Making Human Rights a Reality

Making Human Rights a Reality

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  • Date Submitted: 10/28/2010 7:06 PM
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The Struggle for Human Rights Protections, at Home and World-Wide

Chief Commissioner Judge David Arnot, SHRC
December 10, 2009



Elders and honoured guests: I would like to begin by thanking Amnesty International and the United Nations Association of Canada for working together with the Human Rights Commission to organize tonight’s event. My topic tonight is “Making Human Rights a Reality: The Struggle for Human Rights Protections.” I am happy to be in a gathering of people who are supporters of human rights because it is my belief that human rights protections, where they exist, are fragile. In many parts of the world, human rights are still unacknowledged and unprotected. Where protections do exist, they are often limited. And – even here in Canada, where there is human rights legislation in every jurisdiction – human rights protections are always vulnerable to attack and neglect. They may be eroded by large and majority interests, by lack of knowledge, and by a lack of opportunities for groups and individuals to express their support for human rights. The struggle to realize human rights and maintain their protection is an ongoing one, and we all have a role to play in that process. We cannot afford to be complacent, or to believe we can rest securely on the accomplishments of the past. But we can take positive actions, and we can have an impact. And that impact can be world-changing and transformative. In the time that I have been given tonight, I would like to talk briefly about the following subjects:

Chief Commissioner Judge David Arnot, SHRC, Dec. 10, 2009



Declaration of Human Rights;


The guiding document we are here to celebrate – the Universal

The process through which its vision is transformed into enforceable Current attacks on human rights protections in Canada; and Some thoughts on how we can continue to pursue – and insist on -

rights and protections; 3. 4....

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