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RAP Jamaica your rights

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The United Nations recognises that the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), to which Jamaica was a signatory, was adopted in 1948 by the United Nations. In 2011, the Jamaican Constitution was amended to include the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms to reflect modern developments in international human rights law. The principles of the UDHR guided this amendment.

Designed by Jamaicans, our Toolkit is an easy and simple way to learn your 30 universal human rights and those rights guaranteed by the Jamaican Constitution.

Your rights according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (interpreted for Jamaica)

  1. FREEDOM TO BE: Everyone is born free and we should all be treated in the same way.
  2. EQUAL TREATMENT DESPITE DIFFERENCES: Everyone must be treated equally despite differences in skin colour, sex, religion, race, language or nationality.
  3. LIFE, FREEDOM AND SAFETY: Everyone has the right to life and to live in freedom and safety.
  4. NO SLAVERY: Nobody has any right to treat us a slave and we cannot treat anyone as a slave.
  5. NO TORTURE: Nobody has any right to hurt or torture you.
  6. EQUAL TREATMENT BY THE LAW: Everyone has the right to be treated equally by the law.
  7. FAIR TREATMENT BY THE LAW: The law is to be applied in the same way to all.
  8. LEGAL HELP AND PROTECTION: Our rights are protected by law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms included in the Jamaican Constitution. Everyone has the right to ask for legal help when their rights are not respected.
  9. UNFAIR DETENTION: Nobody has the right to put us in prison without good reason and keep us there, or to send us away from Jamaica. If jailed you must be told why you are being held.
  10. FAIR TRIAL: Everyone has the right to a fair and impartial public trial. A person accused of a crime should be tried by someone who has nothing to do with the case.
  11. INNOCENT TILL PROVEN GUILTY: Everyone should be considered innocent until proven guilty.
  12. PRIVACY: Our personal affairs are our own and nobody should try to harm our good name. Nobody has the right to come into our home, open our letters, or bother us or our family without a good reason.
  13. FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT: We all have the right to go where we want in our own country and to travel as we wish.
  14. PROTECTION FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY: If we are frightened of being badly treated in our own country, we all have the right to run away to another country to be safe.
  15. BELONGING: We all have the right to belong to a country.
  16. MARRIAGE AND FAMILY: Every adult has the right to marry and have a family if they wish.
  17. OWNERSHIP: Everyone has the right to own things or share them if they choose. Nobody should take our things from us without a good reason.
  18. FREEDOM OF THOUGHT: Everyone should be allowed to have, or not have, or change their religion as they wish.
  19. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: We all have the right to make up our own minds, to think what we like, to say what we think, and to share our ideas with other people.
  20. JOIN MEETINGS AND ASSOCIATIONS: We all have the right to meet our friends and to work together in peace to defend our rights. Nobody can make us join a group if we don't want to.
  21. DEMOCRACY: We all have the right to take part in the government of our country. Every adult is allowed to choose their own leaders or criticize the government.
  22. SOCIAL SECURITY: We all have the right to affordable housing, medicine, education, and childcare, enough money to live on and medical help if we are ill or old.
  23. WORK FOR A FAIR WAGE: Every adult has the right to work for a fair wage in a safe environment and to join a trade union.
  24. PLAY AND RELAXATION: We all have the right to rest from work and to relax.
  25. FOOD AND SHELTER: We all have the right to a good life. Mothers and children, people who are old, unemployed or disabled, and all people have the right to be cared for.
  26. EDUCATION: All people have a right to get an education. Parents have the right to choose their children's education.
  27. PROTECTION OF CREATIVITY: Copyright is a special law that protects our artistic creations and writings – such as our music or our art. People cannot make copies without permission. Do not take or use other peoples work without giving them credit.
  28. RESPECT OF RIGHTS: Everyone must respect our human rights and the social order that is necessary for all these rights to be available.
  29. RESPONSIBILITY: We all have the responsibility to protect the rights and freedoms of others, the community and public property.

Your rights: the Jamaican Constitution

  1. LIFE, LIBERTY AND SECURITY: except in the execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offense of which the person has been convicted.
  2. POLITICAL FREEDOM: of thought, conscience, belief and observance of political doctrines.
  4. FREEDOM OF THOUGHT: To seek, receive, distribute or disseminate information, opinions and ideas through any media.
  6. FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT: for all Jamaican citizens and lawful visitors to enter Jamaica, move around freely throughout Jamaica, leave Jamaica and reside in any part of Jamaica.
  8. EQUAL AND HUMANE TREATMENT BY ANY PUBLIC AUTHORITY: in the exercise of any function.
  9. FREEDOM FROM DISCRIMINATION: on the grounds of gender, race, place of origin, class, colour, religion, political opinions.
  10. SECURITY, PROTECTION and PRIVACY: Protection from person and property search, respect for protection of private and family life, privacy of the home and protection of other property and of communication.
  12. EDUCATION: Every Jamaican child has the right to education at the pre-primary and primary levels.
  13. HEALTHY, SAFE and PRODUCTIVE ENVIRONMENT: free from the threat of injury or damage from environmental abuse and degradation of the ecological heritage.
  14. FREEDOM TO VOTE FREELY in FAIR ELECTIONS: Every citizen who is registered to vote, can do so in free and fair elections.
  15. A JAMAICAN PASSPORT: is guaranteed to all nationals, which is not to be taken away except by due process of the law.
  17. FREEDOM: of the person.

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