MONTREAL, Nov. 27, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - From November 30 to December 3, 2017, 300 human rights leaders from over 50 countries will convene at Concordia University in Montreal to take part in the International Conference on Human Rights Education "Bridging our Diversities". Wide-ranging discussions will look at ways governments, civil society organizations, academia and international institutions can better respond to global challenges through human rights education.
"The forum will showcase the many ways in which human rights education has a concrete impact in today's world and stays more relevant than ever," said Ian Hamilton, Equitas Executive Director. "Together with other NGOs, we have been advocating for education, understanding and inclusion as direct responses to social challenges and violent conflicts."
"Human rights education helps people know their rights – so they can better claim and defend them. And encourage them to stand up for the rights of others," said Andrew Gilmour, the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights and a keynote speaker at the conference. "At a time of backlash against human rights, such education and knowledge is more important than ever."
The conference is co-organized by Equitas–International Centre for Human Rights Education; the UN Human Rights Office; Concordia University; Université du Québec à Montréal; McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and Western Sydney University (Australia).
Keynote plenaries and hands-on workshops will highlight human rights education practices addressing today's most pressing challenges worldwide such as countering extremist violence; ensuring inclusion of refugees and migrants; supporting human rights defenders; empowering women and girls; eliminating inequality and discrimination; and ensuring renewed relationships with Indigenous Peoples.
"Concordia is proud to be hosting this important Conference, a Canadian first, says Concordia President Alan Shepard. "Our university places bold, next-generation thinking at the forefront of all we do, and advancing our collective understanding of human rights has never been more crucial to our future. In convening such a diverse range of experts here in Montreal to examine these issues, Concordia and our city play a leading role in advancing education about human rights on the world stage."
The high level Inaugural Panel on December 1st will bring together Andrew Gilmour, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights; Julie Miville-Dechêne, the newly appointed Quebec Envoy for human rights and freedoms and Matt DeCourcey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada. Other speakers include: Luz Mendez, women's rights activist and Executive Board member of Unión Nacional de Mujeres Guatemaltecas (Guatemala); Charlene Bearhead, Education lead, National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls; Henri Tiphagne, Director of the Institute of Human Rights Education of People's Watch (India); and François Crépeau, Director of the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism.
"This conference will favour the emergence of new tools for human rights education that can truly improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable populations," says Christine St-Pierre, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie, Québec.
Learn more at http://ichre2017.equitas.org
For further information: To arrange interviews please contact: Annie Billington, Equitas, [email protected], 514-625-3581