News Release - On Human Rights Day, CHRC Commissioner reminds Canadians “even the smallest actions matter”

December 8, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

As Sunday, December 10, will be International Human Rights Day, Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, issues the following statement:

Each year, on International Human Rights Day, Canada celebrates the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948—the first time in our world’s history that nations came together to document the most basic rights that are the birthright of all people, everywhere. “Yet the promises enshrined in the Declaration remain unfulfilled for far too many in the world, and far too many here in Canada as well,” said Chief Commissioner, Marie-Claude Landry.

This year, we can acknowledge significant progress in Canada’s human rights dialogue, including Parliament’s inclusion of gender identity or expression, and genetic characteristics as two new grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act. The Government of Canada’s recent apology to the LGBTQ2 community for historic wrongs represents another significant moment for human rights in Canada. Yet while it is of utmost importance to pause and recognize the strides we are making as a country, we cannot mark this day without also taking a moment to reflect on the myriad ways that people in Canada continue to face discrimination and harassment. In Canada we still have:

  • an immigration system that holds innocent refugee children as though they were prisoners;
  • an overly-complex child welfare regime that exposes Indigenous children to harm;
  • persistent barriers to accessibility for persons with disabilities, impacting their education and employment;
  • disproportionate levels of homelessness and suicide among LGBTQ2 communities;
  • threatening and violent incidents of race and religious-based hate and harassment.

In the face of these and other realities, it is all the more important to recognize those resilient and courageous individuals across Canada who continue to lead by example as they fight for human rights justice, even if in the most seemingly simple ways.

“Even the smallest actions matter: every simple compassionate act between strangers; every classroom or community awareness event that improves understanding of human rights; every activist organization that calls for human rights action—every voice moves us forward,” said Marie-Claude Landry.

--30--

Quotes

“Yet the promises enshrined in the Declaration remain unfulfilled for far too many in the world, and far too many here in Canada as well.”
Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner
Canadian Human Rights Commission

“Even the smallest actions matter: every simple compassionate act between strangers; every classroom or community awareness event that improves understanding of human rights; every activist organization that calls for human rights action—every voice moves us forward.”
Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner
Canadian Human Rights Commission

Associated Links

CHRC Video: Never take your rights for granted
UN Declaration of Human Rights

Stay Connected

Follow us on Twitter @CdnHumanRights and Facebook.

Watch us on YouTube.

Media Contacts

Media Relations
613-943-9118
communications@chrc-ccdp.gc.ca