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20/3/2020 0 Comments
Theme: International Decade for people of African Decent: Recognition, Justice & Development.
Sixty years ago on March 21st, 1960, police in Sharpeville South Africa opened fire and killed sixty nine (69) people who were demonstrating peacefully against the apartheid pass laws.
Several years after, in 1979, the United Nations at the General Assembly, adopted a programme of activities over a period of one week in solidarity with the people of African descent who are struggling against racism and racial discrimination.
This year, the focus is on the midterm review of the International Decade for People of African Decent and has as its theme; “Recognition, Justice and Development”.
The Guyana Public Service Union takes this opportunity to draw these issues to the attention of you, our members and the wider community and, for us to mobilize political will and other resources to address the problems.
There must be a genuine effort on our behalf to understand each other, to speak out against all forms of discrimination and, to be prepared to adopt measures to confront the many ways this scourge may rear its ugly head.
The Union is convinced that racial doctrines and practices that discriminate, segregate, biased, preferential, partial and one sided in most cases, may be transferred to others. We therefore need to make strenuous efforts in our homes, places of work and generally in our respective communities, to promote peace and harmony.
We must understand that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and have the potential to contribute constructively to the development and wellbeing of our society despite our differing identities and nationalities.
In relation to the sub theme: “Racial Profiling and Incitement to Hatred”, there is the need to focus on our utterances, and desist from statements which incite racism, ethnic and religious profiling, and gender identity.
There should be no advocacy that incites racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.
Appropriate measures should also be taken to protect individuals who may be subjected to acts of discrimination, hostility or violence as a result of their race, ethnicities, cultural, sex or religious identity.
While it can be said that racial prejudice exists worldwide as well as here in Guyana and can be termed similar to a pandemic. Recently, some individuals within the electorate rather than being matured and civilized have been displaying racist tendencies. We must make every effort to seize every opportunity to enlighten and encourage respect for and acceptance of each other.
The Union wishes that every one of us make a personal and genuine Pledge as was articulated in remarks at Human Rights Day Event- the United Nations in December 11th, 2017.
“I will respect your rights regardless of who you are. I will uphold your rights even when I disagree with you. When anyone’s human rights are denied, everyone’s rights are undermined, so I will stand up…… I will use my rights to stand up for your rights”.
The Guyana Public Service Union encourages a revolutionary approach to remove deep-seated, entrenched and systemic discriminatory practices. We must all take a stand now.
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