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Posts classified under: Human Rights Booklets

May 18, 2020

Human Rights of Children and Youth

The words “Children’s Human Rights” may seem mutually exclusive to some people. Children did not have the status of a human being throughout most of the history.  Traditionally, they were treated as chattels or property of their parents. They did not have any individual rights and were subject to their parents’ rights. On September 25, 1924, the League of Nations’ Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child, challenged this norm. It declared:

“… mankind owes to the Child the best that it has to give….”

On November 20, 1959, the United Nations, which replaced the League of Nations, made another declaration, known as the United Nations Declaration of the Right of the Child. Within this declaration, the fundamental principle underlying the ten rights stated:

“The child is recognized, universally, as a human being who must be able to develop physically, mentally, socially, morally, and spiritually, with freedom and dignity.”

Thirty years later, on November 20, 1989, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Today, we can proudly say that our children not only have rights but they also have more rights than adults. When a society invests its resources in raising its children to become healthy and responsible adults who have social, intellectual, emotional, and moral abilities, it shapes and secures its future. As a matter of fact, one can define a society by the way it treats its children. The humanity and wisdom of a society are reflected in the system that the society establishes for raising its children.

May 18, 2020

Human Rights in the Workplace

Everyone wants to work in an environment that is respectful and free of discrimination. In Canada, human rights acts prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace when they are based on protected grounds, such as race, religion, disability, gender and source of income. An inclusive workplace is a work environment that is fair and free of discrimination.All those who work at such a workplace treat each other with respect. At workplaces where discrimination occurs and is tolerated, the employees feel disrespected and devalued. All employees are protected by human rights that employers cannot ask them to “sign away.” But employees must work together with the employer and other co-workers to build an inclusive workplace because rights come with responsibilities. Rights and responsibilities are like two sides of a coin. We can only enjoy our rights if we do not interfere with other people’s enjoyment of their rights. A discrimination-free world is possible only when every one of us assumes the responsibility for ending discrimination because both victims and perpetrators are members of the same society and share together its pride and shame.

May 18, 2020

Human Rights in Providing Goods, Services, Accommodation or Facilities

Taking public transport, shopping for a car or groceries, and accessing services at restaurants, educational institutions, and hospitals – these activities constitute a major part of our day-to-day life. Canadian human rights laws protect individuals from discrimination that is based on protected grounds when they use goods, services, accommodation or facilities. In this resource, you will read about how human rights acts protect individuals who are consumers of goods, services, accommodation or facilities from discrimination in the provision of the following:

  • Insurance
  • Public Transportation
  • Condominium Corporations
  • Retail Stores
  • Government Services
  • Medical and Other Professional Services
  • Community Organizations
  • Entertainment and Hospitality
  • Education

As a member of the society, we share the responsibilities of the society individually and collectively. Every single effort that we make to protect human rights of individuals is a step forward to achieving a society where the identity of individuals is defined by the “content of their character and not by the colour of their skin,”[1] by their abilities and not by their disabilities, by their value as a contributing individual and not by their personal characteristics such as religion, gender, age, source of income or sexual orientation.

[1] “I have a dream…”; Aug 28, 1963; Martin Luther King Jr.

May 18, 2020

Human Rights in Residential and Commercial Tenancy

Housing is a basic need for every human being. A home is central to one’s sense of security and belongingness. Many international treaties recognize housing as a fundamental and universal human right. Canada is a signatory to these treaties. In Canada, human rights legislation protects people from discrimination and harassment while renting a property and enjoying it as a tenant. Throughout this resource, several cases demonstrate the way in which human rights tribunals and courts award remedies to individuals who are believed to have suffered as a result of discrimination or harassment.

An act of discrimination not only affects its victim, but the entire society and dishonours the traditions of a nation. People should oppose discrimination, not only as an issue of personal grievance, but as a duty of responsible citizenry and as an expression of their commitment to the core values of Canada. These are the values and traditions that have made Canada a desired destination for people from all over the world.