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Dec 10, 1998

Human Rights Commission holds forum

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This morning on the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the Human Rights Commission gave presentations on some of the biggest problems facing the commission and the need for Belizeans to be educated about their rights. The featured speakers this morning were the Deputy Prime Minister John Briceño and Minister of Human Development, Women and Youth Dolores Balderamos Garcia. They discussed prevalent abuses of human rights in Belize, particularly the battering of women and children.

Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Minister of Human Development

“What I focused on was domestic violence. As you know we have a serious problem with domestic violence in the country, I should say. I spoke about the need for all of us: government, N.G.O.s, the society to support the human rights organization as we protect the rights of women.

If a woman cannot feel safe in her own home, how can she help her children? How can the children get a good education? Education and economic security will help women to feel empowered and a woman that is empowered will not tolerate being humiliated, being battered. I have a lot of work to do. As you know government is working towards putting in place to a domestic violence unit of the police force.

With rape and sexual offences we will be introducing legislation that women’s rights are protected in that issue. Also I think once we have good education, once we try to change attitudes then we can work towards what we call true transformation.”

Garcia says wherever there is a right there is a corresponding responsibility. She said that as a society we must make sure that children and women’s rights are fulfilled and that we uphold the human dignity of all regardless of race, color or gender. Besides helping to create awareness of physical abuse, the Human Rights Commission of Belize also advocates awareness of the twenty-nine other rights guaranteed under the Universal Declaration.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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