamlessly into rainforests throughout Malaysia, so should we fit together as one: united communities bound by a government which bends to the needs of its ever-expanding population. May the next generation prevail in its battle for liberty where our ancestors have fought and failed.

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Eva Nailard, UK*

Click Here to read Eva's Magna Carta
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A Magna Carta for the 21st Century
Eva Nailard

The Magna Carta was written in 1215 when the King of England was forced to agree to treat his Barons fairly, but this really only affected the rulers of the country. In 1776, the Americans used the principles in the Magna Carta as the basis for their declaration of independence, but this was really for those that paid taxes. In 1948 the Declaration of Human Rights attempted to be a modern Magna Carta giving all the people in the United Nations basic freedoms, but this was for countries to do, but many haven’t. Now, in the 21st century perhaps we need a new Magna Carta for individual people throughout the world.

The modern Magna Carta that I would propose would have one aim. It would be to give people the basic tools to make the most of their abilities. It would be give them the rights that would allow them to have the body, soul and mind to meet this aim.

The first set of issues that should be addressed in a modern Magna Carta is the Body. This means that people should have a home, access to healthcare, enough to eat and clean water to drink. Having access to these four items will make sure that people are healthy enough to make the most of their abilities. They will be able to concentrate on developing themselves without having to worry about finding food, or being affected by disease or disability.

The second set of issues concerns the Soul. Everyone should have the right to freedom of information and freedom of expression. Today, in the 21st century, we hear many stories of people being persecuted because of their religion and discriminated against because of the colour of their skin. In this modern era, everyone should have learnt from history’s mistakes. Unfortunately, they haven’t. Everyone should be entitled to the right of freedom of information with people all over the world able to access the internet, newspapers and books to find out what is happening and to be able to decide upon the truth behind any issue. They should be able to do this without living in fear. People should also be free to express their views without fear and to be able to tell the truth about what is happening in their part of the world. Hopefully, people will be inspired to make a difference when they know they are free from censorship, persecution and discrimination.

The last issue in my Magna Carta is about the Mind. All people should have a right to a basic education, and access to higher education if they are able. People need to learn to read and write if they are to take advantage of freedom of information and expression. Education makes sure that people who are fit and well are not exploited for poorly paid manual labour. People need to understand that sending their children to school rather than forcing them into work from a young age will reduce poverty far faster, when those children are able to use their education to get better jobs and create better opportunities for themselves.

The aim of my 21st century Magna Carta is to support people throughout the world that are disadvantaged. The aim is to help them make the most of their abilities. I hope that one day issues like ill-health, hunger, discrimination and lack of education will become something that we study in the history books, just like the original Magna Carta.

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Damon Duchenne, Mauritius

Click Here to read Damon's Magna Carta
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Damon Duchenne

My Magna Carta : The Great Charter has inspired key documents in history : the US Declaration of Independence and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but it is equally true that over eight centuries, that once groundbreaking document lost its greatness and its applicability, at the dawn of this third millennium. Hence, a more sophisticated sequel to the Magna Carta with articles encompassing issues of democracy, justice and human sustainability, is to emerge. The forthcoming articles shall ensure that values defended in 1215 are reinforced and perpetuated to the best extent today.

(1) Article 40 of the Magna Carta: "To no one deny or delay right or justice." It is right for countries to restrain from jeopardizing poor nations through unfair or malicious terms of trade when free trade agreements exist, and from indulging in mass sea or land pollution which have negative impacts on other economies. Thus, a "Mutual Understanding Treaty (MUT)" shall be enacted by the WTO setting fair trading conditions and placing limits to which international areas can be dumped by a country. The UN General Assembly shall empower the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to resolve a member state's grievances by applying fair sanctions on nations failing to comply with the MUT: fines (redirected to UN), suspension of privileges and redesigning of terms of trade to favour previously disadvantaged countries.

(2) The Magna Carta led to De Monfort's parliament. This 2015 charter is to create an unprecedented type of government and parliament. For democracy to flourish, rulers have to be appointed directly by the people. Citizens will elect a candidate for each ministry. Candidates and party-candidates will publish their proposals for the ministry they are standing for in their manifestos. At elections, voters will elect, irrespective of parties, who best suits in each ministry by considering their "pre-elections" ideas for the coming years. Each elected minister will work towards achieving his proposals. In doing so, he will be able to write any necessary acts, and will submit them to the head of state directly for ratification, since by being chosen by the people, his proposals too were. Any new laws or measures a minister wants to get passed, which was not in his manifesto will have to be submitted to parliament for debate as usual. The prime minister is appointed by the head of state to ensure harmony and coordination among ministries, mainly if the government is a coalition. A government of the people for the people!

(3)Barons were conferred power at Runnymede in 1215 as they approached and pressurized the king, this was a type of direct democracy being born. Lawful petitions can be organised, through “electronic direct democracy”, by a group of common-viewers who : wishes to propose a law ; wants to halt a government decision ; or demands for a purpose. It should be law that in cases of petitions obtaining at least 1/3 of the national or a regional population, the executive or local council shall organise a national or regional referendum on the issue concerned, and the outcome of it shall be binding by the government, as the grassroots of the population wanted it like that. It is the will of the people!

(4)Huge scutages levied on men before the Magna Carta widened inequality between the rich and the poor. Inequality persists between countries and it is synonymous to injustice. There shall be a UN Executive Committee whose members are elected by the UN General Assembly. The committee will have to redistribute wealth among countries in the fairest possible way. Any country can contribute resources to the Committee in these terms: HDI Top 20 nations shall provide at least 3% of their surplus of resources or revenue; last 30 are forbidden to contribute as they are the countries in need of resources, other countries can give a minimum of 2%. There shall be a "recognition treaty" to ensure that the top 5 donating countries are rewarded by being favoured by the benefitting last 30 countries in import/export processes and in hosting of foreign firms. Rich countries will be encouraged to reach out to the needy.

(5) King John had 25 elected barons watching after his full adherence to law and the Magna Carta (clause 61), he could even be sanctioned through land seizures etc. , he was not to be above the law. Today many are still above it - most heads of state enjoy full immunity and are free to act at will. Democratic countries shall have their highest judicial court empowered to nullify heads' excessive decisions and to overthrow them legitimately when: they make obvious abuses ; when an emergency state goes beyond 40 days ; when unrest or conflicts are mishandled ; or when a coup-d'état has occurred. The court shall then declare unanimously a "state of krytocracy" whereby the judges take power, terminate parliament and take control of all national forces, without political influences. The bench will have 6 months to restore democracy, rule of law and organize free and fair elections. They will also judge the head of state for any breaches. "Habeas Corpus for all!"

6)There shall be International Corporate Laws(ICL), free to be signed by any countries which aim at putting a halt to abuses of multinationals which exploit low-waged workers or which deplete a country's natural resources. ICL have multinationals to : inability to exit a host country in less than 2 years after setting up there unless allowed by the country's government to do so; firms using any natural resources shall reduce their input of these resources by 5% of previous year, each year up to 10 years ; an International CSR Organisation shall be set up by the UN Secretariat for it to establish global programmes to improve the environment and education in countries adversely affected by multinationals' activities, thus establishing somewhat justice. Firms tagged to be causing negative externalities by the Organization will have to devote 2% to 10% of their global profits to the International CSR Organisation. As such, economically feeble countries will receive an international CSR compensating for injustice and harms they were subject to.

(7) When the church was made independent in 1215, those who were not Catholics certainly had to protect their selves and their properties. Liberty to express oneself through the Internet, books etc. shall not hurt anyone or be displayed to him or her without due consent. To ensure that any work's content is comparable and are easily assessed by any religions, any countries, or even individuals worldwide, a "Universal Censorship Scale(UCS)" is hereby devised for all to identify the position of others on one's particular work, so judgments can be made by religions on moral content, or on cultural aspects by nations etc. The UCS is assessed from 1 to 10 in 4 criteria: violence, sexuality, religious outrage, cultural endangering. Variations in rating will enable authorities to make wisest decisions upon censorship measures with regard to others' points of view on the matter.

