Human Rights Day recognizes diversity around the globe – December 10

As a pioneer in advancing human rights in the Canadian labour movement, the Hospital Employees’ Union proudly recognizes the diversity of our membership, as we celebrate Human Rights Day 2013 on December 10.

This year’s theme is 20 Years Working for Your Rights – a reference to The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted on June 25, 1993 by delegates to the World Conference on Human Rights.

“As we continue to strive towards a world that acknowledges the rights of all human beings, the Vienna Declaration ... still sets the agenda for much of our work,” said UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay in an official statement. “The Declaration, which led to historic advances in the promotion and protection of human rights, is the most significant overarching human rights document produced in the past 40 years.”

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

It was December 10, 1948 when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted. And two years later, the United Nations General Assembly declared December 10 as Human Rights Day.

HEU’s five equity standing committees and the union’s Global Justice and Peace 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 LGBT members.

For more information, visit the United Nations. You can also download The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (printer friendly version) and the full text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.