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07 December / 2018

Human Rights Commission Celebrates International Human Rights Day 2018

Category: Press Release

Human Rights Commission Celebrates International Human Rights Day

 and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – 10 December 2018

“All human beings are born fee and equal in dignity and rights…Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind…”

- Articles 1 & 2 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Monday is International Human Rights Day which is observed every year on 10th December.  This year marks the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“the UDHR”).  To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the UDHR, the United Nations (“the UN”) has launched a year-long campaign building on its existing ‘Stand Up for Human Rights’ campaign.[1]   

The UDHR was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948.  It was created to try to prevent a repetition of the horrific human rights violations perpetrated during World War II.  The UDHR was drafted by a culturally and legally diverse group of people from nine different countries including former First Lady of the United States and First Chairwoman of the UN Commission on Human Rights, Eleanor Roosevelt.  The UDHR holds the world record as the most translated document ever - available in 500 languages.

The UN describes the UDHR as “a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being -- regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”[2]  The anniversary campaign is a celebration of the UDHR and “aims to promote, engage and reflect:

Promote the rights enshrined in the Declaration and what the UDHR means in our daily lives;
Engage broad audiences across the world and mobilize people for human rights;
Reflect on progress and challenges, and ways that each of us can stand up for human rights.”[3]

In the Cayman Islands our rights, freedoms and responsibilities are also enshrined in Part One of the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009 – the Bill of Rights.  It reflects the rights in the UDHR and other major human rights covenants.  Basic human rights including the right to life, a fair trial, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and marriage; along with basic freedoms from torture, inhumane treatment and slavery are all protected by our Bill of Rights.   Similarly to the UDHR, running through our Bill of Rights is the clear prohibition of discrimination in its application.

The Commission takes this opportunity to reiterate the importance of promoting, protecting and preserving human rights in the Cayman Islands and encourages all members of the public to join us as we ‘Stand Up for Human Rights’ by celebrating International Human Rights Day 2018 and the 70th Anniversary of the UDHR.  

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