After that of 1215, 1217 etc., the 2015 Great Charter is here to succeed to all the other and to pave the way for a world where justice rhymes with democracy, and the two with rule of law, in the coming 800 years. It needs not be sealed but signed by anyone who believes such a world is somewhere in sight. This Charter is not to be nullified in a week like some, but is called to last for decades, and to reinvent democracy and liberty which we know today.

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Gerald Erasmus, South Africa

Click Here to read Gerald's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Gerald Erasmus

Bear in mind that these clauses are stated for safety and peace, as well as the well-being of all who are protected under them. All rights stated are unalienable.

1. Freedom is no luxury, but should be looked upon as a right. All who do not look upon this right as such and deny the right to others shall be followed up by the law. With this goes the right to live and all those who violate this will also be followed up by the law. Anybody is allowed to establish a family and live together with partners of their own choosing.

2. Education is the foundation of tomorrow and shall be treated as such, by giving the right of free education to all those under the age of 21. They are obligated to attend a formal school till they age 16. This applies to colleges, universities, primary schools, high schools, home schools as well as internet schools.

3. Those who are found guilty of acts of treason, murder, kidnapping, attempt to murder, statutory rape, etc. will be arrested and assigned a fair trial. The arrest shall take place as laid down by the law. An Attorney/representative shall be appointed if the condemned does not have one. If the prosecuted does not wish to have a trial he shall be brought to a judge and be sentenced. Bail can be granted unless the court sees the condemned as unfit.

4. Everybody is born equal, free and have the same rights.

5. No search or entry shall be permitted, thus privacy shall be ordained, unless decreed by law, by means of warrants, etc. All other entry without permission is seen as breaking and entering, which is a criminal offence.

6. Everybody has a right to choose their own religion and cannot be subjected to one they wish not to be part of. With that born in mind, the places associated with religious occurrences shall be respected.No one is obligated to be part of a religion if they do not want to be.

7. People shall not be harassed or discriminated against, based on their gender. Everybody is equal and shall be treated as such.

8. No one shall be discriminated against because of a physical handicap. Special preparations should be made to give people who are disabled access and maneuverability in public places such as churches, shopping centers, etc.

9. All children are born free and have the right to health, to secure education and equal treatment. No discrimination based on race, gender, language, marital status, culture or religion, shall be tolerated. The best interests of the children should always be taken in consideration. No child shall be forced to work or perform any kind of service for the employers of their parents or any other family member.

10. Water is a necessity as well as a scarcity. Everybody should have access to clean, drinkable water.

11. Prostitution is illegal as long as this clause is in effect. With this goes public nudity.

12. Those whose rights have been ‘taken’ from them-meaning one has been robbed, etc, are legally given the right to free legal advice and or assistance in court, if needed.

13. Slavery and human trafficking is in no way acceptable by law and is punishable without reservation (within range of the law).

14. One cannot harm another in an attempt to preserve one’s own rights, unless it is in self defense.

15. Though there are to be no illegal immigrants, green cards are available for all who would wish to transfer to another country (if they are no threat to the society they wish to join)

16. People with terminal illnesses, like cancer, etc, are given free medical aid if needed.

17. There is housing for those who cannot afford it and is homeless.

18. No one shall be removed from his or her home except by order of a court.

19. There shall be freedom of association, including the right to join trade unions, residents, students, etc, to form and participate in non-governmental organisations.

20. There is a range of languages to choose from and everybody has the right to choose which they wish to speak.

21. With the freedom of speech goes freedom of thought and expression as well as freedom of opinion.

22. Everybody has the right to conscience. It is inviolate, and no one shall be penalized or punished for their beliefs or opinions.

23. Everybody in this country is free to move around the country, with no discrimination and to reside in any part of the country they want (Within legal ranges).

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On Ying Leung, Hong Kong

Click Here to read On Ying's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
On Ying Leung

Freedom of speech: a right to hold and express opinions – random or important – without interference, and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers; a right that everyone should and is born equally to have. My Magna Carta calls for free speech in China, and countries alike in her region where, regretfully, every word is said at the stake of life.

Why is it so difficult to achieve free speech in China? Because of the heavy government censorship, control, and suppression on any form of opinion - ranging from arts and press to assembly. The tactics used to do so vary from moderate means of employing monitoring systems and firewalls to ban Google, YouTube, Facebook, and sites alike to an extreme end of killing dissidents. Liu Xiaobo, 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, has been sentenced to eleven years in prison for his participation in the Charter 08 manifesto. Li Wangyang, a labour rights activist tortured to the loss of sight, hearing, and physical ability while in his 21-year custody was said to have “committed suicide” in 2012. Propaganda chiefs also actively rewrite editorials on the press, one of which was Southern Daily’s “The Dream of Constitution” in 2013, and bans documentaries like “Under the Dome” 2015 which concerns China’s air pollution. Petitioning is currently the only legal channel for citizens to express their grievances through letters, calls, or visits to offices in the order of township-level, provincial, and the state; however, its hierarchical nature leaves great room for interception and the arbitrary imprisonment and torture of petitioners by local authorities who fear Beijing. As long as the legitimacy of the government is questioned, there shan’t be room for tolerance.

To better understand the dilemma we must understand the conditions under which the People’s Republic of China is formed. Stability has been essential for China’s post-war reconstruction: having been greatly weakened in the first half of the 20th century and Mao’s decade-long Cultural Revolution, Reform and Opening Up, during which the ’89 Tiananmen Democratic Movement was suppressed by means of a massacre, quickly brought to China speedy economic recovery and world status. Starting then the central government has been granting increasing power to local authorities to systematically have them control the people. Looking back, perhaps success could not have been possible if not for minimal resistance in a country home to one-fourth of the world’s population - hence “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics”.

But, could the treatment to dissidents above be justified in the name of stability maintenance? Have their voices ever intended to “incite” or been untrue? And most of all are stability and free speech mutually exclusive? They are more positively than inversely related.

In a humanitarian manner, free speech is a right to knowledge and history, and a powerful last resort against injustice: all of which are the rightful assets of the people. The exposure to a range of dissimilar ideas enriches an individual’s soul and mind. Concepts from the banned artwork and books of Ai Weiwei and Lung Yingtai, or Oscar-winning films like Avatar – for example imperialism, the environment, and modern Chinese history- are in fact affairs that everyone should be aware of and contemplate about regardless of whether they have been “good” or “bad”. Orwell’s 1984 demonstrates to us that ignorance is not strength and one should not seek to control history. More so free speech is paramount in safeguarding one’s rights when exploited – especially under a faulty legal system in which corruption and the arbitrary exercise of administrative power are common. Imagine your child developing a kidney stone after drinking toxic milk, being killed by collapsed “tofu-dreg schools”, or your ancestral house being demolished overnight for the construction of a nuclear plant nearby: what could you do? Petitioning? Sadly, the most effective way in China is through independent media. Ethically, free speech is a universally fundamental human right which empower people, especially the minority or vulnerable, to speak up.

In a utilitarian manner, free speech is what helps achieve genuine stability and good governance. By containing starkly different views, and allowing daily practices of it ranging from protests, watching political satires, or participating in consultation, a mature civil society could be nurtured: meaning citizens and the ways through which they channel their opinions would become more rational than what would otherwise have been. Just compare the social costs incurred in the Arab Spring with say, the 2014 Hong Kong protests: the prior is a wave of bloody uprisings against an oppressive rule whereas the latter – the Umbrella Movement – is a form of nonviolent civil disobedience in search for universal suffrage in a city with a history of peaceful assembly. Similarly, both James I and his son Charles I suppressed the discussion of Magna Carta, and eventually the British Civil War broke out in 1640 with Charles being executed. Civic awareness and participation resulted from free speech is also important to the betterment of a society because they allow the government to respond efficiently. Anguish could also be released regularly, and the trust from the people and accountability of the government could be raised, all of which propels sustainable development.

