International Day of Human Rights

Today, December 10th, 2023, CCD commemorates International Human Rights Day. The theme for this year is Freedom, Equality and Justice for All. 

This is the 75th anniversary of the International Declaration of Human Rights, which Eleanor Roosevelt referred to as the Magna Carta of all people. We recognize the role that John Humphrey, a Canadian with a disability, played in the development of the Declaration. Along with others, Mr. Humphrey prepared the first draft of the Declaration.

As the United Nations explains, the Declaration has been the foundation for an expanding system of human rights protection, including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

While we celebrate the achievements that have been made to date by applying human rights law to the barriers experienced by people with disabilities in Canada, we recognize that many Canadians with disabilities continue to experience discrimination. Thus, in addition to celebrating we must also on this important anniversary prepare ourselves to address continuing and new emerging barriers through the use of human rights law.

At the conclusion of the Disability and Work conference which took place in Ottawa at the end of November, a challenge was made to participants to read the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, so that they could be more aware of the tools that we have at hand to fight discrimination. Today, we make this same challenge to everyone in our community on this important day. ~ Heather Walkus, CCD Chairperson