Human Rights Day

December 10th, 2013 by Abhi Saini

Human Rights Day has been observed on December 10 each year since 1950. The day commemorates the adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948.  The declaration was drafted to establish a “standard principal” of human rights after the Second World War.

The declaration prescribes fundamental rights and freedoms for all human beings and prohibits all forms of discrimination based on “race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social origin, property, birth, opinion or other status.” 

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Canada has played an important role in recognizing the human rights of persons with disabilities, and contributed to the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Canada became one of the first countries in the world to sign the Convention in 2007, and it was ratified by the federal government in 2010.

The Convention is very similar to Canada’s own Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees legal equality to individuals with physical disability. We highlighted how provincial legislatures have made efforts to increase accessibility for our International Day of Persons with Disabilities blog.

Since the establishment of the UN in 1945, Canada has been one of the world’s greatest advocates for human rights and promoting human equality and democratic values. It is worth noting that Canadian Louise Arbour served as the High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2004 to 2008.

In Canada, human rights are protected by federal, provincial and territorial legislation. You can learn more about human rights laws in Canada by visiting Canadian Human Rights Commission website.

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