Call for nominations: the Rights and Freedoms Award highlights social and economic rights

MONTRÉAL, June 8, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The call for nominations of the Rights and Freedoms Award 2016, presented by the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, is now officially open.

This year, the focus will be on submissions from individuals, organizations or institutions working on a day-to-day basis to promote and defend the economic and social rights enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Ensure the protection and security of a child, access to free public education, fair and reasonable conditions of employment, living in a healthy environment, the right to social measures susceptible of ensuring an acceptable standard of living, the right to protection against exploitation for elderly or disabled people are among the economic and social rights.

"Economic and social rights are central to humans' essential needs. Having access to shelter and food, taking care of our children and being healthy, this is how we maintain our dignity," said today the Commission's acting President, Camil Picard.

The Commission chose economic and social rights as the theme of the 2016 Award to highlight the 50th anniversary of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) adopted in 1966 by the United Nations General Assembly. The Covenant recognizes, for example, the right to free education, the right to health, the right to work and to social security. Through its commitment to the ICESCR, the Québec Government undertook to give effect to those rights by including a number of them in sections 39 to 48 of the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

"Every day, hundreds of committed people, community groups and institutions are working to ensure the realization of these economic and social rights in Québec, whether in the health sector, helping children with their homework, caring for the elderly or campaigning for better working conditions. The 2016 Rights and Freedoms Award will recognize their contribution", said Mr. Picard. The nomination period begins today and ends on September 16, 2016. The Awards ceremony will be held In Montreal on December 8, 2016.

Presented since 1988 on the occasion of International Human Rights Day marking the adoption of the Universal Declaration on human rights December 10, 1948, the Rights and Freedoms Award is each year to an organization or an individual as a public recognition for exceptional achievement or commitment to the defence of human rights and freedoms.

To find out more on economic and social rights, please visit:

How to submit a nomination

Any individual, organization or institution wishing to submit a nomination must complete an application which is available online at

The Commission accepts nominations submitted by e-mail or regular mail until September 16 2016 at 4 p.m.

Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse
C/o Jean-François Gagnon
360, rue Saint-Jacques 2e étage
Montréal (Québec) H2Y 1P5
@ :

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.

Jean-François Gagnon
514 873-5146 or 1 800 361-6477, extension 230


SOURCE Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse

For further information: Jean-François Gagnon, 514 873-5146 or 1 800 361-6477, extension 230,


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