MONTRÉAL, June 26, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - It will be 40 years tomorrow, that the National Assembly unanimously adopted the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, a fundamental law that transformed Québec.
"Fifteen years after the Quiet Revolution, the Charter brought Québec to the modern world, helping to build a more open society," today said the president of the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, Jacques Frémont.
"This anniversary gives us the opportunity to reflect on what we've achieved and take stock of the work that remains to be done in order to ensure that each and everyone's rights and freedoms are respected," he said. With this in mind, the Commission recently unveiled the theme of the anniversary: Une Charte, mille combats (One Charter, a thousand struggles) that pays tribute to the pioneers of the Charter and to the women and men who work on a daily basis to advance rights in Québec.
And, to highlight the very important work and contribution of activists in all regions of the province, the Commission has called for nominations to honour 40 human rights defenders. They will be honoured at a forum on International Human Rights Day, December 10th 2015. This forum will allow them to discuss the challenges they face as activists. There is still time to submit a nomination by visiting 40ansdelacharte.org (English-language forms are available upon request.)
In a video released today, Mr. Frémont explains how the Charter has helped shape the social contract in Québec.
Also, the Commission is posting a new Web page (in French only) highlighting some of the major human rights advances of the past 40 years. In particular we learn that in:
- 1977, sexual discrimination against women in the workplace represented the majority of complaints processed by the Commission, which lead to the publication of a leaflet on employment equality and the organization of 80 information workshops on the issue;
- 1979, Québec became the first province to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation as this ground was added to Section 10 of the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms;
- 1984, the Commission released its report on allegations of discrimination in the taxi industry in Montréal recommending measures to counter racial discrimination;
- 1993, the Commission held the first public consultation in North America on violence and discrimination against gays and lesbians;
- 1999, a wide ranging public consultation on the exploitation of elderly people was launched in order to find solutions to counter this phenomenon;
- 2006, the Human Right Tribunal ordered the City of Laval to stop reciting a prayer before the council meetings and found that such a practice was contrary to the State's obligation of religious neutrality;
- 2012, the Commission, representing a complainant, won the first court ruling which found a police officer of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal guilty of racial profiling.
The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission) ensures the promotion and respect of the principles set out in the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. It also ensures that the interests of children are protected and that their rights recognized in the Youth Protection Act are respected and promoted. In addition, the Commission oversees compliance with the Act Respecting Equal Access to Employment in Public Bodies.
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SOURCE Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse
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