By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security Ministry on Tuesday (December 10) hosted at a candle light vigil in-front Parliament building in observance of International Human Rights Day (December 10) and the end of the 16 Days of Activism period.
Speaking at the event, First Lady Deolatchme Ramotar said violence, regardless of who it is perpetrated against affects all and called for citizens to united against the scourge.
Madame Ramotar also noted that while attention is given to women and children, senior citizens are also taken advantage of and attention must be given to them in ensuring their wellbeing.
“Violence is not confined to one strata of society, its spans across all socio-economic levels, I must say too that people have become too quick to resort to violence in solving conflicts, this must change,” she added.
The First Lady also pointed to the strain such incidents can place on an economy which is forced to concentrate its effort in that direction instead of others.
She said the Government will continue to do its part but implored citizens to safeguard themselves and communities.
Meanwhile, Human Services and Social Security Minister Jennifer Webster revealed the latest statistics which show that some 17 women were murdered by their spouses for 2013.
She challenged men to strive to be better mentors by respecting women more.
Webster also called for acceleration by all stakeholders in their response to reports of violence and urged the judiciary to adjudicate in a timelier manner. She said social media must also be used more constructively to promote positive issues.
“We must stand firm and commit ourselves toward the elimination of all forms of violence.”
Also present at the event was Chairperson of the Child Rights Commission Aleema Nasir, and several Human Rights activist.
The evening unfolded with the viewing of several videos raising awareness against violence and culminated with the releasing of several balloons with messages of peace within.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign that starts on November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and ends on 10 December, Human Rights Day. The campaign hopes to raise awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international level.
This year’s theme is: “Let’s challenge militarism and end violence against women.”
Meanwhile, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 10 December as Human Rights Day in 1950, to bring to the attention ‘of the peoples of the world’ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.
In 2013, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights marks 20 years since its establishment.