Youth for Human Rights Toronto was honored to participate in the York Regional Police’s 17 annual Elimination of Racial Discrimination event which featured over 60 other community booths, a variety of musical and artistic performances and several guest speakers.
The theme was “Together We Are More” with its stated purpose to celebrate diversity and to collectively reaffirm the community’s commitment to eradicate all forms of prejudice and discrimination.
March 21, 1960, became a day of infamy when police in Sharpeville, South Africa, shot and killed 69 people who had been participating in a peaceful anti-apartheid demonstration. In 1966, the UN declared this date as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, to increase awareness of the insidiousness of racism and discrimination. Canada was one of the first countries to formally recognize the declaration, proclaiming the day in 1989.
With 47% of its regional residents born outside of Canada and over 230 distinct ethnic groups reported for the region, York Regional Police, under
the leadership of former Chief Eric Joliffe, is the only police service in the world who has taken their mandate of crime prevention to fully include
hate crime prevention, by establishing a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Bureau and creating a human rights classroom in their Community Safety
Village, where they focus on early intervention programs for children and at-risk youth, and work with roughly 40,000 children annually.
Youth for Human Rights Toronto Director, Nicole Crellin, stated, “Human rights education increases people’s value in respecting others and inspires them to become advocates for justice and peace. Our mandate is to teach human rights, more specifically the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 30 articles it contains.”
She added, “The attendees were provided with copies of the What are Human Rights? Booklet and encouraged to do the free online Youth for Human Rights course at www.youthforhumanrights.org or www.humanrights.com.”
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