International Human Rights Day

| 10/12/2008

International Human Rights Day is 10 December and commemorates the day in 1948 when the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This year, 2008, is particularly significant as it is the 60th anniversary of the UDHR.

On the 2007 International Human Rights Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched a year long campaign promoting the ideals and principles of the UDHR – justice and equality for everyone.

He said: “The campaign reminds us that in a world still reeling from the horrors of the Second World War, the Declaration was the first global statement of what we now take for granted — the inherent dignity and equality of all human beings…But the fundamental freedoms enshrined in it are still not a reality for everyone. Too often, Governments lack the political will to implement international norms they have willingly accepted.” He further confirmed that the UDHR remains as relevant today as it did on the day it was adopted.

The theme for the campaign, “Dignity and justice for all of us” reinforces the vision of the UDHR and its core values of human dignity, non-discrimination, equality, fairness and universality applies to everyone, everywhere and always.

The HRC supports and echoes the ideals and principles of the UDHR and hopes to see those included in a bill of rights for the Cayman Islands. The year of 2008 has seen much progress in the realisation of human rights in the new constitutional arrangements of the Cayman Islands. However, due to unforeseen circumstances the second round of constitutional talks, originally scheduled for December 2008 have been postponed until 2009. The HRC remains confident that the constitutional modernisation process will remain on track and that a bill of rights, promoting equality and dignity for all will finally be realised for the Cayman Islands.

Human Rights Day also marks the end of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence Campaign, emphasising that gender violence is a violation of human rights. The HRC confirms its support for this campaign and aims to revisit this topic throughout 2009 in its continued efforts to promote and protect human rights in the Cayman Islands.

As 2008 is the 60th anniversary of the UDHR, the coming new year to 10 December 2009 has been proclaimed as the “International Year of Human Rights Learning.” Human Rights education and training is an ongoing theme and the HRC intends to continue its efforts to provide opportunities for education and learning about human rights to the people of the Cayman Islands.

For more information on the work of the HRC, please visit the HRC website at www.humanrights.ky.

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