TORONTO, Dec. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) calls on all Canadians to mark International Human Rights Day and the 66th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by honouring its principles, living up to its promise of promoting the dignity and worth of each individual, and accepting the challenges of today.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed December 10 as Human Rights Day in 1950 to encourage recognition of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of human rights achievement. Human Rights 365, the theme for 2014, exhorts nation states to make human rights a priority every day of the year, and serves as an appropriate reminder of the domestic and international responsibilities incumbent upon us all.
Canadians consider respect for human rights and freedoms, as well as equality rights, among the most important Canadian values that we all share, according to a recent survey commissioned by the CRRF. Despite this, racism remains a major issue in the everyday lives of many Canadians, as revealed by another recent study in which the CRRF participated. These studies show that we must accept the challenge of countering racist attitudes on an ongoing basis if we are to achieve the promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its principles, as reflected and enshrined in our own Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
As a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Canada has committed itself, and has already made a significant contribution, to its implementation at home and abroad. The CRRF looks forward to working with stakeholders across Canada, to effectively dialogue on and meet the challenges which lie ahead, including nurturing a country in which we can all stand side by side as equals.
The challenge involves working together on a pro-active, daily basis to counter prejudiced attitudes and acts of discrimination, while improving intergroup understanding, rather than simply responding to high-profile incidents such as anti-immigration flyers or racist vandalism perpetrated against places of worship, homes and election signs. We can accomplish this by meeting people from many backgrounds and working with them on common goals, as exemplified by contributors to the CRRF's Best Practices Readers and recipients of the CRRF's Award of Excellence.
The CRRF and its partners will engage Canadians in a national dialogue through Our Canada, a project that will explore Canadian values through the prism of culture, faith and identity. Over the course of the next two years, the CRRF will bring Canadians together to strengthen our shared understanding and acceptance of these important values. As participants in the CRRF's 2014 Award of Excellence Symposium made clear, the promise of multiculturalism continues to resound, but the challenge is to ensure that all Canadians are included in the dialogue.
SOURCE: Canadian Race Relations Foundation
For further information: Anita Bromberg, CRRF Executive Director, [email protected], 416-508-9033