World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


International Human Rights Day Message

Think Centre International Human Rights Day Message

Dec 10 - International Human Rights Day - reminds us of persisting human rights problems in our communities and in the world, and of the enormous efforts still required to make human rights a reality for all.

Human rights must be viewed as a vital part of civilisation, designed to equip generations with the knowledge of their inalienable rights, and the means to exercise and defend them. But none as sacrosanct as the right to life.

Singapore has been accused of having draconian laws and disrespecting human life. Recent episodes on drug-traficking offences highlighted the need for human rights education, judicial discretionary powers and abolition of mandatory death penalty.

Human rights include rights to health, to education, to food, to housing, to participate in politics, to be free from torture, arbitrary arrest and detention -- in short, the rights needed to be free from want and fear. Human rights education thus enables our people to be better informed of international perspectives on human rights charter and better appreciate the value of human life.

Abolition of the mandatory death penalty is a positive policy decision by a progressive, nimble and caring government. Instead of being defensive on grounds of sovereignty and legality processes, governments will be viewed as geniunely open-minded, rehabilitative towards criminal offences and respected as a state that values the sanctity of life.

Moroever, its been noted that Singapore authorities need to allow access at least within 48 hours of a persons detention, within the period the accused has to be produced in court. Singapore authorities cannot continue to justify its denial of early access of legal counsel to the accused - we cannot remain an exception to international legal practices.

This International Human Rights Day, Think Centre calls on Singaporeans to support its call to the government:

- to institutionalise human rights education in schools and the community

- to empower the Judiciary with discretionary power on drug trafficking sentences

- to abolish the mandatory death penalty in Singapore

In a global community where technology is permeating societal barriers, cultural walls and international borders, our Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Permanent representatives in Geneva and New York, are constantly engaged on human rights and defending Singapore's position for or against on the thematic issues including death penalty, migrant worker's rights, and others.

Let us remake Singapore not only into a global vibrant city, but also cultivate a vibrant society which is thinking, progressive and humane.

Think Centre wishes you a reflective International Human Rights Day 2005.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news