TORONTO, Dec. 10 /CNW/ - Today, human rights commissions and agencies across Canada are commemorating the 1948 signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Barbara Hall, President of the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies and Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, invites all Canadians to participate in local celebrations recognizing this special day, stating that, "Each one of us has benefited from this Declaration. We are all responsible for human rights in our society, and today is a perfect time for us to recognize the gains made, and the areas where there is still work to be done. I challenge all Canadians to get involved in advancing a culture of human rights."
Here are some highlights of what human rights commissions across the country are doing to mark this special day.
- Northwest Territories
Placing ads in English and French Northern newspapers, airing public service announcements on CBC North radio, and the Chairperson is delivering a human rights presentation in Fort Smith.
Engaging and working with media to raise awareness of the importance of December 10th.
Distributing calendars and fridge magnets to celebrate the day and increase awareness.
- Prince Edward Island
Presenting its 2010 Award for the Advancement of Human Rights to the PEI Council of People with Disabilities for outstanding work on behalf of Islanders with disabilities. The award recognizes Island individuals or groups who have made an important contribution to promoting values enshrined in its Human Rights Act.
- New Brunswick
Celebrating the 62nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the significant contribution of main author, John Peters Humphrey, from New Brunswick, towards adopting this milestone declaration. The Commission is also introducing a five-year strategic plan (2010-2015) to address evolving human rights issues and promote human rights protections throughout society.
- Nova Scotia
Celebrating International Human Rights Day for the first time in the community of North Preston, with a full day program featuring musical entertainment and the presentation of annual human rights awards
- Newfoundland and Labrador
Launching a new website on Tuesday, December 14th - www.justice/gov.nl.ca/hrc
Presenting the 2010 Rights and Freedoms Prize to Montreal-based Tolerance Foundation for its work using cartoon strips, games, videos and interactive theatre performances to help youth understand the role they have in fighting discrimination, exclusion and intimidation. The Commission is also awarding a special mention to the Val d'Or Native Friendship Centre for its work towards improving quality of life of Aboriginal persons living in an urban setting, and building bridges between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal persons in Val d'Or.
- Ottawa - Canadian Human Rights Commission
Marking this day with the theme, "Speak Up, Stop Discrimination", the Commission issued a statement and has released Framework for Documenting Equality Rights, which provides a conceptual framework to look at social and economic well-being from a human rights perspective.http://www.chrc-ccdp.ca/media_room/message_cc/hrd_10122010_jdh-eng.aspx
Launching a new e-learning package that provides online learning and training for people who need information on human rights issues that come up in rental housing. The new tool helps users from across the province access human rights learning anywhere, any time at the click of a button. Live webcast on Friday, December 10th from 12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at: http://windows.stream.yorku.ca:80/itc/2010/OHRCwebcast . Also available on the Commission's website: www.ohrc.on.ca and click on the e-learning button.
Honouring recipients of this year's Human Rights Commitment Award for advancing human rights, with the Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties and the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Holding a letter writing campaign to save lives with Amnesty International Regina Chapter, and discussions regarding federal government monies allocated to resolve the issue of missing indigenous women in Canada with Iskwewuk E-Wichiwitochik (Women Talking Together), Amnesty International Chapter 33 Saskatoon and the Public Service Alliance of Canada. It is also asking Saskatchewan's Justice Minister to declare December 10, 2010, International Human Rights Day.
Introducing new page on ministry website celebrating December 10th : http://culture.alberta.ca/humanrights/dates/int-humanrights-day.aspx, and working towards having the UN "Speak out, Stop Discrimination" banner (featured on the new webpage) put on the revolving banner section of the Government of Alberta homepage at Alberta.ca.
For further information: For further information:
Senior Communications Officer
Communications and Issues Management