Archive for June 29th, 2008

Cayman Islands Desperate for more animal welfare officers

| 29/06/2008 | 0 Comments

Animal cruelty is the act of unnecessary harm and suffering upon an
animal. The US Humane Society supports the fact that animals can be
used for human purposes as long as it is not inhumane or causes any
pain to the animal. The Cayman Islands, compared to other countries,
are quite fortunate when it comes to animal cruelty. There is no
forcing of animals to fight or race, for example, pit-bull fighting.

Yet, this doesn’t mean these islands go without animal cruelty
completely. In fact, terrible abuse goes on that is over-looked.
Abuse, no matter what it’s acted upon, isn’t something that should be
left unattended. Is this the society we are to be living in and
representing? What pride comes out of causing weaker species to

Some see animal cruelty as quite innocent or just an act of fun for
young children. Animal cruelty, like other forms of violence, can
happen because of a person feeling distressed, powerless, unnoticed,
or under the control of others. Some who are cruel to animals copy
things that they have seen or have had done to them. For whatever
reason, there is a disturbance going on in their surroundings and
mind. It’s strange and alarming to think these types of people and
cases are being overlooked by police or animal welfare offices.

Studies have consistently shown that those who abuse animals have
alsovery often been abused or abuse those in their family. This could
possibly mean that every overlooked case of cruelty towards an animal
is a case of human abuse overlooked as well. It has been frequently
shown that serial killers have tortured or killed animals as children.

Many organizations see animal abuse and cruelty as a serious disorder.
They’re not just animals, their God’s living creatures. People are
ignorant to torture those that were here on Earth before us. It’s a
serious case.

Aside from effects on society, think of the animals. The Cayman
Islands is known to be a peaceful, safe, and crime-free country.
People visit and move here because of the security. Yet what kind of
security do these islands have when pets and Cayman’s living wildlife
is being maimed? I, myself, have seen numerous letters written to the
local publications from residents and even visitors about the
unnoticed cruelty in the Cayman Islands. Why is it being allowed to

I have done some investigation and the Cayman Islands have two animal
welfare officers – two animal welfare officers for three islands that
contain tremendous amounts of animals. This makes no sense to me. Why
isn’t the government striving to make sure Cayman’s living creatures
are protected? To go into more detail, on Cayman Brac there was a
serious case of a dog being burnt alive. There are many speculations
as to who the person is, and I am hoping questions are being asked and
a full investigation is being done. This case, if overlooked, can turn
into something serious.What if the perpetrator is being abused? What
if the perpetrator is abusing others?

Despite the beliefs that certain people may have that animals are just
animals, this should not be an excuse for abuse. There is violence and
torture happening in our islands. How can our islands take pride and
reassurance in this? The islands need more animal welfare officers.
Something must be done.

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Freedom of Association

| 29/06/2008 | 0 Comments

Article 20 of the Universal Declaration is the one that in effect
declares the right of all peoples to self-determination.  It
freed all the European colonies after the Second World War, and it
guides the United Nations’ Decolonisation Committee today.

It approves Cayman’s current constitutional arrangement with Britain,
and Puerto Rico’s with the US, and Quebec’s with Canada. Equally, it
would approve any changes in those arrangements, as long as the
changes were fully agreed by both sets of peoples. In theory, it
approves of any community’s struggle to be free of an oppressive
central government. In practice, the problem is to decide exactly who in a community has the authority to exercise the right to

In Cayman, for instance, who gets to vote on the terms of its
arrangement? Who are “the people of Cayman”? Suppose the people of
Grand Cayman wanted one thing and the people of the Brac another.
Suppose one of those Islands followed the European Union’s policy of
allowing immigrants to vote and the other followed Britain’s colonial
policy for Cayman of limiting the vote to members of one particular
ethnic group.

What Article 20 says is, Everyone has the right to peaceful
assembly and association
and No-one may be compelled to belong
to an association

There is no guidance on how to interpret the words. As usual, that is
left to the signatories’ common sense and sense of fairness. It would
be silly to allow casual visitors to participate in a community’s
decision, and unfair to exclude long-term immigrants. In Britain, six
months’ residence entitles you to vote; in Cayman, the period is
upwards of fifteen years.

Article 20 was used in the USA in the early 1960s in support of the
argument that Black Americans should have access to full civil
rights.  Fortunately for the civilised world of the day – and for
the cause of fairness ever since – the argument won out, as it must
some day win out in Cayman.

The Universal Declaration is a set of ideals based on the doctrine of
fairness. It is only fair that an association of people have access to
the right to self-determination.  But it is also fair not to deny
long-term immigrants the right to belong to that same

The national interest (of real nations, that is) is the most important
factor in deciding which community is entitled to self-determination
and which isn’t. The US would not allow the US Virgin Islands to go
independent, or Hawaii; Britain might allow the British Virgins to go,
but not the Isle of Wight. Cayman? Cayman is in too strategic a
location for either Britain or the US to let it run wild – whatever
assurances we are given regarding our freedom of action.

An association is an organised joining-together of persons for a
common purpose. In most of the world, this includes employees, and
Article 20 covers their right to organise themselves into labour
unions. Employers too have the right to band together; our Chamber of
Commerce and the various trade associations are witness to our
governments’ recognition of that right. Labour unions are a different
proposition here.

Our status as a British colony allows the Foreign & Commonwealth
Office to adopt the premise that labour unions in Cayman might not be
in Britain’s national interest. The Immigration Law, in the general
power it gives to the Work Permit Board and similar, provides for the
deportation of migrant workers who might seek to start up a labour
union, or to join one. 

 Carlyle G. Corbin, St. Croix, Virgin Islands: Permit a
few clarifications on several points. The article indicates that
the United Nations Decolonisation Committee is guided by
Article 20 of the Universal Declaration (on Human Rights). In
fact, the Decolonisation Committee was created by General Assembly
Resolution 1654
of 1961, which states that its purpose was to
implement the Decolonisation Declaration of 1960. There was no
reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.
There is, however, an organic link between a process of self-
determination and subsequent decolonisation, but it is not associated
with the Decolonisation Committee.

Earlier UN resolutions have addressed the issue of self-determination
in relation to non self-governing territories. As far back as
1952, Res. 635 makes reference to self-determination provisions
of Articles 1 and 55 of the UN Charter of 1945. The resolution states
that members of the UN should “recognize and promote the
realisation of the right of self-determination of the peoples of the
non self-governing and trust territories who are under their
administration and shall facilitate the exercise of this right by the
peoples of these territories according to the UN Charter.”

 There have been other resolutions to this effect, in recent
years on the universal realisation of the right to self-determination.

Finally, the article states that “the US would not allow the US
Virgin Islands to go independent, or Hawaii.”
  It is
important to note, however, that the USVI is not an integrated part of
the USA, as is Hawaii, which has achieved (albeit through
questionable means)
political integration with the US. Thus, the
USVI, and the six UK overseas territories in the Atlantic/Caribbean
have the inalienable right to self-determination under the UN Charter.
If the rule of law is to be respected, it is not for any of the
cosmopolitan countries which administer territories to “allow”
a legitimate self-determination to take place. It is for these
countries to facilitate the process, according to the internationally-
recognised standards.

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