Caymanian Heads Regional Human Rights Initiative

| 19/08/2008

(CNS): A Caymanian is heading an initiative spearheaded by the UK, British Overseas Territories (OTs) and Commonwealth organisations that is intended to build human rights capacity in the Caribbean OTs.

Following a global competitive selection process, Marilyn Conolly was selected as the human rights coordinator (Caribbean) for the Commonwealth Foundation. She is one of two coordinators chosen for the project, with the other representing the Atlantic and Pacific regions. The project is intended to help OTs conform with international standards concerning human rights obligations, and to develop country action plans, Conolly said in a release.

As coordinator, she will consult with stakeholders including government officials, community groups, labour unions, professional associations, faith-based organisations, the media, academia, and national human rights institutions. Currently, all regional OTs except Bermuda have agreed to engage in the project, she said.

Conolly, whose office is based in the Cayman Islands Law School, has already visited Montserrat and Anguilla, and is next scheduled to visit Turks and Caicos Islands. Each country has identified a coordinating body that will function as her main contact for the project; in Cayman, that body is the Attorney General’s Chambers, she said. Her regional visits are scheduled to be completed by the first week of September, after which work will begin on the preliminary report for the country action plans.

The four-year project began on 1 July 2007, and it is funded jointly by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The project is being carried out by the Commonwealth Foundation and its project partners, the Commonwealth Legal Education Association and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.

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