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Celebrating Rights

All people share intrinsic human rights.

For the first time, the Cayman Islands will join the world in celebrating International Human Rights Day. Friday, 10 December 2010 marks the 62nd anniversary of the ratification of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The global observance focuses on the meaning, importance, and need for human rights. The day is also used to honour those who promote and protect these rights.

The Cayman Islands' Human Rights Commission will be hosting this celebration, in conjunction with Oneworld Entertainment and Camana Bay.

Human Rights Commission Chairman Richard Coles said, "Human rights are for all, and I encourage everyone in Cayman to come out and get to know the rights and responsibilities now contained in our Constitution."

Beginning at 6 p.m. this Friday on The Paseo at Camana Bay, this free family event will feature local musicians, actors, artists and vendors. Children can create their own works of art in the activity corner.

In addition, Twyla Vargas, Michael McLaughlin, Nasaria Suckoo, Rita Estevanovich, Gordon Solomon, and others will entertain with skits, inspirational poetry, and story-telling. Artists will also have work on display and for sale.

There will also be musical performances by Clever Knots, The Vagabonds, Natasha Kozaily, and Madame Speaker, as well as by students of the Lighthouse School of Special Education.

Even though the Cayman Islands' Bill of Rights Freedoms and Responsibilities will not come into effect until November 2012, human rights are protected by various international treaties.

As stated by the UN, human rights are inherent to all people, without discrimination by nationality, ethnic origin, sex, religion or any other status. They are recognized almost universally.

The United Nations' General Assembly voted to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the first international document to address in detail the notion that there are universal rights and fundamental freedoms which governments are obligated to secure for citizens.

This Declaration describes justice, equality and dignity as basic human rights of every man, woman and child. It states: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights," and that, "the inherent dignity of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world."

This document became the foundation of international human-rights law. Although not legally binding, the principles are supported by the international community.

More than 150 states are party to the Declaration and the principles have been enshrined in the constitutions of more than 90 countries, and translated into 300 languages.

For more information on the event or the Human Rights Commission, call 244-3690 or visit our website at