To mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2017, held on January 27th, the Western Isles Diversity and Equality Steering Group (DESG), organised a seminar within Western Isles Hospital, in Stornoway. 

As millions of people around the world continue to suffer from persecution, genocide or displacement, merely for being different, the lessons from the 6 million victims who perished in the Holocaust continue to resonate.  

This is very much the guiding principle of the Holocaust Memorial Trust, who promote Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK.

Approximately 30 delegates attended the seminar from a wide variety of agencies represented in the DESG, and from beyond, to listen to a number of distinguished speakers.

They were Dr. Ron Culley, Chief Officer, Western Isles Integrated Joint Board; Judith Robertson, Chair, Scottish Human Rights Commission; Jan Macleod, Manager, Womens’ Support Group; Chris Oswald, Head of Policy and Parliamentary Affairs, Equality and Human Rights Commission and Karen Mackenzie, NHS Western Isles Specialist Speech and Language Therapist. 

Topics featured consisted of Human Rights in Scotland, Gender-Based Violence, Good Community Relations and Communication Pointers respectively, with a group discussion also taking place on current understanding of Human Rights legislation and the benefits, barriers and opportunities to organisations adopting a Human Rights Framework.

As part of the event, an evocative Holocaust Memorial display was erected in the League of Friends area in Western Isles Hospital, accompanied with a candle, literature and a book of reflection to highlight the day to the public and the lessons to be learnt from these terrible events.

Following the session’s success, DESG plan the Western Isles Holocaust Memorial Day Seminar to become an annual event.