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    Tradewinds: Human Rights integral to security of American and Caribbean nations



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Levi Read      

    U.S. Coast Guard District 9

    BASETERRE, St. Kitts - Tradewinds 2015, just like Tradewinds in years past, kicked off with a human rights discussion since it has a direct tie into the purpose of the exercise.

    This exercise is a combined and joint exercise, conducted in three phases, that builds the capacity of nations in the Caribbean to better respond to natural disasters, as well as land and maritime threats, including illicit trafficking. Each participating country looks to improve key security-mission areas through the equal exchange of knowledge and expertise.

    “There is a tie between human rights and your nation’s prosperity and legitimacy,” said U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Tabitha Schiro, Tradewinds 2015 Phase One Maritime Leader. “There is a tie between human rights and your security force organization’s ability to do their job strategically, operationally and tactically.”

    Schiro lead a group discussion about the importance of valuing other people’s human rights. She mentioned during the session that even though the United States from its foundation has preached human rights as a founding principle, America has had to deal with several high-visibility human rights situations throughout its history. Most of these incidents were conducted by a small group or unit, but affected national reputation and security.

    “Human rights is really what we think separates us and our allies – all of you guys – from our enemies who don’t value human rights,” said Schiro.

    Human rights belong to all people regardless of jurisdiction, during peacetime and war. The government does not grant them. They are universal inalienable rights.

    Some of the big-ticket violations against customary international law include genocide, slavery, murder, torture, prolonged detention, arbitrary detention, racial discrimination and a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.

    The Ninth International Conference of American States, in Bogotá, Colombia in 1948, adopted the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. It was one of the first documents created even before the United Nations created legislation.

    The Pact of San Jose that established the Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-agency Courts of Human Rights in 1969 originated from the Caribbean region. Therefore, nations participating in Tradewinds have a direct impact into the development of human rights procedures for international use.

    “There is also a tie between human rights and your own personal integrity,” said Schiro. “That is, where we want to get in the end – it is part of who you are.”

    Schiro continued by saying if you make violating human rights a pattern then it starts to change who you are and it attacks your personal integrity and the way people see you.

    “We want to get to the point where even if there is no consequences that will come down on you, you know internally that it is not the right thing to do,” said Schiro.

    The theme for Tradewinds 2015 is Partnership for Regional Security and every one involved is dedicated to mitigating human rights violations within the region. Through this and future exercises, regional challenges can be overcome through cooperative solutions.

    The Coast Guard and the U.S. Southern Command truly value the strong relationships forged during Tradewinds and they are each committed to building and sustaining these enduring relationships.

    Each country’s security capabilities and human rights capacity can only be strengthened through the exchange of knowledge and expertise.



    Date Taken: 05.31.2015
    Date Posted: 06.02.2015 14:41
    Story ID: 165100
    Location: BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, KN 

    Web Views: 71
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