Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 18, 2019 (SKNIS): At a ceremony to commemorate the Freewinds’ 31st anniversary of its maiden voyage, on June 15, at Port Zante in Basseterre, Acting Prime Minister, the Honourable Shawn Richards, stated that the vessel has contributed significantly to the education of human rights in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Acting Prime Minister Richards stated that Last December, the religious retreat and humanitarian ship partnered with the St. Kitts and Nevis National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry of Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs, as well as the Department of Youth Empowerment both in St. Kitts and Nevis for a workshop dedicated to educating youth on human rights.
Primary and high school guidance counselors, teachers, representatives of registered community groups and Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) residents attended the youth for human rights workshop, he said. He added that as an extension of the informative session, human rights educational materials were distributed during school visits.
“Ken Weber, the Freewinds’ Port Captain also interacted with approximately 100 students from the Washington Archibald and Basseterre High Schools as well as HMP residents, showing them human rights related videos and discussing them,” said Acting Prime Minister Richards. “The Freewinds’ port captain also made an official presentation of videos and other educational materials on human rights to our St. Kitts-Nevis Defense Force.
The acting prime minister stated that in speaking with the defense force leadership, the materials supplemented the human rights training that has long formed part of the military as it is mandatory for every soldier to undergo in-depth human rights training.
The training in human rights is also a focus of joint training sessions such as the annual US Southcom sponsored Tradewinds Maritime Security and Disaster Response Exercise for the Caribbean region, he said. He noted that the topic of human rights is the first topic that is addressed before the main Tradewinds exercise starts.
The acting prime minister stated that the depth of human rights training, that recruits and soldiers in our St. Kitts-Nevis Defense force undergo particularly impressed captain Ken when he visited in December last year.