December 10th marks the 75th anniversary of one of the world’s most groundbreaking global pledges: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This landmark document enshrines the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
The Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on December 10, 1948, and sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected.
In the decades since the adoption of UDHR in 1948, human rights have become more recognised and more guaranteed across the globe. The UDHR has since served as the foundation for an expanding system of human rights protection that today focuses also on vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and migrants.
However, the promise of the UDHR, of dignity and equality in rights, has been under a sustained assault in recent years. As the world faces challenges new and ongoing. Such as pandemics, conflicts, exploding inequalities, morally bankrupt global financial system, racism, climate change. The values and rights enshrined in the UDHR provide guideposts for our collective actions that do not leave anyone behind.
It has been over 30 years since the murder of 14 young women at Polytechnique Montréal (December 6, 1989). This act of violent misogyny shook our country and led Parliament to designate December 6 as The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
On December 6, we remember:
As we mourn their loss and remember their lives, we reaffirm our commitment to fight the hatred that led to this tragedy, and the misogyny that still exists today. In Canada and around the world, women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ individuals face unacceptable violence and discrimination. Gender-based violence in Canada has been magnified and amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been reports from police services, shelters, and local organization of an increase in calls related to gender-based violence across Canada during the pandemic.
The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women is about remembering those who have experienced gender-based violence and those who we have lost to it. It is also a time to take action. Achieving a Canada free from gender-based violence requires everyone living in this country to educate themselves and their families and communities on gender-based violence, centre the voices of survivors in our actions and speak up against harmful behaviours.
The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992, by the United Nations. The day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
Floral arrangements were sent to five members on extended leave due to illness as well as two members who have lost a loved one.