Jamaica’s historical leading role and contribution to advancing human rights internationally since 1962 was laid out by keynote speaker and visiting researcher, Dr Steven L.B. Jensen at an Information Session and launch of the EU funded Rights Awareness Project (RAP) on Monday, June 23 at the UWI Undercroft, Mona.
Dr. Jensen detailed his research on the history of human rights and the role of Sir Egerton Richardson, Jamaica’s first ambassador to the United Nations in 1962, to a rapt audience of attendees gathered to learn more about the Rights Awareness Programme (RAP), a 24-month project funded by the EU and targeted to strengthen civil society in Jamaica.
The RAP project’s implementing partners, the British Council and RISE Life Management Service, will engage over 1,000 youth islandwide with human rights awareness and advocacy training and work with civil society organisations through training to increase their capacity to advocate more effectively.
Dr Jensen commended the RAP project for following in the tradition of human rights advancement set down by Sir Egerton Richardson and others. Also attending the event with representatives from diverse civil society organisations were the British High Commissioner Mr. David Fitton, EU Head of Cooperation and Mr. Jesus Orus Baguena, EU Head of Cooperation who underscored the commitment of the EU to the project in keeping with the European Union’s founding principles of human rights.
The RAP project was announced in October 2013 as one of three projects to benefit from a total of $52 million in European Union grant funding for Justice and Human Rights in Jamaica.RAP was named by RISE youth advocates who also developed the slogan – I Have Rights, You Have Rights, Let’s Voice Our Rights.
Dr Jensen, who is writing a book on the international history of human rights, will present on the topic “From Jamaica with Law; Ambassador Egerton Richardson and the making of Internal Human Rights Policy 1962–1968 at a UWI Department of Government seminar, Tuesday, 24 June at 6pm in the UWI Main Library.