Admittedly, free speech has and should have its limitations: has free speech ever guaranteed unlimited freedom? Universal definitions have protected materials concerning libel, hate speech, copyright violation, secrecy etc. from free speech. Yet these limits should only be determined by a sound legal system under which justice, liberty, and the right to a fair trial are well insured and would not be arbitrarily interpreted, like in Chapter 39 and 40 of Magna Carta, and not by men. Most of the opinions, like democracy and free markets, are kind suggestions said out of concern rather than to “subvert state order”. After all, the ideas are expressed through peaceful means, and only through open discussion could the public be able to know their pros and cons and then judge critically if they are for them and their country. The Chinese authority should not have anything to fear.

Is economic development still the top priority for China? As a rising developing power, it is urgent and an obligation for China to be aware of causes beyond the growth of GDP. The current conditions of free speech in Asia rather is adverse: Russian feminist music group Pussy Riot has members imprisoned, Burmese militants kill monks who demand peace and freedom, and needless to say, one risks his life for not being sad enough in Kim Jong-il’s funeral in North Korea. The absence of free speech resulting in the violation of a series of human rights is worrying and intolerable; China has always been an influential pioneer in world history and should continue to be one who champions free speech so as to have her neighbours follow.

Many may wonder: what keeps the Chinese civilization great for three thousand years, through dynasties and wars? Confucianism, out of which were loyalty to one’s country demonstrated by the direct criticisms to the Emperor and even the overthrow of him where necessary, and the emphasis on freedom of speech, religion, and ideology. It is my humble and loyal wish that everyone in modern day China could know the truth and speak his mind, and no one shall dread following his conscience ever again. To quote from Aung San Suu Kyi, the remaining Asian Nobel Peace Prize winner jailed during the award presentation ceremony apart from Liu Xiaobo, “One prisoner of conscience is one too many.”

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Torrence Yun Chien Chen, Malaysia

Click Here to read Torrence's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Torrence Yun Chien Chen

Driven by the conviction that all humans are born free and equal, mankind possesses tenacity vivacious enough to drive its impulse for the pursuit of justice and liberty.

Political equality should be accorded to all people to empower them with equality of opportunity to achieve any standard. In other words, everyone must be ascribed with commensurate rights to develop their potentialities and to realise themselves fully, equal rights of access to the inherited knowledge and culture of their communities. The state should not employ totalitarian machineries and foist limitations on the abilities of its citizens as their successes are attained through individual merit and effort, the degree of which the state has no right to dictate.

The social contract elucidates the role of the government as an agent of the people in whom lies the ultimate source of authority, and for whom the government functions. Citizens should be accorded the power to determine the best form of government, be it democracy, theocracy or monarchy. The aspects of representation, accountability and participation come into play in that people must be empowered with the right to elect their own government as only a government which has emerged as an expression of the will of its citizens and implements policies aimed at social welfare will savour the popular mandate and support. In so doing, the government must enshrine the people’s elementary liberties, and avoid moulding a population in accordance with a preconceived pattern for the unification of economic and political power as such engines of oppression restrict intellectual liberty and inhibits true progress. The same spirit is epitomised in Lord Acton’s discourse, ‘All power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ In addition, error and coercion must be abandoned to safeguard individuals’ rights, which supersede the demands of any political society.

Humankind, whose members share inherent and inalienable rights, should be emancipated with political liberty. It epitomises freedom of thought, expression and speech, in that the individual should be granted the capacity to articulate all matters affecting him and his fellowmen, and to propound his views to the notice of others so as to influence their thinking without being unjustly accused of sedition or treason. All good governments as outlined should remain open to criticism because in a civilised world, there is no room for tyranny and absolutism.

The illustrious writer Carlos Fuentes once quipped, ‘Recognise yourself in he and she who are not like you and me.’ The international community should be more accepting to the plight of refugees and migrants. These victims of gross injustice and socioeconomic squalor evicted from their homeland deserve to be integrated locally without fear of persecution and isolation as well as receiving shelter, clothing and hygienic conditions. Like minorities, they must be emancipated for they too are part of a larger human family. They must be protected from the culture shock which stifles personality development and mental peace. However, a lasting solution is the crying need of the hour.

‘Nothing is lost with peace, everything is lost with war.’ Mankind has a right to relish peace and political stability to ensure its survival. States can move away from the suicidal precipice of the arms race by fostering closer diplomatic links and cooperation to increase interdependence among nations. Furthermore, the failure of interventions in war-ravaged nations and that of sanctions on rogue states like North Korea serve to show that the sole solution for the prevention of an unwarranted holocaust is the formation of a world government as a bulwark against human rights violations.

A world government will naturally dismantle geopolitical barriers, replacing them with administrative structures for the various regions of the globe, and dissolving neo-tribal elements, which characterise the natures of many states and impede international empathy. This facilitates equitable distribution of the world’s supply of food as well as reducing income disparity between nations. Such scenarios empower humanitarian efforts to insure that the rights of an ever-expanding global population are met. Humankind shall also savour its right to peace as a world government would indicate freedom from the mutual suspicion and distrust plaguing the modern world, and fortify its rights by defending it against racial discrimination, prejudice, strife and terrorism stemming from prevailing systems.

The eminent British scientist C.P. Snow said that ‘many millions of people in poor countries are going to starve to death before our eyes. We shall see them doing so upon our television sets.’ Despite there being sufficient food in the world to feed everyone, millions of people are subjugated to a miserable subsistence by poverty and hunger. The rights of the poor to adequate standards of living, electricity, clean water and healthcare can be shielded by socioeconomic safety nets and the contributions of the affluent. Financial aid must not be the only factor coming into play as nations of the Third World must possess the technological capacity to exercise contemporary means of production to ensure a constant supply of basic needs.

In a world where success is often characterised by employment rate, workers’ rights to safe conditions, insurance, and satisfaction must be vouchsafed along with the individual’s rights to the recognition of his humanity. Concealed under the garb of modernisation, many underdeveloped nations pursue industrialisation regimes aimed at creating a climate for inventiveness. However, experience portrays that collaborators choose industries that posed hazards to people in their own countries. The Bhopal gas tragedy brandishes how the individual was undervalued and relegated to the background. His individuality is no longer acknowledged; he becomes a cog in a machine. Let us defend individuals from the greed and indifference of investors with modern technologies and politicians who fail to see the risks of indiscriminate industrialisation by accrediting workers with adequate remuneration, overtime compensation, the right to unionise and recognition of their labour.

The discrimination against this group has transcended time and tradition – women. To combat this, governments must exercise their prerogative to criminalise violence against women, allocate them reservations in politics and public life, and ensure their equality before the law in civil and contractual issues. Regardless of the prevalent customs of a particular place, fundamental human rights of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community deserve to be honoured as they too are humans. States should eliminate discriminatory policies and promote equality at work, in healthcare and education, and promulgate laws which delineate and prohibit socially abhorrent behaviour like hate crimes and isolation.

Nelson Mandela espoused, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ Rights to education should be propounded across the board by lifting prejudices towards gender or socioeconomic background for the acquisition of analytical knowledge and practical skills is a means to transform a retrograde society into a progressive one and to overcome prevalent negative dispositions towards human rights and can safeguard those of a larger human audience. With education which is available, acceptable, accessible and adaptable to all whom the state is accountable, all are universally entitled to be informed about issues affecting them without being fed false knowledge to condition them into acquiescing to particular ideologies.

In our efforts to create a happier world and a brighter tomorrow, let us translate our ideas into service to our fellowmen. Let us aspire to achieve a world, as painted by Tagore,
‘Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action.’

Into that heaven of freedom, let mankind awake.

