Every day is Human Rights Day
Seychelles joins the world in commemorating International Human Rights Day on Wednesday the 10th of December, 2014. This year’s theme and slogan for the day is ‘Human Rights 365’, which encompasses the idea that every day is Human Rights Day. The theme celebrates the notion that all of us, everywhere, at all times, are entitled to the full range of human rights, and that human rights belong equally to all of us.
The 10th of December marks the day on which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. The Government of Seychelles remains committed to promoting and implementing the principles of the Declaration, including by enshrining the contents of the Declaration within the Third Chapter of the country’s Constitution. The protection and promotion of human rights is accordingly a daily endeavor and fervor of the Government of Seychelles, one that forms the cornerstone of our national policies and goals.
In the past year, Seychelles has continued to take determined steps towards the full realization of human rights for all peoples. In April 2014, the ‘Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2014’ was enacted, followed by the launching of an Action Plan and national campaign aimed at combating the heinous crime of trafficking in persons. Throughout the year, Seychelles has also taken the national and international stages to claim its livelihood as a Small Island Developing State vulnerable to climate change, which poses an immediate and far-reaching threat to the full enjoyment of human rights, including the right to life, food, health, water, housing, and self determination.
Seychelles, being equally committed to furthering human rights at the international level, continues to support the UN mechanisms on Human Rights and in this view submitted a voluntary mid-term report on its implementation of the recommendations received by Seychelles under the Universal Periodic Review Mechanism in June 2014. Seychelles also welcomed the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children, in January of this year, following Seychelles’ issuance of an open invitation to the Special Procedures mechanism of the United Nations.
Whilst recognizing its achievements, the Government of Seychelles remains determined to identify and address any shortcomings and challenges in its aim to guarantee equality, democracy and rule of law for all. On this International Human Rights Day, the Government of Seychelles reaffirms its commitment to the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and calls upon its citizens to pursue the highest standards of human rights, for themselves and their communities, every day.