Human Rights 365

| 10/12/2014

The 10th of December commemorates the date on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; a declaration which recognises equality and dignity for all individuals. Today is referred to as International Human Rights Day (IHRD). This year the United Nations has chosen to recognise IHRD through the theme “Human Rights 365” focusing on the need to promote and progress human rights on a daily basis.

A key focus of the United Nations this year is the use of social media and as such the United Nations is promoting IHRD through #rights365.

Human rights in the Cayman Islands are enshrined in Part One of the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009 – the Bill of Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities. They are the rights which the Cayman Islands Government commits to providing to the individuals of these islands.

Human rights are not the cause, or solution to, social issues; rather they are certain protected and fundamental rights which all of us are entitled to as human beings. They encompass such important guarantees as the right to life, the right to religious freedom and the right to a fair trial, amongst others. These rights are guaranteed, in various forms, to promote dignity and equality of all. It is through these fundamental rights that a fair and just society is created and democracy is nurtured. It is because of these rights that as individuals we enjoy the quality of life we do in the Cayman Islands.

Nothing is perfect. Human rights get abused just as other parts of the system get abused; but the nurturing and respect for these principles has underpinned the successes of the western liberal democratic model.  Without the government guaranteeing these rights our islands would be in a far less stable and prosperous position today.

Many persons recently celebrated Thanksgiving and many more are about to celebrate religious holidays in the coming weeks.  This is the time of year to count our blessings and be thankful.  It is also perhaps an opportunity to reflect and ask what can I do to play my part in promoting equality and dignity for those around me on a daily basis?

The Human Rights Commission works to review local draft legislation, government policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the Bill of Rights.  Much of this is highly technical work which takes place behind the scenes and is only detailed in the Commission's annual report. So far 2014 has seen theCommission focus on issues such as the protection of privacy, preservation of private and family life, and a reinforcement of the absolute stance against inhuman and degrading treatment. 

The Commission has also been working more publicly to try to promote a better understanding of human rights and to dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding them.

Over the next twelve months we will continue working with the Cayman Islands' government and with local and international organisations to protect these fundamental rights and spread the message of human rights progress and equality – #rights365.

For more information on human rights in the Cayman Islands or to contact the Human Rights Commission visit our website or Facebook page Educational pamphlets are available at the George Town Hospital, the Courts Offices, George Town Library or the District Administration Building. Alternatively you can call us at 244-3685 or come by our offices at Cayman Corporate Centre on Hospital Road.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Viewpoint

About the Author ()

Comments (38)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    When will the children of Cayman receive a free state primary and secondary education and not face discrimination and breaches of their rights?  This is a serious breach that puts many many families under considerable burden.  (It would also have the effect of greatly improving the quality of local state education).

  2. Gordon Barlow says:

    I was a member of the last Human Rights Committee, and resigned in 2006 because the local powers-that-be had no interest in pursuing human rights for all in Cayman. Nothing has changed. The present Commission has shown no concern for local human rights, except for foolishness regarding the parole of convicted murderers. It's all humbug, and the "educational pamphlets" are a waste of money and effort. This present Viewpoint reads like a government handout, and it wouldn't surprise me if it was written by some Civil Servant – under instructions not to rock the boat.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you regard rights protected by sections 3 and 5 of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution, the ECHR, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, various other international treaties and accepted as norms in democatic states for decades as "foolishness" then it's probably a good thing that you resigned.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr Barlow you are Probably right because the human rights commission is managed by a civil servant.

      So much more could be done by the HRC but the commissioners are volunteers! Their paying jobs, understandably, take priority. Meeting once a month will never cut it if they are trying to actually protect everyone's rights.

    • Anonymous says:

      We in Cayman treat all heterosexual Christians with dignity!

  3. Anonymouss says:

    Yes the same humarights will allow murderers to walk free after 15 years in prison no matter the crime… God forbit someone should waterboard a terrorist in order to save non-terrorist around the world.


    Makes me sick

    • Anonymous says:

      Yahoo.  Pure yahoo.

