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For immediate release

2016 Rights and Freedoms Award: The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse celebrates the contribution of Annie Pullen Sansfaçon and her daughter Olie Pullen

Montréal, December 8, 2016 – The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse today presented its 2016 Rights and Freedoms Award to Annie Pullen Sansfaçon and her daughter Olie Pullen in recognition of their work on behalf of the rights of trans children.

Ms. Pullen Sansfaçon, a professor at the École de travail social of the Université de Montréal and founder of Gender Creative Kids Canada, has advocated in favour of the rights of trans children for several years. With her daughter Olie, she took part in the National Assembly public consultations on a bill designed to change the Civil Code to allow, among other things, trans children to change the mention of their sex in the Québec civil status register.

The moving testimony of her daughter helped increase understanding of the difficulties facing these children when their identity papers do not correspond to their gender. Following their testimony, the Civil Code was changed in June 2016 and the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms now includes gender identity and expression as a prohibited ground of discrimination.

“In recognition of their commitment, their determination and for the changes they have helped bring about in the lives of hundreds of trans children who can now live without discrimination, jury members are proud to present this Award,” said Camil Picard, interim president of the Commission. “Through their work they have contributed to respect section 39 of the Charter which states that children have the right to the protection, security and attention that parents must provide them. We also congratulate the finalists: Action travail des femmes and the Fondation du Dr Julien.”

The Award was presented during a ceremony held in Montreal as part of International Human Rights Day before several dignitaries and many representatives of groups and organization advocating for human rights and freedoms in Québec. This year, the Commission chose economic and social rights as the theme of the 2016 Award to highlight the 50th anniversary of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) adopted in 1966 by the United Nations General Assembly.

Members of the 2016 Rights and Freedoms Award jury chaired by Mr. Picard were Nadine Vollant, social services coordinator in Uashat mak Mani-Utenam near Sept-Îles and one of the 40 human rights activist honoured as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Charter in 2015 and Steve Foster, president of the Chambre de commerce LGBT and winner of the 2013 Rights and Freedoms Award.

Presented since 1988 on the occasion of International Human Rights Day marking the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights December 10, 1948, the Rights and Freedoms Award is each year to an organization or an individual as a public recognition for exceptional achievement or commitment to the defence of human rights and freedoms.

To view short videos featuring the three finalists and to find out more on economic and social rights 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.


Patricia Poirier
514 873-5146 or 1 800 361-6477, extension 358

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