Jamaica Committed to Protection of Human Rights – Ambassador Thomas

Photo: Derrick Scott Jamaica’s Permanent representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), Ambassador Ralph Thomas, delivering Jamaica’s Statement at a special sitting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States, in Washington, to commemorate Human Rights Day on December 10.

Story Highlights

  • Jamaica’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), Ambassador Ralph Thomas, has reiterated the country’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights at all levels of the society.
  • “The Charter on Fundamental Rights and Freedoms adopted four years ago, provides for comprehensive protection of certain economic and social rights as well as established civil and political rights,” he added.
  • The Ambassador was accompanied by Jamaica’s Alternate Representative to the OAS, Miss Julia Hyatt.

Jamaica’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), Ambassador Ralph Thomas, has reiterated the country’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights at all levels of the society.

He was delivering Jamaica’s Statement at a special sitting of the Permanent Council of the OAS, in Washington, in commemoration of Human Rights Day on December 10.

Ambassador   Thomas said that Jamaica’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights at the national level is evidenced by the establishment of several mechanisms, including the Office of the Public Defender, the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), the Child Development Agency (CDA) and the Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA), “all aimed at securing the rights of our citizens.”

“The Charter on Fundamental Rights and Freedoms adopted four years ago, provides for comprehensive protection of certain economic and social rights as well as established civil and political rights,” he added.

He pointed out that while the Charter reinforces some provisions of the Constitution, such as the right to equality before the law, it also introduces new rights, including the rights of the child, the right to a passport, rights relating to the environment, the right to legal aid and the right to vote.

“All the rights elaborated are enjoyed by all persons, without distinction of any kind.  This is in keeping with our commitment to a socio-economic model, as envisaged in the Vision 2030 National Development Plan, whereby Jamaica becomes ‘the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business’.”

Ambassador Thomas said the commemoration of International Human Rights Day provides justifiable cause for celebration, as it gives the opportunity to highlight the tremendous strides made.

He said Human Rights Day 2015 provided an opportunity for Jamaica to reflect on its own efforts to advance human rights at the national and international levels.

“Jamaica has an abiding commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights. The country is party to seven of the nine core international human rights instruments, and continues to support the Inter-American Human Rights system and fully respects the work of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights,” the Ambassador said.

The Ambassador was accompanied by Jamaica’s Alternate Representative to the OAS, Miss Julia Hyatt.

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