Message from William D. McFetridge, Q.C., Acting Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission

(December 8, 2017)

Human Rights Day is December 10
“International Human Rights Day reminds us of the importance of human rights in our everyday lives. It reminds us of the importance of our fundamental rights and freedoms and of our ongoing commitment to upholding them in our communities, province and country. Human rights instruments, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Alberta Human Rights Act, inspire us as individuals, organizations and communities to continue championing human rights principles. 

“This year’s Human Rights Day theme marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Declaration). It reminds us of why we persist in our tireless human rights work and it encourages us all to take action in our own lives to uphold the rights that protect all human beings. 

“2017 marked the 45th anniversary of the Individual’s Rights Protection Act and the Alberta Bill of Rights, which form the basis of Alberta’s current human rights legislation, the Alberta Human Rights Act, as well as the establishment of the Alberta Human Rights Commission in 1972. 

“In recognition of this important milestone, the Commission hosted a series of conversations across the province to learn about the human rights issues and priorities in Alberta communities and to express appreciation to our partners and stakeholders for their continued efforts in advancing human rights. The Commission was inspired by the incredible work that communities are doing to advocate for equality, justice and human rights. 

“We continue to make advances in human rights in our province, country and around the globe. Most recently, the Alberta Human Rights Act has been amended to include age as a protected ground in the areas of goods, services accommodation and facilities, and for tenancy. Protections for ameliorative policies, programs and activities that are designed to improve the condition of disadvantaged persons were also added.

“Be it big or small, each and every action moves us forward in creating a human rights culture in Alberta that includes equality, justice and dignity for all and supports diverse and inclusive communities. 

“Although there is more work to be one, it is truly extraordinary how far we have come in human rights over the past 70 years. On this Human Rights Day, let us celebrate our accomplishments and recommit to the work ahead.”



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