economics, governance, self-defeating human rights policies, war

Self-Defeating Human Rights Policies (4): Road Safety

I knew I could use this when I saw it:

optical illusion of little girl playing on the road


This is part of an innovative approach to road safety in West Vancouver, Canada. The local government has decided to paint an optical illusion of a girl playing on the road in order to slow down traffic.

It’s a well-intentioned policy that’s likely to go horribly wrong: initially, there’s a risk that the painting will make drivers brake and swerve and cause an accident, and later on drivers will perhaps mistake real children for the painted ones and just drive one.

Similar counterproductive efforts are quite common in the area of human rights. The most obvious one is the war on terror: while trying to protect the lives, physical safety and bodily integrity of their citizens, western governments have launched themselves into a war on terror and two territorial wars on/in other countries. Those wars not only produce massive violations of the rights of citizens of those two countries, but also of the rights of the citizens of the western countries that initiated the wars. Moreover, these wars tend to produce terrorists rather than eliminate them (see also here).

More self-defeating human rights policies are here.