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Zeynepnaz Coskun, Turkey

Click Here to read Zeynepnaz's Magna Carta
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Magna Carta 2.0
Zeynepnaz Coskun

The Magna Carta is a symbol of freedom. With Magna Carta ordinary people found their voices in the government. It is not just a paper but an historical turning point in universalisation of human’s rights and freedoms. Even though it is 800 years old, Magna Carta is still recognised as one of the foundation pillars of Western civilisation. As a result it is still relevant for today’s globalised world. When I read Magna Carta I thought about the contemporary problems of human beings. Given the challenges of globalised system on well-being and the survival of humanity I believe that we need to re-write the Magna Carta. In computer language we need a Magna Carta version 2.0. In this regard, todays Magna Carta should have the spirit of the original but must be a universal document because we are living in a globalised world with colossal inequalities not just in terms of wealth and welfare but also in terms of power.

The first point in my Magna Carta would be the protection of basic human rights and security of all human kind, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or gender, will be provided no matter what the circumstance is. Today, we do have the universal declaration of human rights but this does not protect the rights of entire humanity. If we still have people around us like starving or living in unacceptable conditions, this clearly proves the failure of humanity’s way when compared to Magna Carta’s ideals.

The second point would be limiting the authority to legitimise use of violence against citizens in order to protect the state system and prevailing power structure. This is required because as in the thirteenth century kings, today’s leaders also use political violence against its people to protect their position as rulers or to protect the state. Police violence against the Occupy Wall Street protestors and the police brutality against African-American citizens such as Michael Brown in the US are the best illustrations of how state can exploit the authority to rule. In my country, Turkey, we experienced such political violence during the Gezi protests of May 2013. The list of state violence against citizens goes on and on. Most of the time, the authorities that are supposed to protect us are the ones that hurt us the most.

The third point, the economic system will be altered to protect the rights, safety and working conditions of workers and to ban the phenomenon of child labor. This factor in my Magna Carta will protect people from the capitalisation of today’s world. This capitalisation has destroyed the very fragile state of the evolution of the idea of equality. If we have hundreds of people killed in a fire at a sweat shop in Bangladesh, and millions of people work in sweat shops all over Asia, or children that are forced to work for very little money, we cannot claim that this is the life we wish for the future of humanity. These poor quality work places not only exploit people for unacceptable amounts of money but risk their lives. Not long time ago and not a Far East underdeveloped country, last year in my country 301 coal miner at Soma lost their lives because of the harshest version of capitalism. The capitalist system’s thirst for money has been pushing capitalists to disregard human lives in exchange for more profit but my magna carta will end this.

My Magna Carta will also state that all corners of the world will be democratic and have freedom of speech no matter what the circumstances are. In spite of its hiccups democracy is recognised as a good political system since it protects diversity and equality. In a good political system different opinions should be heard and this can only come with freedom of speech. Freedom of speech maybe a daily routine in democratic states but in others it is great issue. Therefore, my magna carta will secure freedom of speech by preventing laws that lead people being punished or even sent to prison for stating their opinions.

The fourth point is all people’s access to health services shall be ensured .Plus all workers will be given health insurance. Many people do not live in healthy or clean environments. This causes people to have various diseases. Furthermore many babies die during the birth and or in their infancy period. This is not just the problem of underdeveloped world, in developed countries people with lower wages or people without health insurance cannot afford health services.

Another point in my Magna Carta is that all children regardless of gender will be educated and made literate. In Today’s fast phase of science and technology made education one of the most important factors for humans. Many children today are not literate. Roughly 250 million children in the world's poorest nations cannot read part or all of a sentence, according to the UNESCO study. This is just tip of the iceberg. In many better off countries such as Turkey or Bulgaria, gender equality in education is very low. A large number of girls are not part of formal education and eventually become housewives. This is why my Magna Carta will ensure that all children have access to formal education.

The last point of my Magna Carta will state that large firms and industries will protect and care for the environment. This may not seem like a problem for human rights and freedoms but it has already caused drastic changes in human’s right to live decently. Many of these problems are caused by industrial waste and transnational businesses which do not care the issue of sustainability. To illustrate the point many companies dump their waste to lakes and cause water pollution affecting ecological systems. Furthermore a couple of years ago an oil leak from barrels into the see in Nigeria affected livelihoods of many fisherman and the ecological system underwater. This is why my Magna Carta will protect the human’s right to live by ruling out large firms and companies from doing harm the environment and ecological system.

To conclude, my Magna Carta will response to human rights, better working conditions, equal access to healthcare and education, protection of environment and of course it will protect people from the ills of capitalist system.

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Catarina Mina, Portugal

Click Here to read Catarina's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Catarina Mina

Magna Carta is an 800-year-old document which conveys the idea that no-one is above the law; however, I believe that nowadays the heart of the matter is not who is above it, but who is below it.

We preach justice and equality everywhere, but I’m not so sure that those principles are actually put into practice. If they were, we would not need movements such as the American “black lives matter” to cease cases of Homicides of unarmed Native Americans at the hands of the police; there would not be laws in Russia that state that anyone who makes pro-gay statements considered accessible to anyone underage is subject to arrest and fines and Millions of women worldwide would not continue to experience injustice, violence and inequality in their homes, workplace and public life.

Magna Carta states that “If any person that holds lands directly of the Crown, for military service, shall die “, we argue that life has a completely distinct value in modern societies, but does that apply to every country in the world? It also states that "no one shall be ‘amerced’ to the extent that they are deprived of their means of living” but in the 21st century that is still not a reality in Sub-Saharan Africa and in an excessively large number of countries. It advocates protection from illegal imprisonment and right to a fair trial, but people are still being wrongfully locked up in 2015. A great deal of this document’s clauses consist in legislation related to the land and property of that period’s privileged social classes but nowadays a shocking amount of people continue to have nowhere to live.

"No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, (…) except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.” But what does “free man” stand for nowadays? This great charter is contemplated as a foundation of accountability, of popular democracy and liberty, but the rights we need today can’t be based on whether someone is an earl, a baron or a duke. Which doesn’t mean Magna Carta is not a respectable document that influenced history; it just means it was written 800 years ago.

We need a more universal document that states our rights. Universal not only in the sense that it comprises every country in the world, but as well as it should apply to every person, regardless of their social and economic status, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.

Therefore, to all men and women or and anyone who identifies as something else of our world, I have granted all the liberties and duties written out below, to have and to keep for them and their heirs.

1. All human beings are free and equal in dignity and rights with no distinction related to their race, gender, economic and social status, sexual orientation or political opinion;

2. Life is a universal right such as access to health care and education, to safety, the right to found a family, to own property, to maintain their culture, to express oneself, to take part in the government of one’s country and vote, and to practise one’s religion for as long as it doesn’t put other people’s rights in jeopardy;

3. The will of the people is the basis of the authority of government and the measures applied by this government must comply with the law of each country, avoiding arbitrariness;

4. Everyone is equal before the law;

5. Everyone must have access to a fair trial and justice and that trial or hearing must be held only by professionals who know the law of the nation and are minded to keep it well – no one should be subjected to an arbitrary arrest;

6. The wage gap between men and women shall be repressed;

7. Everyone should have access to food and essential goods to their own survival and all ought to, by moral obligation, excepting those who are likewise deprived of those goods, aid the ones whose lives are at risk for the lack of means of living;

8. Death penalty, slavery, torture, human trafficking and discrimination of any kind are prohibited and highly penalized in any country;

9. Everyone has the right to privacy, including in the internet and social networks;

10. Sense of responsibility for the environment of our planet (including our atmosphere and our oceans) and attempt to reduce the levels of pollution and the extreme use of natural resources is not optional.

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Tafsia Shikdar, UK*

Click Here to read Tafsia's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Tafsia Shikdar

Consume and devour. This is all humanity knows how to do. Simply to satisfy its hunger for endless wants falsified as needs, neglecting any consequences that aren't unequivocally perilous. Yet.

I call for the rights of our planet, as a living organism. I call for the rights of all the world’s creatures, depreciated in comparison to one powerful species that cannot fulfil its role of leading positively. I call for the rights of those people who helplessly watch the decision to destroy their homeland made for them. I call for the rights of future generations that deserve a beautiful and stable home.

