October 2, 2023

The Editor Speaks: Human rights

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Human Rights Day passed with hardly a whimper last Sunday (10). There were no Ministerial messages to remind us how important the day is here in the Cayman Islands.

This is probably because we live in a country where human rights are generally observed, and if they’re not and you belong to the LGBTQ community, we will hear very quickly.

However, that shouldn’t mean we must be deaf to the rights people all over the world are being deprived of. It is also getting worse.

I urge you all to read our story published today titled “Human rights advocates under threat worldwide”.

It is sobering reading.

“More and more human rights advocates are paying the ultimate price for their activism. Many are threatened and harassed. For years, the situation of human rights advocates has been growing worse”, the article claims.

A recent report by Amnesty International warns that for years human rights advocates have been facing ever greater danger. Many are made to disappear or are murdered — often by their own governments. For its report, Amnesty International spoke to relatives of human rights activists who disappeared or were murdered. It learned that many victims knew their human rights activism was putting their life in peril.

In 1948, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A year later, Dec. 10 was declared Human Rights Day. The declaration formed in a post-World War II era that shed both Nazism and colonialism sought to cement basic rights for people worldwide.

Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai, one of the most vibrant defenders of human rights, tweeted Sunday.

“The words Anne Frank wrote … still remind us to cherish and defend human rights. Today [10], I am thinking of Palestinian and Rohingya children — and all around the world still struggling to achieve Anne’s dream of freedom,”

In an article by Susan Miller writing in USA Today she says, “Against a backdrop of police-involved shootings, sexual harassment cases, immigrant arrests, threats to LGBT gains and a surge in hate crimes since the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a heated debate rages over individual rights in the United States.”

“This year, Human Rights Day kicks off a year-long campaign to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of the declaration, which the U.N. calls a “milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being — regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
The General Assembly adopted the declaration with 48 nations in favor and eight abstentions. It was proclaimed as a “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations,” according to the U.N.”

“The declaration is considered the most translated document in modern history and is available in more than 500 languages, according to the U.N. In 1952, a Human Rights Day stamp issued by the U.N. Postal Administration received about 200,000 advance orders. In decades since, the day has blossomed in popularity, particularly with backers of social causes.”

See: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/12/10/international-human-rights-day-freedom-still-elusive-much-world-and-u-s/938599001/

It is therefore surprising this very important date in the world’s calendar passed the Cayman Islands by. It might have been because of the weekend’s strong winds….

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