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Schoolchildren mark Human Rights Day in Hamilton

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Sakairi Eimar Ashby and Shia Bean of CedarBridge Academy mark Human Rights Day with their work on Mary Prince, a Bermudian born enslaved whose powerful autobiography helped end the slave trade (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Bermuda joined the rest of the world today to celebrate Human Rights Day.

The event at City Hall in Hamilton, organised by the Human Rights Commission, Social Justice Bermuda, Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda and Imagine Bermuda, highlighted the progress made towards equality – and the need for further work.

Lisa Reed, the executive officer of the HRC, said: “It is important that we pause and remember the impact that we can have when we work together to support all members of the Bermuda family.”

Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton, added the event was held on the 73rd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which said that all human beings were “born free and equal in dignity and rights”.

He added: “Unfortunately after more than 70 years, it is still aspirational.

“We still haven’t achieved that yet, but that doesn’t mean that here in 2021 we cannot still fight for those rights.”

Tinee Furbert, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors, said earlier that Human Rights Day was a time to “reflect, educate ourselves and advocate on issues that impact all human beings and their rights”.

She added: “As our community continues to evolve, so will our human rights legislation to strengthen human rights to meet the needs of our people and communities.

“Community action is not just required from a local perspective, but globally to ensure all human rights are protected and we are free from discrimination in areas of employment, accommodation, public displays, access to goods, facilities, and services.”

Schoolchildren celebrate Human Rights Day at Hamilton City Hall (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Ms Furbert said companies, organisations, churches, schools and the public should organise events to mark the day and this year’s theme of equality.

She added: “We must work collectively as a country to reduce inequalities and advance human rights for all as equality is for everyone.”

Robin Tucker, a One Bermuda Alliance senator, highlighted the pioneering work of Bermudians in the field, including Bermuda National Hero Mary Prince, whose autobiography fuelled the fight for the abolition of slavery, and Alice Scott, a leader in the battle for votes for women.

Ms Tucker said that human rights had progressed because of years of hard work, but everyone had a responsibility to ensure rights were preserved.

The event also included a dramatic reading designed to underline the history of civil rights in Bermuda from the start of the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the victories of the labour movement.

Tessa Kearns a pupil at BHS, highlights heroes in the fight for human rights (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Quayan Watson, a pupil at Impact Mentoring Academy, helps to commemorate Human Rights Day (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published December 11, 2021 at 7:51 am (Updated December 11, 2021 at 7:51 am)

Schoolchildren mark Human Rights Day in Hamilton

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