By Jeshua Bardoo
Yearly, in the month of March, the United Nations observes several international days.
For instance; Zero Discrimination Day on the 1st of March, International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on the 21st of March, International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims on the 24th of March, and International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade on the 25th of March.
As the world focuses on the various ways in which discrimination can occur in March, and indeed throughout the rest of the year, I encourage all Vincentians to continue to ponder upon the word “Discrimination” because whether you agree with me or not, discrimination affects every facet of life in SVG.
Do some research into what exactly discrimination is, the different types of discrimination that exist, the characteristics that are and should be protected from discrimination, and ways in which we can effectively address discrimination right here in SVG.
We should also ask ourselves various questions such as; “Are there any ways in which I am being discriminated against in SVG?”, “Are there groups of people that I am discriminating against in SVG?”, “Are the local laws in SVG sufficient to protect everyone from discrimination?”, “Does SVG need anti-discrimination legislation?”, “Is SVG observing all of its international obligations to prevent discrimination and to protect persons from discrimination?”, “Are the relevant authorities doing all that they can to tackle the plethora of issues surrounding discrimination in SVG?”, and “If not, what are some solutions or suggestions I can offer to help to tackle discrimination in SVG?”.
Everyone has a right to be free from discrimination. I believe that no one is entitled to discriminate against others nor should anyone be directly or indirectly discriminated against based on their skin color, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, ethnicity, religion, class, caste, occupation, education, political opinion, HIV status, health status, age, and/or disability, etc.
Let us educate and empower ourselves and others in SVG. Let us condemn and strive to end all forms of discrimination in SVG!Author: Jeshua Bardoo is a Vincentian Barrister-at-law and Solicitor. He is also a Chevening Scholar with an LLM International Human Rights Law. He can be contacted at [email protected].