May 10, 2011, 2:00 PM
People all over the world are marking 10th December as International Human Rights Day.
People are using the day to claim their rights. They would take to the streets and demand change and respect for human rights.
Some would, no doubt, use the internet and instant messaging to inform, inspire and mobilize supporters to seek their basic human rights.
It was on 10 December 1948 when the UN member states adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
That date has since served to mark Human Rights Day worldwide.
Activists all over the world are using the day to remind governments of their commitments in safeguarding and respecting the fundamental human rights of their populace.
The 2011 human rights day is being marked with landmark achievements in the struggle for human rights, with peaceful demonstrations leading to the toppling of some dictators and change of bad policies thus ending repression in those countries.
These gains in the struggle for human rights should be further consolidated, especially in countries where human rights activism is seen as a taboo, for them to respect the rights of their citizens.
Human rights activists should be seen as champions and great men and women, who are sacrificing their lives and resources to see that everyone live in a dignify life.
They should not, therefore, be seen as enemies of the state or be targeted by state security apparatus for a job well done but to be acknowledge.
We are of the firm conviction that human beings are all born equal, irrespective of who they are in the society.
Rights are not negotiable, since they are given to humans by God.
These are further guaranteed by Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”
In the same universal instrument, it is stated that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
The 1997 Constitution of The Gambia guaranteed the rights and freedoms of all Gambians, and these provisions must be respected in the interest of peace and continued stability in the country.
We therefore see this day as a great day for all humankind, and salute all human rights campaigners and people clamouring for dignity around the world.
Human rights campaigns globally would continue so long as people’s rights are being infringed upon by the so-called powerful.