GIS – 11 December, 2018: ‘Since its independence, Mauritius has relentlessly pursued its development based on the universal values of democracy, good governance, rule of law, protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms and based our credo on a people-centred development. Government will continue to strive to champion the rights of its citizens in all its territories and will spare no effort to see to it that unity and diversity prevail in the society’.
The Attorney General, Minister of Justice, Human Rights and Institutional Reforms, Mr Maneesh Gobin, made this statement yesterday during the launching ceremony of a series of video clips for an awareness campaign on human rights in the context of Human Rights Day. The event was held at the Komiko Comedy Art Club, in Bagatelle. The UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Mauritius, Ms Christine Umutoni, and the High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa, Her Royal Highness Princess Zenani Dlamini, were also present.
The eight videos, an initiative of the Ministry of Justice, Human Rights and Institutional Reforms, focus on various human rights themes including: sexual harassment, child marriage, torture, rights and respect of the elderly, meritocracy and equal opportunity, rights of disabled persons and rights to education. They were conceptualised by the Komiko Comedy Art group. In addition, during the course of the week, the ‘Know Your Rights’ pamphlets for migrant workers will be launched.
In his address, the Attorney General highlighted that the celebration of Human Rights Day is a unique opportunity to demonstrate universal support for the promotion and protection of rights around the world. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), he indicated. The UDHR, he emphasised, still remains relevant in today’s society as it essentially serves to bind mankind together in spite of differences and reminds us that we should not take peace for granted.
Speaking about the distinct multiracial, multiethnic and multicultural society of Mauritius, the Minister reiterated the fundamental vision of Government in upholding a cohesive pluralistic society whose members are healthy, well educated, and socially, economically and culturally empowered. Mr Gobin underpinned Government’s resolve to secure the human rights of everyone irrespective of these differences. The Constitution is largely based on the UDHR which guarantees the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of everyone, he added.
The Minister reiterated Government’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and indicated that this is demonstrated through the ratification of all major international human rights instruments at the regional and international levels. On that note, he dwelt on various initiatives, including: the country’s continued cooperation with UN mechanisms and the treaty bodies; Mauritius being reviewed by the UN Committees, Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; the setting up of the National Mechanism for Reporting and Follow Up; and, the creation of a Braille version of the Constitution. Mauritius will work in close collaboration with the Human Dignity Trust and Justice Alliance based in the UK with regards to LGBT rights as well as set up a Human Rights Database, he announced.
As for Ms Umutoni, she emphasised that the UN community has at heart the rights of its citizens and reiterated the commitment of the UN to continue collaborating with Mauritius for the advancement of the protection of human rights in the country.
The UN Resident Coordinator commended Mauritius for standing up for the respect, protection and fulfillment of human rights through its adhesion to numerous treaties and enforcement of various laws. For her, human rights awareness campaigns such as the video clips launched are pivotal to educate and help communities to be aware of their rights and obligations.
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: email@example.com Website: http://gis.govmu.org