Together for Human Rights: Caribbean Rights Out Loud!

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) has been translated into Jamaican Patwa and Saint Lucian Kwéyòl for Human Rights Day 2023.

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and in honour of Human Rights Day 2023, the United Nations Information Centre for the Caribbean Area (UNIC Caribbean) is proud to introduce a new campaign, Caribbean Rights Out Loud!

This initiative seeks to promote the active universality of the UDHR by expressing it in the languages of the Caribbean. The campaign begins with the first official translations of the UDHR into Jamaican Patwa and Saint Lucian Kwéyòl.

Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 as a common standard, the UDHR set out for the first time fundamental human rights to be universally protected. The Caribbean Rights Out Loud! campaign asserts that giving voice to human rights in local languages is necessary to ensure that everyone, everywhere, is aware of their human rights, and can access them. “To claim your rights, you must know your rights, making this campaign a powerful vehicle for empowerment and equality in the region,” said UNIC Caribbean Director, Liliana Garavito.

The campaign aligns with the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights 75th Anniversary commemoration, led by its Human Rights 75 Initiative which aims to rejuvenate the UDHR by demonstrating its relevance in the modern world and promoting its promise of freedom, equality, and justice for all.

Caribbean Rights Out Loud! supports the ongoing global UDHR Translation Project, and highlights how such translations promote the Declaration’s universality – in access, expression, and applicability. Translated into hundreds of languages and dialects from Abkhaz to Zulu, the UDHR set a world record in 1999 for being the most translated document in the world. At present, there are 561 different translations available and the Caribbean Rights Out Loud! campaign promises to raise that figure.

The Caribbean Rights Out Loud! campaign features several key activities:

Increasing the count of official Caribbean language UDHR translations, beginning with Saint Lucian Kwéyòl and Jamaican Patwa.
Distribution of translated versions to libraries across the Caribbean.
Outreach activities to raise awareness about the campaign and encourage participation.
Recordings of the UDHR being read aloud, created with support from the United Nations Multi-Country Office (MCO) in Jamaica.
Social media campaign promotion on United Nations Caribbean digital platforms.

The Caribbean Rights Out Loud! campaign aims to:

Increase accessibility: Making the UDHR available in local languages helps to widen access to its powerful ideas and principles.
Claim the UDHR in the Caribbean voice: By translating the Declaration into local languages, the campaign seeks to empower Caribbean communities.
Deepen understanding: Translating the Declaration into familiar languages allows for a deeper understanding and connection with its principles.
Advance the struggle for human rights: The campaign promotes active engagement with the UDHR, encouraging Caribbean people to advocate for the full enjoyment of their rights.
Empower communities: The campaign recognizes and respects the diversity of Caribbean languages, promoting their use to empower communities and strengthen their voices.

Join the Movement!

Visit the “Caribbean Rights Out Loud!” page on the UNIC Caribbean website to learn more about the campaign, access translated versions of the UDHR, and engage in activities promoting human rights in your community.

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