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Activists speak about children’s rights at City Hall

Activists at City Hall to commemorate World Children’s Day — Lucille Rochester, left, of the National Assembly of the Baha’ís, former Progressive Labour Party MP Dale Butler, Joan Dillas-Wright, President of the Senate, activist Judy Burgess, Aaron Crichlow, from Bermuda Is Love, Sandy De Silva, executive director of Family Centre, and activist Glenn Fubler. Seated is Lisa Reed, executive officer of the Human Rights Commission (Photograph by Stefano Ausenda)

The island’s high cost of living is affecting children and families negatively, the head of a charity said today.

Sandy DeSilva, executive director of Family Centre, said the Government needs to continue addressing this issue and that economic needs have a “significant impact on families’ stress levels”.

Dr De Silva spoke at an event at City Hall centred on children’s rights. The presentation, organised by Glenn Fubler, commemorated World Children’s Day.

Held annually, World Children’s Day celebrates the adoption of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.

Lisa Reed, executive director of the Human Rights Commission, discussed children’s character during the event.

She said: “Children are not prone to judging, discriminating or excluding.

“They are quick to understand the power of their actions and the idea that every person deserves to be treated with dignity and kindness.”

Ms Reed added: “When we conquer the rights of all within our community, we conquer the rights of our children and strengthen our collective humanity.”

Mr Fubler, of Imagine Bermuda, encouraged people to reflect on the local theme that “Every Child Is Precious by pausing for 20 seconds of silence at 1pm.

He said this daily pause “will conclude on November 22, the 67th birthday of the late Martha Dismont, champion of children in Bermuda”.

Ms Dismont founded Family Centre in 1990, led the charity until 2020, and remained close to the organisation until she passed away in July.

Mr Fubler also highlighted a statement signed by various individuals and groups on the island.

Part of joint statement read: “We, the undersigned, join in affirming that every child is precious, with the hope that this mantra will guide the community in addressing the many challenges and crises that face the billions of people that share the planet.”

Bermuda Youth Connect, Family Centre, Bermuda Is Love, Imagine Bermuda, the Human Rights Commission, the National Assembly of the Baha’ís in Bermuda and Social Justice Bermuda approved the statement.

The joint statement was also signed by Joan Dillas-Wright, President of the Senate, the Right Reverend Nicholas Dill, Anglican Bishop of Bermuda, former Progressive Labour Party MP Dale Butler, Donald Scott, retired Cabinet Secretary, and several others.

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Published November 20, 2023 at 5:28 pm (Updated November 20, 2023 at 6:45 pm)

Activists speak about children’s rights at City Hall

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