The main community development arm of the Ministry, the Social Development Commission, recognized Monday December 10, 2012 as International Human Rights Day by hosting its first conference on International Human Rights at the Jamaica Conference Center. The objective of the conference was to educate community based organizations and citizens of their human rights as stipulated in the Jamaica Charter of Rights, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Freedom.
Minister Colin Fagan, Minister of State in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development supported the efforts of the Social Development Commission, in developing community based organizations (CBOs) awareness of human rights so that they can better advocate and protect citizens’ rights.
In his opening address Minister Fagan stated that the “treatment and preservation of basic human rights” is indicative to the progress of any nation. He alluded to the society’s need to assess its progress towards goal 2 of Jamaica’s Vision 2030 program which seeks to ensure that the “Jamaican Society is secure, cohesive and just.” He called for greater collaboration by the Jamaican society and greater effort by government to improve its ranking as it relates to our commitments under various international treaties to which we are signatories.
The Honourable Minister of State gave an overview of the Ministry’s efforts to improve human rights by providing equitable and quality community services such as Emergency Management; Disaster Relief; care to the poor and destitute. He added that the Ministry is working to implement rules to facilitate social justice by ensuring equitable and holistic participatory governance through the Parish Development Committees, Community Development and other civil society groups.
Other presenters at the conference were Hon. Mark Golding, Minister of Justice and Opposition Spokesman on Justice Mr. Delroy Chuck. Mrs. Jacqueline Samuels Brown, Attorney at Law was guest speaker.