Human Rights Commission of Belize holds Annual General Meeting Print
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Thursday, 25 July 2013 00:00

HRCB founding member William Heusner along with Leo Bradley Jr., President of HRCBThe Human Rights Commission of Belize (HRCB) held its Annual General Meeting last Saturday at the George Price Center for Peace & Development in Belmopan. The purpose of the meeting was to inform HRCB members on the most recent developments, achievements and plans for the future.

Present at this special AGM meeting was one of the founding members of the HRCB movement in Belize, William Heusner.

HRCB was founded on December 1987 in response to labor issues that had arisen in the Southern part of Belize. Today, the HRCB deals with a multi- dimension of issues such as being the vanguard of the rights of migrants in the Bella Vista Area and lobbying for human rights to be integrated in the curriculum at tertiary level institutions.

But some 26 years later, labor issues continue to be a concern of the HRCB.

“During the course of the year [sic] was in Bella Vista, we went to Bella Vista and we saw the maltreatment of workers, who both in their labor environment as well as their communities where they live, there are for example persons who are unable to send their children to school because they don’t have sufficient money, they are not paid sufficiently…there are also concerns with regard to health,” says Leo Bradley Jr., President of HRCB.

HRCB’s mission is as follows: to improve the quality of life through continuous education and changes in public policies in order to create a culture of human rights in Belize.

Some of these human rights issues were reviewed at the AGM by its President Leo Bradley Junior who was elected for that position on July 28, 2012. In his discourse with members on Saturday last, Leo Bradley detailed the achievements during the span of one year. Bradley mentioned that during that time two women champions on human rights had been honored; Myrna Manzanares by the National Institute of Culture and History and Maria Erlinda Gamero nee Constanza by the Belize Council of Aging. Then on June 10, 2012 the HRCB met with the Ombudsman in his office in Belize City to discuss working together in training and other initiatives. In relating the achievement during 2012, Bradley also mentioned that the Police Department had invited the HRCB to partake in the December 11 to 20th 2012 training of Recruit Squad Number 88. For that training, HRCB Board members Antoinette Moore made a presentation on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Board Member Kevin Arthurs spoke to the recruits about the Constitution and Constitutional Rights, Diana Shaw spoke about conflict resolution and Jenny Lovell spoke about the rights of victims. According to Bradley, the trainees were then given an exam for which 90 of the 120 of the trainees passed.

The HRCB is currently supported partially by the British High Commission Funds, the Oak Foundation and others. HRCB is hoping that with the involvement of younger members at this year’s AGM, the values of human rights will be passed on to the next generation.