Alberta Human Rights Information Service December 10, 2015

December 10 is Human Rights Day

Commission news


December 10, 2015 marks the United Nations' signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. For the first time in history, the Declaration set out fundamental human rights to be universally protected and provided a common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations.

Each year, Human Rights Day reminds us of the importance of human rights in our everyday lives. In recognition of this important day, Mr. Robert Philp, Queen's Counsel, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, shares a video message about Human Rights Day 2015.

This year, the United Nations is recognizing Human Rights Day through their "Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always." campaign, which aims to recognize the 50th anniversary of the two International Covenants on Human Rights.

From the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights:

"This year's Human Rights Day is devoted to the launch of a year-long campaign for the 50th anniversary of the two International Covenants on Human Rights: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966.

The two Covenants, together with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, form the International Bill of Human Rights, setting out the civil, political, cultural, economic, and social rights that are the birth right of all human beings.

"Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always." aims to promote and raise awareness of the two Covenants on their 50th anniversary. The year-long campaign revolves around the theme of rights and freedoms - freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear - which underpin the International Bill of Human Rights are as relevant today as they were when the Covenants were adopted 50 years ago.

For more [information about] this year's theme and the year-long campaign, see the website of the UN Human Rights office."

In Alberta, we strive to ensure that diversity and inclusion are valued and human rights principles are reflected in our systems, policies, attitudes and behaviours. Albertans are encouraged to participate in local events to celebrate Human Rights Day, to recognize the importance of human rights in our society and to get involved.
Human Rights Day events

Human Rights Day Lunch and Learn
In recognition of Human Rights Day, Stephen Hammond, workplace behaviour expert, will speak about Canada's human rights record.

December 10, 2015 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (lunch served at 11:30 a.m.)
Room S2009, Bow Valley College
345-6th Avenue SE, Calgary
Register for this event at (seating is limited)

International Human Rights Day featuring Syrian Refugees and First Nations
This event will focus on building relationships that connect Syrian refugees, First Nations and the rest of Canada.

December 10, 2015 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Eau Claire Market
Read more about this event.

Traditional Round Dance and Feast
The Calgary Urban Aboriginal Initiative (CUAI), Calgary Police Service and Treaty 7 Management Corporation and Partners are hosting a round dance and feast to celebrate Human Rights Day and the work and closure of CUAI. Mr. Robert Philp, Queen's Counsel, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, will be speaking at the event.

December 12, 2015 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Westwinds Police Campus
Main Building, Gym
5111-47 Avenue NE, Calgary
Register online for this event.

9th Annual Human Rights Awards, John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights
The ceremony will award this year's recipients of the Human Rights Awards and will feature a keynote address by Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, author of the award-winning I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

December 13, 2015 from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
ATB Financial Arts Barn
10330 84 Avenue, Edmonton
Register online for this event. 

Other significant days in December:

December 3 was International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a day that focuses on the needs and concerns of people with disabilities. This year's theme was "Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities." Read more.

December 6 was National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, which commemorates the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre when 14 women were murdered at the École Polytechnique in Montreal. The Government of Alberta issued a news release about this commemorative day. You can also read more about the day on the Status of Women Canada website. 


Commission releases 2014-15 Annual Report
The Commission has released its 2014-15 Annual Report. The report provides a summary of results achieved in the three areas of activity undertaken by the Commission: education and engagement, inquiry and complaint resolution services, and complaint adjudication. It also includes information about the legislative framework for the Commission and the Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund, biographies of the Members of the Commission, and listings of tribunal decisions made in 2014-15. Read the report.

Government of Alberta amending Alberta Human Rights Act
The Government of Alberta has introduced Bill 7, which will amend the Alberta Human Rights Act to add gender identity and gender expression to the Act as expressly prohibited grounds of discrimination. The bill passed third reading on December 7, 2015. After royal assent, it will become effective.


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