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More than a hundred persons marched and advocated for peace, equality and justice in the Virgin Islands in observance of International Human Right’s Day observed on Thursday December 10.
The International Human Rights Day culminated the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence that began on November 25.
Participants from several schools, organisations and uniformed bodies marched from the Governor’s Parking Lot to the Administrative Complex. They included Miss Junior British Virgin Islands Kairah Moolenaar, ZONTA Club of Tortola, Rotaract Club of Virgin Gorda, Social Development Department, Ministry of Health and Social Development, Family Support Network, BVI Autism Centre, Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.
Students from, Francis Lettsome Primary, Willard Wheatley Primary, Ivan Dawson Primary, Isabella Morris Primary, Alexandrina Maduro Primary, St. Georges Secondary, Seventh Day Adventist Secondary, Althea Scatliffe Drum Core, Girls Guide, Girls Brigade, Private and Public Officers also participated.
Deputy Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Ms. Tasha Bertie thanked the representatives of the groups who participated in the exercise.
Ms Bertie said, “As we continue to advocate for the advancement of human rights in every facet of our society, may today’s demonstration and all your participation be a lasting impression on the lives of every individual not only for today but for years to come.”
Following the march, participants gathered in the Breezeway for the Celebration of Life Ceremony which honoured 39 victims of violence in the Territory over the past 15 years. The victims’ were remembered by the reading of their names.
Gender Affairs Coordinator Ms. Lorolie Connor stated that the event is in its fifth year and it continues to gather more support and participation.
Ms. Connor said, “It shows that we are making an impact and creating awareness of people’s human rights and creating awareness on the impact that violence has on fellow man in this Territory. We are advocating that violence in all its forms is just not right and it must end.”
International Human Right’s Day was declared and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 1948 in receiving the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which was the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Violence campaign begins on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25 and concludes on International Human Rights Day on December 10, highlighting the link between human rights and violence-free lifestyles.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development provides a caring and integrated system of health and social services that facilitates human development and improves the quality of life in the Virgin Islands.