Letters to the Editor

Safeguarding human rights has to be a priority

Friday, December 08, 2017

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Dear Editor,

Stand Up For Jamaica would like to wish all Jamaicans a happy International Human Rights Day, celebrated on December 10.

The fight for human rights in Jamaica has come a long way.

The work of organisations such as the Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights, Jamaicans for Justice, Stand Up for Jamaica, civil society organisations, the unions, the media, and many other groups and countless individuals has embedded the concept of human rights and created a diverse set of voices advocating and speaking to different issues.

As this wave of consciousness continues to increase in the society, it is critical that we do not take this for granted. Every right we enjoy today was fought for through the efforts of many individuals.

As we celebrate International Human Rights Day we acknowledge the activists and agitators who have given their life to the cause of equal rights and justice. What these individuals affirm for us is epitomised in the words of Roger Baldwin, one of the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union who said, “Silence never won rights. They are not handed down from above, they are forced from pressures below.”

As the new frontier of rights begins to be championed by new groups and individuals joining the rights movement, we must take heart and be reminded that the small actions of a committed group of people has the power to change the world.

In Jamaica's thrust for development, the safeguarding of human rights has to be a priority. This is not only an obligation of the Government but of every citizen. Every Jamaican has within their capacity the ability to defend the rights of other even as they protect their own rights by doing so. As we stand up for someone else's rights we will become the catalyst that drives Jamaica to achieve its full potential.

Maria Carla Gullotta,

Executive director

Stand Up For Jamaica





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