According to official figures the unemployment rate in the United Kingdom for the three months to October 2010 was 7.9 per cent, up 0.1 on the quarter. In my view unemployment is a key economic issue of today. To be employed has an obvious material benefit but is an important part of spiritual well-being as well. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá equated work with worship saying
‘Man must work with his fellows. Everyone should have some trade, or art or profession, be he rich or poor, and with this he must serve humanity. This service is acceptable as the highest form of worship.”
We seem to have constructed an economic system which actively destroys jobs in a quest for higher profits and lost sight of the ideal of full employment set out in ‘The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights‘ –
* (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
* (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
* (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
* (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
* Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
* (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
* (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.