We must take action to achieve harmony with the sole environment we have; we cannot afford to undervalue it any longer. I put forward these rules that can bring us one step closer to protecting these rights:

1) No scheme that involves a lasting negative effect on the planet should be permitted.
2) None should be able to take anything from the planet that cannot be restored within a lifetime.

No outcome in the world is worth destroying it. When plans are made to progress societies, impacts on the planet are always overlooked. Think of all the ventures we have made, at the expense of Earth. How many of these were really severely needed?

36 football fields of area around the planet is deforested every minute.

For timber to make wooden products. Wooden products such as paper, which accounts for 50% of business waste. Products that are thrown away without a second thought, due to its excess availability. For land, to propagate animals, mostly in barbaric conditions, only to be eaten a few years later – 56 billion animals are killed every year, yet another example of our unnecessary exploitation of other aware beings. Even if this use of land is justifiable, due to poor quality soil and climate not suited to grass lands, after a few short years, it will be unusable for farming, and instead be left as desert. A ludicrous cycle, as then even more area is cleared for the exact same outcome.

These are the main reasons for deforestation compared to consequences of animal extinction, desertification and negative contributions towards climate change, be it the release of greenhouse gases when trees are burned, or the reduction of carbon dioxide absorbing organisms - which actually release oxygen for us to breathe in return. Still, these consequences are overlooked as environmental issues; inferior to economic or social problems. We must to come to the conclusion that unsustainable, selfish exploitation of the environment will not last for ever, and at the end we will have nothing left.

I propose that only sustainable deforestation should be allowed, where forests will be allowed to regrow. This means there will be no net loss of forest, or specie extinctions, and encourages better methods like selective logging. It might even teach us to appreciate what we have, and inspire the recycling of materials, rather than continuously digging up more and abandoning the old in landfill: absurdly counter-intuitive anyway when we have a growing “need” for resources. These rights highlight all resource extraction, such as mining too.

Furthermore, the rules set out would also protect the well-being of the species we inhabit the earth with. Causing extinction of any specie is in direct violation of sustainable living, as that animal would unfortunately not reappear in the next lifetime. Any animal affected by human activity, be it directly or indirectly should immediately be helped, and said activity rearranged to be more sustainable. This does not rule out fishing or other indirect practices completely, but means, in the case of fishing, production would be reduced to catching only enough fish where the populations of species would stay stable; the same amount caught should be reproduced. This leaves it available as a resource for infinite generations to come, and is of no great consequence to our survival - meat is only a luxury, rather than a necessity to human survival, and excess now for extinction later means restraint should be seen as something crucially missing and required in our world.

However, attitudes towards organisms on this planet should not be based solely on what they can provide us with, be it meat, labour, entertainment or medicine. We have to start seeing them as unique conscious beings whose lives deserve to be respected and valued. Subsequently, we ought to see their protection and appreciation as important for the sake of them, and the bio-diversity of our world, rather than just for our own personal gains. Although, for this reason too, their rights make a lot of sense.

Last but not least, these rights are important in maintaining our planet as a suitable and plentiful home for us. The consequences of our greedy attitude can lead to much bigger concerns, proven by the worldwide threat of global warming. Even though humans may not be the sole cause of climate change, the link to greenhouse gases is evidentially substantial, enough that we should at least try to change our ways in the hope of heading it off.

The rights stated abolish the use of fossil fuels to produce our energy. The energy we are using is drastically growing as we come into a more technical age, and again it seems that all we are doing is consuming without a thought for the future. Besides a link to climate change, the pollution emitted from these fuels is undeniable, making it a resource that effects the planet negatively when used, along with one that cannot be replaced.

Thus, there is a positive side to finding an alternative to a fuel that will one day run out, leaving the world in crisis. This does not mean replacing it with another fuel that will cause a whole set of different problems, like nuclear power proposes. Energy must be derived from an endless renewable source. Many solutions found today are already provided by our magnificent planet, which do not produce any harmful waste products. The hesitation to switch energies has come from the arrogant thought that we are still quite comfortable where we are, but once these rights guarantee a gratitude for nature, we will finally be able to see that we are actually spiralling to disaster.

A “need” is defined as something that humanity cannot survive without. Shelter is one of these vital needs. We need to realise that anything that removes the stability of our home cannot be seen as such. Even the amount of food we are producing that is having such negative effects on the environment is not necessary – we do not “need” this much. The amount of food cannot be classified as the problem when we have both starvation and obesity on the same planet. We cannot keep meeting demand with supply, without worrying when the supply will run out. It is ironic that fresh water is actually one of these resources running out, on a planet 70% covered in oceans, but the rivers polluted by our waste cannot be helping. These are the problems we should be prioritising. Sometimes solutions may even come hand in hand with technological and economical advances.

This is My Magna Carta, a plea for the world to recognise the rights of those living today to pass on a healthy planet to their children and the rights of future generations to experience the beauty of Earth.

To recognise the rights of our planet as well as every single one of its inhabitants.

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William Durrant, UK*

Click Here to read William's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
William Durrant

‘Quarrel’ and ‘endeavour’ are two of the most complex devices that mankind is aware of. Together, they make up prohibition and liberty, from which emanates the moral foundations of mankind. Without questioning our moral purpose, the waters from which science birthed us billions of years ago would turn stagnant; humankind would no longer continue to develop. All hopes and dreams would be lost – and hope and dreams and quarrels and endeavours are what I believe make up mankind: my friends, my neighbours and my brethren.

If men had no quarrels or endeavours, then the existence of this very material could be questioned; after all, I have something to strive for and something to argue about. I have desire, and I have a dream.

But let me question existence myself; I am human and therefore I have only a natural will to consider what I believe to be beneficial for contemporary human society. Whether motivated by religion or compassion or experience, the natural instinct to merely hold a belief and dream for humanity is surely at the beating heart of the conundrum that is ‘liberty’.

But what about our governance?

There are theories that state that a body – human, religious or commercial – should be given ultimate power over governments and the recommendations for its subjects. This theory lies at the heart of the first clause of the Magna Carta.

Such power was given to a whole body; The Church of England was given “guaranteed freedom”. But in my own Magna Carta, I should guarantee that “all people are protected from governments that operate using ‘vis et volantus’ (force and will) and that, at least, all subjects of this great charter be free from oppression from any body”.

Despite this more democratic leadership, in the years after 1215 AD the newfound relief that the people of England had was merely a small morsel of liberty that was to exist seven hundred years later. The full power of what I believe to be liberty had not yet been set free. The Magna Carta only stated that the King was no longer a source of ultimate power; the freedom to change the law lied within the hands of the loved and learned church, but religious leadership was at least more democratic than one man alone.

Yet to truly utilise the full power of liberty, surely the human itself requires a means in which to make a large influence. One religious organisation cannot speak for all denominations of its peoples or perhaps even all people in a nation. Say, if the Catholic Community were to dominate legislation, then how could the community-spirited ideals of the Sikh Community be implemented in our society? How could the Godless collaborate with the Faithful? How could brilliant men – Galileo or Turing – even begin to scientifically and morally change the world?

Of course, the issues of Catholicism are personal; differing attitudes and interpretations make unanimity extraordinarily difficult. But, as I have stated previously in this pledge for peace: we should strive to achieve what we believe to be best. Only this time, I use “we” in a collective sense – “us”: the people. This is the beginning of the right to choose. Just as in today’s celebrated Human Rights – all people have the right to democracy – I believe that it must always be the choice of the people as to who leads this country.

This therefore brings me to a second clause of my Magna Carta: “every person is entitled to choose, through the medium of election, who governs their nation”. This shall be the case in order to strive for ultimate unanimity – however impossible this is.

My third clause should give all humans the freedom to express themselves and peacefully protest when it is necessary to do so, so long as no physical or mental disturbance is inflicted upon others. Such was not explicit in the Magna Carta of 1215, nor its revisions.