    • Anonymous says:

      and god forbid if they waterboard an innocent 96 times because he is the husband of a potential terrorist's third cousin twice removed, to find out stuff they can only make up to avoid another drowning.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well if the right defense budget from the US is involved then its fine (Under US direction of course) Just look at how much aid Egypt gets from the US.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Obviously we should not be following the USA in anything to do with human rights.

    The land of the free to torture

    • Anonymous says:

      Torturing Arabs seems to be fully supported by Arab countries.

    • Anonymous says:

      After all the good that the USA has done for the world at large that is the only thing you see?  Please feel free to never step foot on US soil.  Please.

      • Anonymous says:

        Im thinking, thinking Oh I know

        The only  country to attack another country with nuclear weapons.

        Props up right wing dictators.

        Invades sovereign nations without cause.

        Bombs innocent civilians and calls its collateral damage.

        Agent Orange

        Wounded Knee

        Sand Creek Massacre

        Fox News

        Crack Cocaine


        Continued use of depleted uranium shells

        Continued use cluster bombs

        Continued use of anti –personal mines

        Fast Food


        Hip Hop

        Racial profiling

        Support of Israel no matter what they do

        Political lobbyists

        Fox News (deserves to be on the list twice)

        Red Necks




        Right wing Christianity

        George Bush (senior and junior)

        Dick Cheney

        The sub-prime bank collapse

        Impossibly white teeth


        American English (an oxcymoron if ever i heard one)

        The list goes on.

        • Anonymous says:

          What the hell is "oxcymoron"? Is is something you rub on after a dodgy night out and more importantly, does it require a prescription?

          • Anonymous says:

            Well its like an oxymoron but im guessing the writer had big fingers as the "X" and "C" are right next to each other on the keyboard.

            I have to say though his list is rather short. Looks like he will have to add Jeb to the bush clan  soon

          • Anonymous says:

            it is a misspelt oxymoron

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, it is good to be American instead of whatever you are…

        • Anonymous says:

          You missed executing the mentally ill.

        • Anonymous says:

          Clearly you have been hating the USA for quite a while. Chances are you are a US Visa reject. Assuming you are correct, which country would you choose over the USA as one clean enough to live in?

          • Anonymous says:

            One of the civilised ones. 

          • Anonymous says:

            New Zealand, Sweden, Iceland, Canada, Ireland, Costa Rica, Australia, Germany, Austria,Finland, Denmark, Norway, Cambodia just to name a few.

            Visa?. I don't need no stinkin' visa


        • Anonymous says:

          Taylor Swift.

  6. Anonymous says:

    And yet the Commission is still turning a blind eye to the blatant breaches of the right to free primary and secondary education?  Why?  Is it because they are spinless political appointees who talk the talk but won't walk the walk?

    • Anonymous says:

      Read. The. Constitution. 


      • Anonymous says:

        Read.  The. European Convention on Human Rights.  And.  The cases.  Local secondary legislation is not going to trump those things.

        • Anonymous says:

          Alright Denning, if you're so confident bring a court case!

        • Anonymous says:

          Done that.  Where does it/they say free education is required in the Cayman Islands?

          P.S. You really do get the full stops between words thing do you? 

          • Anonymous says:

            Read Article 2 Protocol 1 of the ECHR and Article 14.  Then read Antatoliy Ponomaryov and Vitaliy Ponomaryov v. Bulgaria.  No child shall be denied an education and no-one can be discriminated against on the basis of national origin.  If a state provides free education to nationals then it must do so to non-nationals too.  The case makes it clear that in respect of such a fundamental right as education there will be very very limited scope to stand outside that right.




            • Anonymous says:

              An interesting silence from those xenophobes who were on their high horses trying to defend the ongoing denial of basic human rights to resident children.

              • Anonymous says:


                • Anonymous says:

                  Desperate move, but your silence obviously signified you were in trouble.  Gillow is not going to work against the right to education given the status attributed to that right in cases. 

                • Anonymous says:

                  Nope.  Try again.

      • Anonymous says:

        Read Ponomaryov v. Bulgaria.  Higher norm than the constitution.

    • Anonymous says:

      "…spineless…talk the talk but won't walk the walk."  Commented anonymously, seemingly without a hint of irony.

      • Anonymous says:

        Given the blatant lack of free expression on political matters anonymity is understandable.  Compare CNS with the crap letters the Compass prints.