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Fiji Time: 9:50 PM on Monday 21 April

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Lively street march marks World Human Rights Day

Dawn Gibson
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

FIJI joined millions of people around the world yesterday in marking World Human Rights Day.

And in the true spirit of the vocal Fijian women and men in the country, a group of people marched through Suva City to commemorate the day.

The march was also significant because it coincided with the official end to the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre's 16 Days of Activism to prevent violence against women and girls.

"It has been said that human rights provide a foundation for building a just and peaceful world," said Citizens' Constitutional Forum CEO Reverend Akuila Yabaki.

"On December 10, 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 'mother' of all human rights conventions."

Explaining to participants the importance of marking such an occasion, Mr Yabaki drew particular attention to two articles within that declaration.

Article 19 centres on freedom of expression while Article 21 ensures free and fair elections; both of which Mr Yabaki said required attention in Fiji.

"Elections can either advance democracy, development, human rights and security, or undermine them. For this reason, promoting and protecting the integrity of elections is critically important."

The group marched from the Suva Flea Market to the Civic Centre.