Today, it is important to recognise the Magna Carta as not only a founding document in terms of democracy, but also as a form of liberation and a foundation upon which the Parliament of England was founded. The Parliament of England led to a people’s rebellion in 1642, and perhaps more importantly, it became the people’s parliament that we have today.

Some of the clauses of the original Magna Carta, signed in Runnymede – just miles from the current residencies of both the Monarch and the Prime Minister – ensured that people have a right to fair trial. The Magna Carta of 1215 stated that “nobody be put on trial based solely on the word of a royal official” and that “no free man could be imprisoned or stripped of his rights or possessions without due process being legally applied”.

Then come clauses 52, 53 and 55 of the 1215 Magna Carta, which all ensure power is given to the people; the Magna Carta created processes in order to give people the right to protection and the right to appeal – the word of the King was not enough. Such as written in the Magna Carta – that the Monarch should not have the power of ‘ultimate decision’ – was one which was spoken of during the reign of James I to oppose the establishment of his Divine Right of Kings in True Law.

This brings me to declare justice for all people: “each person has a right to a fair trial for which there must be witnesses for both the accused and the accuser in court. All evidence must be taken into account during an unbiased, public hearing”. In this clause, I also challenge a Magna Carta clause that until the 1800s was not deemed to be archaic. I declare that the testimony of a woman is valid in court.

I will conclude my own great charter with only three further clauses. The first honours the 41st and 42nd clauses of the 1215 Magna Carta. I declare in my statute that “Britain should be a place in which to seek refuge and business. All migrants, British or foreign, have a right to safety of passage in and out of the country”.

Another concluding clause of my Magna Carta regards the position of those prosecuted by oppressors, honouring the agreements made in 1215; “all people who have experienced unfair and unjust trial should be released from their captivity and a fair trial must be held”.

The final clause of my Magna Carta is one which represents the significance of the document. It is one which ensures fairness amongst the people: “no person is exempt from the clauses of my Magna Carta, regardless of gender, religion, race, nationality, wealth or status. In times of difficulty, conflict or disability, it is the right of those affected to seek further help and aid. In such times, it is the responsibility of all people to ensure the best possible standard of welfare is upheld”.

My final clause does not only summarise my beliefs of equality, as well as the need for collaboration and basic welfare, but I feel that it celebrates one of the overlooked elements of the Magna Carta: clause seven. From 1215 to this day, widows have the right to claim their dowry.

This was beginning of the end of discrimination. The freedom era has begun.

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*The UK was treated as a separate continent for the purposes of the competition.

 

 

 

Robert Andrei Rosca, Romania, Highly Commended

Click Here to read Robert's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Robert Andrei Rosca

A modern Magna Carta needs to be more than its predecessor was at the time it was sealed in 1215, therefore the context in which the new one has to be valid has changed in a rather radical way. Whereas the original Magna Carta had a more local validity and was aimed at the English people, the present-day one is forced to adapt to an international and highly complex context. Through my Magna Carta, I am trying to establish a set of principles that should not only be compatible with Western civilization, but also be viable in third-world countries.. The reason the world needs such an internationally applicable document is mainly because of the modern trend of inter-connectedness. The availability of an Internet connection in many remote corners of the world, the freedom to travel and economic ties between different states have all made the world a very complex and inter-connected organism in which nothing is truly local anymore. One might even say that the world is more connected today than it has ever been before. This inter-connectedness has made its presence felt through the way the world seems to filter out concepts that no longer serve the population. Totalitarian governments have fallen and continue to do so, women are beginning to receive fair treatment in poorer regions and violence has statistically been decreasing for a long time. The time is right, now more than ever, for the creation of a document that can address the issues of the world in the 21st century and safeguard values that have proven to lead to a better life for the populations of different states. The purpose of these principles is to help defend the values I consider fundamental to a society in order for its citizens to thrive.

Therefore, the principles of the new Magna Carta are:

(1) Every human being shall have rights according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Countries where this is not yet possible should strive towards the goal of implementing them and their citizens should realize that they do have them. Every human being should have access to courts of law, medical care, food etc.

(2) Intolerance or discrimination against a certain group in public places shall be prohibited. This is to protect one's freedom of speech, which is fundamental to any free society. The media may still use humour deemed inappropriate by the majority of the population, as long as they feature a warning about the contents. Censorship shall be very limited, since it is a form of repression and might be used to manipulate the masses.

(3) The governments of the world shall ensure free health care for every human being. However, families that choose to have more than two children shall pay additional taxes that get progressively higher with each child. This is to discourage the exponential population growth of the last century. The resources of our planet are limited and I believe it is more moral to deny existence to non-existent (yet to be born) individuals than have living individuals struggle for a decent livelihood.

(4) All governments shall focus on providing free international education to any individual willing to get it. This is rather easy to achieve using technology. A world where individuals are truly equal is one where anybody can have access to education, no matter his social standing or his background. There shall be no difference between a person who studies at home or one taking an university course as long as they both prove capable of grasping the subject. University courses shall also be free and state-financed. This is to ensure true equality of chances.

(5) A. The development of new technology must be regarded as paramount. Advanced technology has already and continues to solve some of the direst problems the human race is currently facing. Laws overseeing technological improvement shall be made more lax in order to facilitate such developments, but still be monitored to make sure that the technologies are safe.

B. Free worldwide education shall also be made available using the Internet. Access to digital media shall be safeguarded for everybody, since in the modern age, an individual who does not have access to the Internet is economically and intellectually at a disadvantage.

(6) Although all people shall have the right to a decent livelihood, their pay and worth to society will be according to their ability to be useful to other people. This shall be so to encourage meritocracy and prevent technological advancement from stalling. Individuals will therefore be driven to be productive not due to fear of poverty or starvation, but of ambition to succeed in their field.

(7) The preservation of the Earth shall be considered very important. Resources and the ecosystems shall be preserved for as long as possible and feasible sources of renewable energy shall be well funded.

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Kateryna Ilchenko, Ukraine, Highly Commended

Click Here to read Kateryna's Magna Carta
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‘Ad Astra Carta’
Kateryna Ilchenko

We live in a very special era. This is not only the era of purifying and simplifying, but also the time of making anything easy really queasy, and vice versa. This tendency is disseminated on all areas of our being − from schooling to scientific research and from everyday life to legislation. It seems that the society of postmodern is stuck between total extremes. We learn to overcome suffering through philanthropy. We strive for world peace by writing excruciatingly long comments under the war posts on Facebook. We live to eat instead of eating to live. We build sky-high priorities in order to visit a psychologist one day to help ourselves understand why in the past we were doing something that doesn’t make us happy in the present. Is it because we didn’t accept the rules of the society? Or is it because we don’t look up to the authorities who made up those dogmas? It is likely that a lot of people are not only unfamiliar with their rights and responsibilities, but they are non-content what the government has to offer. That is why crime levels are rising, that is why many people still have no idea how to deal with crisis and that is why they surpass the law to dream up their own perception of existent rules and live by them.

I believe that a Constitution of the 21st century should be simplified to such an extent that it is not a book only a lawyer reads or an average citizen opens once in a lifetime to check if there is any herbarium left from the last year autumn promenade. A constitution for a loyal citizen should be written by someone just as equal as he or she is. On the spiritual and trust levels it should be something like the Koran is to Muslim people and the Bible to the orthodox. Respect for the men and their minds is a great introduction to living in a life of appreciation of what you already have and of what you are able to receive. Although Magna Carta of the thirteenth century is rather democratic and genuinely very adaptable even to the latest up-to-date vital corrections, it is a thorough base for any current pluralistic approaches to fixing the legislation. All in all, certain changes shall be brought into the Magna Carta of the 21st century and they are the following:

1. Protection of information point. The modern world of info-centred life requires clear relevancy of data. Preventing society from false and misleading information is a highly needed insurance nowadays. Moreover, total security is not a one-day process − it needs some time and experienced professionals who will be responsible for filtering information all over the different studying and working areas and the web as well (even though the network data flow is hardly controllable and often unmanageable, it IS possible).

