Green Party Statement on Human Rights Day

OTTAWA — Today as we celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we are reminded of the need to protect the inalienable rights to which every person is entitled, regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Created under the direction of Canadian, John Humphrey, Director of the United Nations Division on Human Rights, the document, even 71 years later, continues to challenge the world to do better.

“Despite the progress we have made in advancing human rights in Canada and around the world we cannot be complacent. Even hard earned freedoms can be lost if we are not vigilant.” said Green Party Interim Leader, Jo-Ann Roberts. “We are seeing leaders in democratic countries demonize minorities, weaken democratic institutions and portray the media as untrustworthy. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a remarkable document and I encourage everyone to take a moment today to read it to be reminded of why we must continue to work with civil society to advocate for these rights at home and around the world.”

Greens recognize that in the absence of human rights we cannot achieve sustainable development. Each component of the 2019 Green Party Platform is aligned with one or more of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Canadians will be watching closely to make sure the current government fully implements the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP),” said Green Party Parliamentary Leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). “We must ensure that all the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as well as the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIW), are implemented.”

"While we celebrate how far we’ve come on Human Rights Day, it’s essential that we recognize how far we have to go,” said Green MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, Paul Manly. “The Site C dam in British Columbia is a perfect example. The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has recognized that this project grossly infringes on Indigenous peoples’ land and human rights. Our government has not responded, despite the obligation to protect the rights of all our citizens.”

Available in over 500 languages, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights  was signed on December 10th, 1948.    

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Rosie Emery
Press Secretary