Violations of the “Freedom from Want”

Annie Heathorn

As Theodore Roosevelt claimed in his Four Freedoms Speech humans are born with certain natural freedoms, including the “freedom from want”.  Every human possesses the right to adequate nutrition and water; and yet, particular groups of people- both in America and worldwide- suffer disproportionately from diseases caused by a violation of these rights.

According to the Kuzawa and Sweet article, the denial of human rights to African Americans, particularly the right to adequate nutrition, causes a variety of diseases including cardiovascular diseases. The fact that “the social consequences of race can have durable effects on biology and health” (Kuzawa et al.,10) should invoke outrage in the hearts of those who believe in Roosevelt’s inalienable human rights.

The imbalance of rights that infects the US also infects the entire World of humanity. According to WaterAid, every year over two million people die from Diarrheal diseases that arise from malnutrition.  Sixty-five percent of these live in only seven countries.  This misproportion of natural rights offends moral justice and calls for change.

Malnourished children like this boy are extremely vulnerable to diarrheal diseases.

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