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2014 Rights and Freedoms Award: the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse recognizes Equitas’ exceptional leadership in the promotion of the rights of children and youth

On the photo : Jacques Frémont and Ian Hamilton

Montréal, November 21, 2014 — The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse has presented its 2014 Rights and Freedoms Award to Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education in recognition of the excellence of its human rights education programs for youth and children in Montréal.

The award was given at a ceremony at Montréal’s City Hall yesterday evening, as part of the International Day on the Rights of the Child and to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Equitas’ human rights education awareness programs, developed in partnership with the City of Montréal and others, are offered in summer camps and after-school programs in many cities including Montréal, which nominated Equitas for the award.

“The jury chose to honour Equitas in recognition of its exceptional achievements and the innovative aspect of its awareness raising programs based on the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child”, said Jacques Frémont, President of the Commission. “Jury members were impressed with the real impact of Equitas’ human rights education programs and hopes that they can be implemented in other towns and cities in Québec to reach a larger number of youth.”

In the past 10 years, Equitas has helped raise awareness of more than 500 000 children and youth in Québec and Canada, offering them the opportunity to gain a better respect for diversity and inclusion, all the while reducing conflict through cooperation. Equitas places the principles of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, such as non-discrimination, equality of chances, the best interest of the child and the right to develop and participate of children, at the heart of its programs.

“We are very pleased to win this Award and I would like to take this opportunity to ask you: What do you wish for children’s rights? Personally, I would like that our programs have an even greater impact on youth. Children have the right to be heard and it is our duty to listen to them,” said Ian Hamilton, Executive Director of Equitas, in his acceptance speech.

Jury members of the 2014 Rights and Freedom Award were Camil Picard, Vice-President of the Commission, and two youth leaders recognized for their social commitment: Marly Périclés of the Commission’s Table de concertation jeunesse and Émilie Lebel, a lawyer active in the LGBT community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans) who was nominated by Steve Foster, winner of the 2013 Rights and Freedoms Award. The jury was impressed with the quality of the submissions and highlighted the important work of so many individuals and groups dedicated to the promotion and defense of youth rights everywhere in Québec.

25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse has awarded the Rights and Freedoms Award annually since 1988. This year it chose to honour an organization dedicated to the promotion and defense of youth rights to underline the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international treaty adopted by the United Nations in 1989 to recognize and protect rights of children specifically. In Québec, all children and teenagers are protected by the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

To learn more on the Rights and Freedoms Award and previous winners, please visit: www.cdpdj.qc.ca/en/commission/services/Pages/pdl.aspx

The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (Human Rights and Youth Commission) ensures the promotion and respect of the principles set out in the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. It also ensures that the interests of children are protected and that their rights recognized in the Youth Protection Act are respected and promoted. In addition, the Commission oversees compliance with the Act respecting Equal Access to Employment in Public Bodies.

Contact:
Jean-François Gagnon
514 873-5146 or 1 800 361-6477, extension 230
prixdroitsetlibertes@cdpdj.qc.ca

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