2. Ecology point. Littering is a serious issue of the present age. The pollution we cause, e. g. by using engine vehicles, chemicals for production, every day is affecting climate change. Consequently, climate change affects managed ecosystems, like vineyards, just as it affects natural ecosystems – with corresponding major economic and social implications. For instance, if a person plants a tree in a lifetime, our planet would be surely cleaner and safer to the human being. That is a little change we can make on behalf of our nature and the future.

3. Tax system point. On the example of Ukraine, I can say that raising taxes vastly influences the lower strata, when at the same time it never really gets the richer ones. Taking into account the fact that raising taxes is a usual process in a developing society, it is still possible to avoid intensive pressure on the low and middle classes.

4. Tolerance and No violence. You might wonder why the last point doesn’t have an annotation or comments. Well, it is pretty self-explanatory – tolerant approach is the key to any human. Furthermore, I accept the fact that it’s almost utopian to expect that sharing a prospect of ‘good deeds’ will immediately make everyone nice and tolerant, abolish violence and let world peace invade everyone’s mind. My small additional “Ad Astra Carta” is only a humble but confident voice of a curious and excited student.

In conclusion, I am convinced that such simple rules should be in bold and emphasized in a source that is separate from the multivolume complicated Constitution and that is easily accessible for any civilian.

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Migle Iziumcevaite, Lithuania, Highly Commended

Click Here to read Migle's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Migle Iziumcevaite

Magna Carta, a document drawn up in 1215, was a definite step towards recognizing and assuring that no one is above the law. It extended the rights of individuals regardless of race, sex or creed. Magna Carta was a culminating and long overdue realization of the principle of human freedom and equality enshrined in us the second we were born. Without this prodigious document, the very probable turn out of most contemporary countries’ liberal and democratic outlook may still be that of the obsolete attitude – discrimination, the plausible deniability of equality, unlikely concern for people with little to no access to everyday vitals – clean water, nutritious food, most importantly – freedom. Being part of a modern society with a broad outlook on world problems and being introduced to one each and every day, I have come to a daunting conclusion that, in spite of us living in the twenty first century, all the clauses that were intended to implement by Magna Carta’s authors are still an issue while only a minority of people choose to act to make it cease for good. The cliché saying “I am the one percent!” is very applicable in this case, and I am willing to show to what extent I stand my grounds regarding the defence of the principle of human rights. The world renowned philosophers of the prominent Age of Enlightenment, such as Jean Jacques Rousseau or Montesquieu, have made it painfully clear as to what the human rights that everyone is granted upon birth are. With their words as inspiration to write a charter applicable to every country, every nation in the world as we know it, I am hereby going to state what to my mind are the basic legal and congenital rights that all humans should be able to embrace.

First and foremost, the undeniable overall freedom. Freedom to be an independent, responsible member of society. Freedom to be yourself and express your feelings and beliefs, though being open to criticism and the probable objections from other individuals. The original Magna Carta of 1215 tried to manage demands for freedom of expression and for tolerance of diversity. Even though members of civilized communities are mostly open to a wide array of differing people, the situation in places further away from large metropolises is a long way from the nearly Utopian society depictions in Constitutions and other similar documents.

The freedom as I put it envelops more than just the legal one. The freedom I am calling for assures one’s security from religious persecution and grants an individual with the indisputable right to practise any religion, provided you choose one yourself and not have it forced upon you. The ones, who prefer to face life without sturdy faith and not believe in any supernatural force, can do so if they wish. My Magna Carta allows people of differing religious perspectives to live peacefully and productively in the same society.

The freedom I picture includes the absence of discrimination against people of different race, sex or beliefs, for we were all created equal. It secures one’s freedom of speech, and the people who disagree should ask themselves why we were given a voice and the ability to accept and process information, thus letting us fathom our thoughts into an opinion that requires to be heard. Overall freedom does not grant the permission to destroy people’s or country’s property, to injure or kill another mortal, to patronize and participate in theft or kidnapping. Like the Magna Carta of 1215, this document states every person possesses feasibility to be punished for the crime committed and a right to justice and fair trial despite the circumstances.

With such immense power to do almost whatever one wishes, a person may encounter difficulties in trying to retain their private life safe and only to themselves. This document ensures an individual’s right to seek justice regarding one’s exposed private life, finances or other instances. The victim is permitted to press charges against another individual or group of individuals who invaded their private lives, provided one has incontrovertible evidence of such demeanour.

Another clause this document calls for is the right to access any of the vital substances, such as drinkable water and nutritious food. Since the human body cannot flourish without food like a flower cannot bloom without sunlight, every man and woman must demand the presence of items necessary for survival. If one’s surroundings are unable to yield the essentials, a person should insist on those items being delivered to a location accessible to them. This document seeks to eliminate world hunger caused by the unforgiving nature in one’s place of residence or wars inflicted on one’s soil.

An absolute must as a clause is job security. No person can acquire any item they wish without money to purchase it. The legal and most equality ensuring way to earn money is through having a reasonably paid job that endorses conditions required by reasonable human beings, such as paid vacations, legitimate amount of labour, including meals and drinks in order to assure one’s comfort. My Magna Carta guarantees just that. The last significant clause that this document will allow is the right to rationally protest against an ordeal that violates any of the listed rights and other claims not mentioned here. If one feels like they have faced injustice, they must, at their own will, come forward to authorities, explaining the circumstances. Provided the government does not respond properly or does not respond at all, the person is welcome to publicly declare their dissatisfaction with the way their issue was handled. One must keep in mind that any illegal activity or violation of this charter during the protest will result in conviction and trial.

My Magna Carta cannot be considered immutable as alterations may be made in time. This document applies to the whole world and its residents, regardless of their race, nationality, religion, sex or status. It depicts a nearly Utopian society, that some claim cannot be achieved. May this charter lay the foundations to similar documents in the future, much like the 1215 Magna Carta laid the foundations to many Constitutions and Bills of Rights. May this and the original document provide the ideas and goals for liberal and democratic prosperities of countries’ developments in the near future. It is our responsibility to make this world suitable to live in, not only for the billions living here today, but the millions yet to come. Let this be the carrier of the message of global unity, as to fulfil the wishes and missions of the people who tried their hardest to make the Earth worth living on. Now it is our turn to carry on the legacy, and My Magna Carta is the first step towards it.

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Veronika Globazh, Belarus, Commended

Click Here to read Veronika's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Veronika Globazh

Whatever country we come from, whatever colour our skin is, we have one thing in common – we are all people of the world. Today the population of our planet is more than 7 billion people. And every person wants to be happy.

Why is the question of happiness so important for us? Today children and young people have great opportunities to be educated, take part in various competitions or sport events compared with their ancestors. In our country there is a great amount of educational projects which help children to reveal talents and develop abilities. The winners of the projects can travel to other countries and share ideas with famous scientists.

Unfortunately, in many parts of the world children have no possibility to study, even to go to school. They spend their childhood helping their parents at home or working in difficult conditions. This has a significant impact on their character and attitude to the world. So, this children can’t enjoy socializing with peers and they don’t see the ways of changing their lifestyle.

In many regions ecological problems are threatening people’s life and health. The citizens do not have access to quality health care that is why mortality level is very high. Many children die due to absence of medicines and lack of help from the developed countries who prefer to be deaf to the obvious SOS signals. But help means changing your habitual way of living and not everyone is eager to do it.

In all times children were the most susceptible to diseases category, the most vulnerable and unprotected. And it is very important to make health care affordable for everyone. I’m of the opinion that most of drugs should be free in each part of the town (city) or big villages, to be at hand in the situation in need. Or otherwise what are they created for?

