B.C. premier John Horgan issues statement for International Human Rights Day 2019

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      On the 71st anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly, B.C. Premier John Horgan released the following statement for International Human Rights Day 2019 today (December 10):

      On this day in 1948, nations of the world came together and affirmed the fundamental, absolute, and inalienable human rights of every person.

      Human rights are the foundation of a free and fair society. They are the basis for important democratic rights like freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly.

      The Universal Declaration on Human Rights affirms the right to an education, the right to work and the right to an adequate standard of living. It upholds our right to live free from discrimination and violence, and receive fair and equal treatment under the law.

      Above all, it recognizes the human worth of every person and their right to be treated with respect and dignity.

      I am proud of the progress we are making to advance human rights in British Columbia. In May 2019, the legislative assembly unanimously appointed a new human rights commissioner. As an officer of the legislature, the commissioner will promote and protect the human rights of all British Columbians through education, research, and systemic investigations.

      In November 2019, B.C. became the first province in Canada to pass legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The legislation recognizes and respects Indigenous rights as human rights. Our government is committed to working in partnership with Indigenous peoples to make sure our future is better than our past.

      Human rights are universal, but they are not guaranteed. There is much more work ahead to address systemic barriers and acknowledge the lived experience of people in B.C. who face discrimination every day.

      On Human Rights Day, let us stand together, defend human rights and fight every day for equality for all.