Newly appointed Human Right Commission chairman Dale Crowley has congratulated Cayman’s young people for getting involved in issues not only impacting local shores, but the world at large.

“Here in Cayman our youth have demonstrated their awareness of, passion for and dedication to important issues by adding their voices to causes such as the environment, bullying and mental health. Drawing attention to these matters mirrors the same demand for positive change seen in youth grassroots campaigns around the world,” Crowley said in a statement to mark International Human Rights Day, on 10 Dec.

Over the past few months, Cayman’s youth have been making their voices heard through various initiatives, most recently in a series of public demonstrations urging government officials to stop the cruise berthing and cargo project.

Last month, students from Cayman’s Protect Our Future engaged in a campaign where they posted signs stating ‘Greed destroys our future’ at various locations around the island, including the George Town landfill and on reefs by the George Town Harbour.

HRC Chair Dale Crowley presents a cheque to Ilse Dacker of Hurley’s Media at the Stood Up Anti-Bullying Fair.

The commission, in its statement, congratulated local youth involvement in initiatives like Protect Our Future, from which a group of young students representing the National Trust for the Cayman Islands attended the United Nations climate change conference in Madrid, Spain, this week. Additionally, the commission has supported youth mental health/anti-bullying initiatives promoted by the Alex Panton Foundation, and the annual Stood Up Anti-Bullying Fair, both of which recently received $500 donations from the HRC.

This year’s International Human Rights Day observance, according to an HRC statement, focussed on young people, with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights selecting the theme ‘Youth Standing Up for Human Rights.’

The UN group has called for the empowerment of young people to better know and claim their rights in order to generate global benefits in matters such as education, climate change, civil and political participation, protection of LGBTI rights, fighting racism, gender equality, and bullying, the HRC statement said.

Young people aged 15-24 account for one in every six people on the planet, or 1.2 billion people.

“In the Cayman Islands, our rights, freedoms and responsibilities are enshrined in Part One of the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009 – the Bill of Rights,” the HRC statement said. “Cayman’s Bill of Rights outlines a duty for protection of children along with other basic human rights including the right to life, a fair trial, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and marriage; as well as basic freedoms from torture, inhumane treatment and slavery.”

The commission has also urged everyone to support ‘Youth Standing Up for Human Rights’ by using the hashtag #StandUp4HumanRights.

It said a range of official promotional items can be found on the Stand Up For Human Rights website, www.standup4humanrights.org/, from logos to social media visuals, to quizzes and other educational materials.