Tuesday, 10 December 2019 marked the observance of International Human Rights Day around the world as well as locally by the Human Rights Commission (HRC). This year the United Nations (UN) Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) selected the theme ‘Youth Standing Up for Human Rights’, capitalising on the conclusion of the 30th anniversary of the adoption by world leaders of the Convention of the Rights of the Child.
The OHCHR calls for the empowerment of youth to better know and claim their rights in order to generate global benefits in matters such as education, climate change, civil and political participation, protection of LGBTI rights, fighting racism, gender equality, and bullying. It states that youth account for 1 in every 6 people on the planet, or 1.2 billion people aged 15-24 years old globally. Newly appointed Chairman, Mr. Dale Crowley, states, “Here in Cayman our youth have demonstrated their awareness of, passion for and dedication to important issues by adding their voices to causes such as the environment, bullying and mental health. Drawing attention to these matters mirrors the same demand for positive change seen in youth grassroots campaigns around the world.”
The HRC congratulates local youth involvement in initiatives like Protect Our Future, which made headlines recently with a group of young students representing the Cayman Islands National Trust at the UN climate change conference in Madrid, Spain this week. The HRC has additionally added its support to youth mental health/bullying initiatives at the Alex Panton Foundation, and the annual Stood Up Anti-Bullying Fair, both which recently received $500 donations from the HRC.
The Commission encourages everyone to support Youth Standing Up for Human Rights by using the hashtag #StandUp4HumanRights on International Human Rights Day. A range of official promotional items can be found on the Stand Up For Human Rights web page, from logos to social media visuals, to quizzes and other educational materials.
In the Cayman Islands our rights, freedoms and responsibilities are enshrined in Part One of the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009 – the Bill of Rights. Cayman’s Bill of Rights outlines a duty for protection of children along with other basic human rights including the right to life, a fair trial, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and marriage; as well as basic freedoms from torture, inhumane treatment and slavery.
For more information on the Commission or to learn more about the Bill of Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities, call 244-3685 or visit our website and Facebook pages at www.humanrightscommission.ky and www.facebook.com/cihrc.