Celebrating diversity around the world on Human Rights Day

Since 1950 – when the United Nations declared December 10 as International Human Rights Day – activists around the globe use this day as a reminder of the immense work still required to secure human rights protections for all citizens of the world.

In far too many countries, people are oppressed, incarcerated, marginalized and discriminated against because of their skin colour, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, and culture. Some are even killed.

In Canada, the labour movement and allies successfully lobbied for changes to the federally run Temporary Foreign Worker program.

But there’s still much work to be done as many temporary foreign workers continue to experience harsh treatment, substandard wages, and deplorable working conditions. Not only are they exploited and living in poverty, but they also face ongoing employer threats of deportation forcing them to live in constant fear.

As Canadians, some of our fundamental human rights include freedom of expression, association and opinion; participation in government; social equality; and no discrimination based on gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.

HEU urges its members to continue the ongoing work to secure human rights protections for everyone.

Our union’s five equity standing committees and the union’s Global Justice Subcommittee recognize the importance of continuing to educate members around human rights issues and advocate for protections against all forms of discrimination – at home and abroad.

Their work particularly focuses on people with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, migrant workers, women, and LGBTTI members.