The following speech was delivered by Opposition Senator Robin Tucker on Human Rights Day at City Hall:
It’s a privilege to be here today as a black female celebrating Human Rights Day.
I bring remarks on behalf of the Leader of the Opposition and the One Bermuda Alliance.
It is an honour to address the topic of human rights with these few comments as it is the first responsibility of democratic governments – which is – to ensure that people are equal before the law and entitled, without discrimination, to equal protection of the law regardless of age, race sexual orientations, gender, religion or ethnicity.
Human Rights are in place to protect people, empower them and enable them to become responsible and active citizens. We have only to look at our own history to acknowledge and celebrate those who through their own personal sacrifice blazed a trail for human rights in Bermuda.
For example, Mary Prince pioneered the right to freedom from slavery and torture. Alice Scott, one of Bermuda’s leading citizens and most dedicated daughters, left an indelible mark in Sandy’s Parish, by founding a nursing home and mortgaging her own house to fund the Sandys Secondary School in 1927 to ensure children had the opportunity to become education. She also threw herself into the battle for women’s suffrage, helping to establish another human right – that is for a woman’s right to vote. This list could go on and on.
While human rights connect us to one another through a shared set of rights, these rights also come with shared responsibilities. As citizens and resident of Bermuda, we are responsible to ensure that these and other basic human rights are observed, respected and enforced. Our future depends on these inalienable rights.
So, in 2021, while the battle for human rights continues, we take this moment to join our voices with those in Bermuda, and around the world, to celebrate those who have gone before us and those who are still in the fight to demand human rights for all.