Some people live on the islands or in the mountains or other remote areas whether infrastructure is only in major centres. I think that it is very important to make new friends or to have a so called “chain of help” which will allow to share or exchange the necessary things and will provide material and moral support to every member of the community.

Illiteracy is also a big problem of our world. Illiterate people can hardly express their point of view. They have difficulties in choosing a route or reading prices in the store. They can be deceived while signing important documents. Children have better memories than adults, so it is a good idea to pay more attention to education in the early ages. In my opinion it is fine to teach special people how to organize developing activities with little children. And I suggest creating a unity of specialists from different countries who will compare their educational methods and propose reasonable changes.

I believe that everyone has the right to education, health care and decent working conditions. We ought to think of the future, for the sake of the new generations to come, so it is important to provide children with the mentioned opportunities. This right should be applied irrespective of religion or social status. We should forget about our personal one minute interests and benefits nut to unit in the idea of keeping the planet a nice place to live.

On the other hand, I can’t but emphasize the necessity of learning the history of their country and other countries to maintain unique traditions. While respecting the traditions of the past and helping people in the present, we can build secure future. I think that governments need to increase family allowances. It is very difficult to support a large family, so these people need help. Childhood is not repeated, it is important that for child it should be happy time.

There should be more programs for the protection of nature. Now there are lots of natural disasters in different parts of the world. Many rare species disappear. This leads to the destruction of the familiar cycle of nature and irreparable consequences. It is also one of the reasons for unhealthy foods. Now there are many diseases associated with poor nutrition. Many people are struggling with being overweight.

Mankind misuses water and land resources. In some areas there are significant climate changes. It should conduct interviews with people so that they can assess the full impact of economic activity. Informed people will be able to offer their idea for improving the situation.

Also, everyone has the right to know the information you need quickly. It is important to know about the political and economic situation. Everyone should be aware of the emergencies and events.

Another important right is the right to rest. For children it should be organized various cultural and educational events. There they can learn new information, receive positive impressions and to be surrounded by peers. This will help them to find a range of interests. It also influences the choice of profession and activities in the future. This provides an interest in public life and the surrounding world. They need to feel themselves the part of society.

I believe that everyone has the right to education, health care, and decent working conditions. We must take care of the future, so it is important to provide these opportunities for children and young people. This right should apply irrespective of religion or social status. And each person will learn the history of their country and other countries to maintain unique traditions. While respecting the traditions of the past and helping people in the present, we can secure the future.

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Nikita Stepanovs, Latvia, Best Video

Click Here to read Nikita's Magna Carta
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My Magna Carta
Nikita Stepanovs

Habeas Corpus Act, UN Declaration of Human Rights, American Declaration of Independence are based on in the world history a very significant document entitled Magna Carta. This list of rules, King John of England had to obey, was sealed on 15 June of 1215. Since that moment everything has changed. Nelson Mandela, the president of South African Republic, was right saying that “It has been a long walk to freedom”, but we managed and succeeded. Centuries passed until the moment when humanity stepped into the new era – where law protects human rights, where democracy is the tending force of country’s policy. How old rocks are falling in sea, how constantly the wind blows and stars change their roots, so time goes further and it is obvious that a new document protecting country, its democracy and citizens is needed. Current entries should be added to save peace and preserve our community. It is the time for the New Magna Carta.

This Modern Magna Carta is divided into three entries:

1) Government, citizens and citizenship clause, which brings problems to light and gives explanations how to solve them. Several important topics are discovered there as migration, due to it is raising constantly and for emigrants it sometimes complicating to deal with law. Law should be easily to understand and make process of naturalization easier.

2) Law, officials and human rights clause that states the main points of human rights and their protection by the government. World history is full of examples, when malicious geniuses owned the power, and it is even more important now to protect nation and have freedom of thoughts and religion, so everybody could feel safe and independent.

3) Soil, water and air, belong to citizens. This is the main topic of Division of natural resources clause. Only citizens could decide what could be done with natural resources and how to manage them with the biggest income for the country.

4) War and peace clause that explains the rights of everyone to remain safe and sure and be protected during military conflict.

1. First Entry. Government, citizens and citizenship.
a. Every citizen has rights to claim their allegiance and vote for the following party.
b. If parties present the majority, theirs members can form a parliament.
c. There should be freedom for political versatility. Every party should be presented and their points taken in consideration.
d. If citizens are bound to introduce a new law, more than 50% of citizens should sign it.
e. The government must be elected every two years by equal and proportional vote.
f. If more than 50% of citizens consider current parliament as idle, the parliament must came out within three days.
g. Citizenship may be condemned to every child born on the country’s territory, or a person that paid taxes for more than two years, if requested.
h. Citizenship may be cancelled for ones committing felony, political and others types of criminal offence.
i. If a country’s citizen has gotten in trouble abroad, one has the rights to ask for help and protection.

2. Second entry. Human rights, law and officials
Since the moment of birth one is independent and free. The law must protect these rights. Nobody can neither cancel, nor change them.
a. Sex, race, political allegiance must not change the attitude or cut rights towards one.
b. Nobody could be imprisoned without a special document, signed by official. This document must contain name of the trial, facts that are against one and signature of public prosecutor.
c. No one can search a citizen or their living area without a warrant.
d. Everybody has rights to private uninterrupted life.
e. One has rights to have personal belongings and nobody could seize them.
f. Freedom of thoughts and religion are most containing values.
g. Everybody has rights to shift, arrive and depart in and from a country.
h. Public services as schools, health service, fire fighters, police etc. must be free.
i. Education as a public service should be offered for every child 7-18 years old. School study program should cover main topics needed to enroll university and even more,. 12- years of study are obligatory for every child, not taking in consideration race, sex, or other form of creed (see 2.a and 2.f), if requested. The government must prepare the educational environment.
ii. Health service must be free for everybody in the territory of the country. Health support must be conducted, even one has no citizenship. So is with firefighting, police and other services.
i. Every politician, nobleman and citizen must obey the law.
j. Law cannot be changed, either rewritten, without the direct proportional vote. (see 1d)
k. The law that states its rights while on job must protect every official (politicians, officers, NHS workers, fire fighters etc.)
i. If the official starts to use its status to gain money or commit an offence, one must be prosecuted.
l. Everybody could ask the country for political asylum. The government must proceed with these requests. People that were injured, affected, influenced by the war or the conflict in their country, will be given the possibility to stay for time, the war, conflict or disaster is over.

3. Third entry. Division of natural resources.
Soil, water and air belongs to nation. Every country’s citizen has a right to have a part of them.
a. All actions with resources like sale, exchange must be done only with the permission of citizens. Will of nation should be determined by direct proportional vote.
b. Money gained by selling natural resources must be divided between citizens, so citizens become money in the end of the year, which was divided equally between everybody.
c. Oil and gas extraction stations must not be built near dwelling, also in case if there is any threat to inhabitants or threat of pollution, stations must be rebuilt.
d. One has a right to have a clean water.
e. No companies must own any part of natural resources as (gas ,oil, wood, water), they should belong to country and its citizens.

4. Fourth entry. War and peace.
a. Country’s policy must always lead to peace. Every citizen has rights to live in peace.
b. No military conflict in the country must be solved by armament. In case of civil war or any form of rebellion, officials must proceed to international organizations and protect citizens.
c. Every armament protest is strictly prohibited. Protesters should use other ways to express their opinion. (see 1a,1b,1c,1d,1f) Magna of the 21st century is not a law; it is the information source for both citizens and the government about their rights and responsibilities. This document consists of topics that are important for everyone. Modern Magna Carta is not simply a list of rules one has to follow; it should be the most powerful document that protects citizens and the country. It is only the beginning that is going to change the world. Everybody must add their very own clause to this doctrine and make it more versatile and majestic. That will allow us to apply this document to the entire globe. Unity holds the power, and we may experience be the day when we will celebrate the anniversary of Modern Magna Carta very soon. This will be the day of peace and admiration of those who invented and sealed the document on 15 June of 1215, known as Magna Carta.

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