“All Human, All Equal” – Falkland Islands Government advocates for Human Rights Day
Today, Friday 10 December, is the United Nations Human Rights Day, which was established in 1950 to draw the attention of ‘the peoples of the world’ to the inalienable rights of individuals as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This year’s Human Rights Day slogan is “All Human, All Equal” and relates to Article 1 of the UDHR “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
Equality, inclusion and non-discrimination are priority areas for the Falkland Islands Government, which this year has established a dedicated working group to address and find solutions for issues relating to equality within our society. Despite the hardship and the heartache caused across the world by the Covid-19, the pandemic has also given us the opportunity to look more closely at our community, in order to understand where more work is needed to reduce inequalities and to develop a clear plan of action towards meeting these objectives.
Human rights are at the very core of our constitution and every year our elected representatives attend C24 – the United Nations Committee Special Committee on Decolonization – to make the case for self-determination under Article 21 of the UDHR, namely that:
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
As MLAs Mark Pollard and Leona Roberts, expressed at the last main session of C24 in June this year, the Falkland Islands want people to remember that, in 1982, our home was invaded and subjugated, and through this hostile act we were denied our basic human rights for 74 days. Nearly four decades later, we want people to acknowledge our inalienable right to determine our own future and to live in peace without the threat of intimidation.