Keywords: UDHR; Universal declaration on Human Rights, ICCPR; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ICESCR; International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. – UN office of High Commission of Human Rights (1996)
Together with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), make up the International Bill of Human Rights. In accordance with the Universal Declaration, the Covenants recognize that “… the ideal of free human beings enjoying civil and political freedom and freedom from fear and want can be achieved only if conditions are created whereby “everyone” may enjoy his civil and political rights, as well as his economic, social and cultural rights.”
A Brevity of main Human Rights;
The ICESCR (1966); Article (1) speaks of self-determination. Including the right to determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. Moreover, Article (3) speaks of equal rights of men and women to the enjoyment of all rights in the said treaty, but, Article (4) states that; Limitations may be placed on these rights only if compatible with the nature of these rights and solely for the purpose of promoting the general welfare in a democratic society. In addition, Articles (6, 7 & 8) speaks of the right to the Work and Article (11) speaks of right to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing. Everyone has the right to be free from hunger which can also be found in Article (55) (a) of UN Charter and Article (25) of the UDHR 91948). Also, Article (13) speaks of everyone has the right to education.
Under the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights; Article (3) speaks of everyone having the right to life, Article (4) No one shall be held in slavery or servitude and Article (5) states that; No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Moreover, Article (6 & 7) speaks of the rights to recognition before Law and equal before Law respectively. Article (13) speaks of the Right to freedom of Movement and Article (17) speaks of the right own property. In addition, Article (19) speaks of the rights to Freedom of Expression and Article (20) speaks of the rights to peaceful assembly and association (Protest, March etc.). In the ICCPR, Article (25) speaks of the right to vote.
For more information on Human Rights;
http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/ UDHR (19480
http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/ UN Charter (195)
Also, important to note;
In accordance with international law Human Rights laws such as in the ICESCR (1966) are NOT justiciable because it was a resolution adapted in the General Assembly and not in the UN Security Council. Hence, the said rights mentioned are not binding on States and can’t be recognize in a court of Law. However, if ANY of the rights outline in the treaty becomes “customary international law, state practice and or gain
“opinion juris” they can become “justiciable”. Moreover, if states implement them in their local policies and constitution making them apart of their law of the lands then they can become justiciable.
The Unity Labor Party “ULP” Human Rights Track Record & Mr. Ramos Erroneous Claims;
From the very inception I knew that Mr. Ramos was up to no good and was never to be trusted. However, Mr. Ramos recent actions in regards to his slanderous email that he sent to the U.S. state Department, U.S. Embassy (Barbados) and Amnesty International only prove my concerns. Furthermore, Mr. Ramos have highlighted that he is indeed ignorant to International Law and International Human Rights Laws. It is clear, from his erroneous claims (in the email), that Mr. Ramos has absolutely no clue what International Human Rights+/ Humanitarian Laws are about. In addition, Mr. Ramos claimed St Vincent and the Grenadines is a “Police State”, but, yet he was free to come and go and even engage with people – only a Blinded idiot (Yes Blinded one too) will swallow this poisonous pill he is trying to sell people. A “police state” is a state in which the government exercises rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic, and political life of the people, especially by means of a secret police force.
In a nutshell, a police state will see grave violations of fundamental Human Rights. For instance, states like Myanmar (Burma) was once deemed as a police state and perhaps somewhat in some sense is still deemed as such. Indeed, a much better example will be the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”, in short; North Korea. St Vincent and the Grenadines don’t have a large enough police force armed with Guns, much less to have a “secret police force” for any government to curb people’s fundamental Human Rights. Mr. Ramos claims about St Vincent and the Grenadines being a “police state” is factually untrue.
Also, Mr. Ramos claimed that Vincentians are in fear of speaking out. Now, if this was the case we would not have seen groups like; War Room 1 & 2 and many people of the opposition party constantly lambasting the Government on a daily basis. In addition, there are even people who work in the Public Sector that excoriate the Government on a regular in Public spaces and even on Social Media, but, yet still no one has been thrown in prison and there are no evidence of “arbitrary arrest”. Hence, Article (19) of the UDHR (1948) speaks of the right to Freedom of Expression which evidently ALL Vincentians enjoys under the ULP Government.
In addition, to the many “untruths”, constant name calling and utter disrespect of the Prime Minister no one has seen their social, economic and political life ripped from them. Moreover, No ONE is in prison for their grotesque behavior and total disrespect of our Christian Tradition at the E.G Lynch Funeral which by our laws they can face Jail time.
In St Vincent and the Grenadines no one is forced to vote or not to vote for any political party. For instance, there are no “Garrisons” in St Vincent and the Grenadines liken to “Tivoli Gardens” Kingston, Jamaica. Thus, since the ULP Government have been in power people have been exercising their rights to Vote covered in Article (25) of the ICCPR (1966).
Under Article (11) of the ICESCR (1966) along with Article 55 (a) of the UN charter we’ve notice that the Government (ULP) have establish the “Housing revolution” and have assisted many people through numerous social programs.
In addition, Article (13) of the ICESCR (1966) which speaks of the right to Education; being fully respected via the ULP Government passing the Education Revolution Act of 2005 making primary and secondary education universal. Moreover, it was just last year the NDP had a rally in Kingstown in which the ULP Government did not in any way infringe on any of the NDP members fundamental Human Rights (article 20 of the UDHR, 1948).
In a nutshell, we have not witnessed any Fundamental Human Rights being violated by the ULP Government at any time in accordance with international Laws and International Humanitarian Laws. However, I understand that people of differing “political party” may not always see “eye to eye” with each other on every issue. Moreover, you will have differing perspective on issues and the governance of the country. But, we can also find commonalities even on the most contentious of issues only if we allow rational thinking to Prevail and resist the poisonous venom of “ignorance”. On that note, I urge my fellow Vincentians be it Red, Yellow or Green to refrain from slandering your country envisage political expediency.
The Leader of the Opposition Party; the Hon Mr. Arnhim Eustace once said “Everyone has the Right to Speak even if they talk foolishness”. Owing to Eustace, Mr. Ramos embark on his mission to speak untruths and foolishness about the ULP Government.
– Emmanuel Quashie