Mon | Mar 19, 2018

Ministry embarks on human-rights public-awareness campaign

Published:Saturday | December 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Declaring that the Government will lead from the front in ensuring that the human rights of Jamaicans are protected, Justice Minister Delroy Chuck said his ministry will pursue an aggressive public-awareness campaign to educate the country about the rights of every citizen.

The country has received €24 million from the European Union (EU) to improve access of vulnerable and special groups to the criminal justice system and to advance the implementation of the Child Diversion Programme to prevent children from embracing a life of crime.

Additionally, the allocation from the EU will improve the treatment of children who are in conflict with the law, and fully establish restorative practices into the criminal justice system.

In his comments to mark International Human Rights Day yesterday, the justice minister said: "Jamaica has done outstandingly well in areas such as the right to free speech, the right to associate, the right to worship and freedom of movement."


Unfinished agenda


He said Jamaica has established institutions such as the Office of the Public Defender, the Office of Children's Advocate and, more recently, the Independent Commission of Investigations.

"We are living in times that urge us to stand taller and do better in the protection of the human rights of our citizens. We still have an unfinished agenda in human rights which require bold and inspiring leadership to help us reclaim our legacy as a human rights beacon," Chuck asserted.

The justice minister called on Jamaicans and state institutions to play their part in honouring Jamaica's commitment to respect the fundamental rights of its citizens. "The burden of responsibility rests on the Government to ensure that there exists a culture of best practice in protecting and safeguarding the rights of Jamaicans and, especially, their right to life," he said.