International Human Rights Day - Promote, Get Involved, Reflect

This year, we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today, December 10, 2018, is International Human Rights Day, and we take the opportunity, on this important day, not only to commemorate the Declaration, but especially to promote it, to get involved in defending it and to reflect on actions to be taken to make it more relevant through our actions.

We have asked representatives from six organizations to share with us the connection they can make between one of the articles in the Declaration and the work they do.

“For us, Articles 22 and 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are of the utmost importance, because they recognize the right to social security, and basic rights (food, clothing, housing, medical care, social services, etc.) for every person. We constantly rely on these rights when lobbying the government.”

Pauline Gallant, co-chair of the New Brunswick Common Front for Social Justice.

“As early as 1948 with Article 23, the Declaration of Human Rights affirmed that “everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work”. It opened the door to other international conventions, such as the 1951 Convention C100, which supports the principle of "equal remuneration for men and women workers for work of equal value”. That is what we refer to as pay equity in Canada. In New Brunswick, the Coalition succeeded in obtaining the Pay Equity Act, 2009 for the public sector. Now, we need legislation for the private sector. After all, it's an internationally recognized right since 1951.”

Johanne Perron, Executive Director of the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity

 “On the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights it is important that all workers be knowledgeable of Article 23. This article is so relevant today with all the struggles that workers and the labour movement have been enduring. These are rights that we must continue to fight for here in Canada, considering the legislation that has forced postal workers back to work, and now with the struggle and arrest being made with regards to allies of postal workers defending not only postal workers rights, but the rights of all workers here in Canada. Worldwide workers are persecuted, and even killed for attempting to join a union. We have much work to do to ensure that this declaration of human rights is upheld.”

Patrick Colford, President of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour

“Although 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, two recent studies have revealed that, unfortunately, the number of seniors who are victims of violence and abuse in Canada has increased over the last few years, and many of these seniors live in poverty. The Association francophone des aînés du Nouveau-Brunswick (Association of Francophone Seniors of New Brunswick) is working hard to defend the rights of seniors in New Brunswick, as well as to ensure their well-being. Each senior should be able to live in safety, without the fear of not having enough money each month to have a decent life, where his or her basic needs are met.”

Luc Doucet, Executive Director of the New Brunswick Francophone Association of Seniors

“An artist's work has never been considered meritorious of a fair price for his or her labour. For 30 years, the Association acadienne des artistes professionnel.le.s du Nouveau-Brunswick (The Acadian Association of Professional Artists of New Brunswick) advocates the adoption of a law concerning the status of the artist in order to substantially improve his or her social and economic status in New Brunswick. Yet artists create value and should be able to reap the benefits of their work. Article 27 of the Declaration has two parts of equal importance. To contribute and participate in the cultural life of the community, its creators must be treated fairly and be removed from the debilitating effects of poverty. We support this Declaration.”

Philippe Beaulieu, President of the Association acadienne des artistes professionne.le.s du Nouveau-Brunswick

And Alexandre Cédric-Doucet, President of the Université de Moncton Students

For information:
Johanne Perron: 850-6963 (m), 855-0002 (w)
Pauline Gallant: 227-7175
Patrick Colford: 381-8969
Luc Doucet: 378-0107
Alexandre Cédric-Doucet: 858-4484
Philippe Beaulieu: 852-3313

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

 Article 22.

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.

(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.

(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

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