Premier David Eby and Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives, have issued the following statement on the 74th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly:
“The theme of this year’s International Human Rights Day is Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All. We all have a responsibility to champion and defend human rights in B.C. and around the world.
“Our government is working hard to protect and advance equality in British Columbia. We re-established the independent BC Human Rights Commission to support human rights through education, research and investigations. This work is supported by the BC Human Rights Tribunal, which is responsible for accepting, screening, mediating and adjudicating human-rights complaints and the Community Legal Assistance Society, which provides independent legal advice to citizens navigating human-rights complaints. We also updated the Human Rights Code to include Indigenous identity as an explicitly protected ground to better address specific racism and discrimination reported by Indigenous Peoples.
“This spring, the Province passed B.C.’s historic Anti-Racism Data Act. In partnership with Indigenous Peoples and racialized communities, the Province is beginning the work to collect intersectional demographic data, such as age, gender identity and ethnic origin. This will help identify barriers to government programs and services. Once these barriers are identified and backed by data, they can be addressed so more people can equally benefit from government supports.
“There is more work ahead for government and every British Columbian to advance and protect equality. Human rights are not simply given. They have been fought for, and won, by people willing to stand up for what’s right.
“On International Human Rights Day, we encourage all British Columbians to recommit to fighting for justice and equality so we can build a better province for everyone.”