International Human Rights Day 2013

| 11/12/2013

10 December is the anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations (UN) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR sets out a certain set of rights that are the basic and minimum set of human rights for all citizens. Setting aside a day to commemorate, educate, and reflect on the principles that form the UDHR means celebrating the rights we exercise every day in the Cayman Islands, and acknowledging that enjoying those rights carries with it the responsibility of promoting these rights for all people.

Rights and freedoms that many of us take for granted – such as the right to an education, the freedom to practice our chosen religion, or the freedom of expression – are not equally available to persons in other countries as they are in the Cayman Islands.

As the celebration today is truly international in scope, many individuals and communities across the globe will be commemorating 10 December, and pledging a commitment to observe and improve human rights wherever possible. This year the Human Rights Commission joins the UDHR in encouraging the Government, civil society, communities, families and individuals to share your voice and celebrate the freedom of expression!

Freedom of expression is a cornerstone of democratic rights and freedoms. In its very first session in 1946, before any human rights declarations or treaties had been adopted, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 59(I) stating “Freedom of information is a fundamental human right and … the touchstone of all the freedoms to which the United Nations is consecrated.”

At an individual level, freedom of expression is a key to the development, dignity and fulfilment of every person.  At a national level, freedom of expression is a necessary instrument for effective, efficient, and democratic governance as well socio-economic progress. Through this fundamental freedom people have the opportunity to gain an understanding of their surroundings and the wider world by exchanging ideas and information freely with others.

Freedom of expression is essential to the protection of democracy by ensuring public participation in decision-making. Individuals cannot exercise their right to vote effectively or take part in public decision-making if they do not have free access to information and ideas as well as given the ability to express their views freely. Freedom of expression is thus not only important for individual dignity but also to participation, accountability and democracy.

On this day, the Human Rights Commission implores each person to reflect on the value of our freedom of expression as enshrined in the Bill of Rights, Freedoms, and Responsibilities and share your voice in the strive to promote, protect, and preserve human rights. 

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If HR laws were in effect, we teachers in government schools would get to use the restroom once in a while… maybe even once per day!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Real Human rights dont exist in the Cayman Islands. PERIIOD.

  3. Anonymous says:

    That last sentence should end "unless they might have a negative economic impact on locals."

    • Anonymous says:

      Indeed 10.11..and add "or want to run a local business" or "get fair notice of impending immigration changes"…one day soon someone is going to sue CIG on these matters, and tehy will lose, big time…I would hope the Cayman Human Rights commissioner is pointing this out to CIG but I do not hear much of a voice.

      • Anonymous says:

        The HRC is a joke put there to stop proper rights challenges not to identify them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Speaking of Human Rights There is a group of local business owners whom use the complaints process In immigration enforcement To rid the island of threats to that local  person.

      To be a littlle more specific When an employer finds out that that an employee has been made aware that pension contributions have not been paid in, yet deducted from there checks. One perticular employer will immediately fire that person run down to enforcement file a complaint saying that the person is working for such and such.

         Enforcement is required to bring in that former employee and question them and often arrest them. The defendant is then forced to pay a fine and leave the island. The local employer smiles all the way to the bank.

      Enforcement loves this because it brings in  large sums of money into the coffers, with little chance of the poor defendant having the ability to do anything about it because they have waved the right to go to court and usually dont have the resources to fight anyway. 

      The same thing happens when someone gets injured on the job and it is realised that the employer is not providing health insurance.   Run to enforcement and rid the person from the island.

      In another instance if the employer gets too far behind in pay checks they will tell the employee to find side work to make ends meet cancel the work permit and then file a complaint.

      Over the last few years this practice has been happening more and more often.  Immigration calls it doing a good job. I call it a human rights violation.