The 53rd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will be celebrated worldwide tomorrow, and the Human Rights association of Majorca will celebrate with a concert by the Benjamin Britten Chamber Orchestra in the church of Sant Felip Neri and a declaration in the local parliament. Bernat Vicens has presided the association, founded in 1974, for the past three years. He said that human rights today were the same as they had always been, but new possibilities arise in every period, “such as harassment in the workplace today,” he said, adding “a human right is violated whenever the dignity of a person is attacked directly.” He was outspoken in pointing out that human rights are violated in Majorca, speaking out against “the attacks on the dignity of immigrants by those who contract them, or of prisoners.” As to immigrants who come here seeking a better life, Vicens said “there must be regulations, that's obvious, and the law must be obeyed, but always following humane criteria.” In this field, the “Balearics are treating the matter generously,” he said, publicly thanking the central government representative and the staff in the office for foreigners for their work. Bernat Vicens formed part of the committee supporting the candidacy of Juan Carrero for the Nobel Peace prize in the year 2000. The committee was seeking Carrero's nomination for his work in the Great Lakes region of Africa, torn by civil war. He said that the idea was to “pull strings and move consciences to combat the attacks on human rights to be found in the Great Lakes region.” This, together with Afghanistan and Palestine, are the three areas most in need of aid. The work carried out in the area of the Great Lakes as not been exempt of danger for people committed to the cause, as, he said, “we are on the files of the Rwandan secret service and controlled by the Rwandan Patriotic Front, but we are going to continue with our work.” Vicens went on to say that it was incomprehensible that the world should ignore disasters such as the famine in Central America, “merely because it coincides with the September 11 attacks, as though the only people who can suffer are citizens of the first world.”


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