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March 21: The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse calls for action on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Montréal, March 20, 2017 – On the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunessecalls on the Québec Government and society to mobilize to combat racism and racial discrimination.

“The increase in hate crimes and racist messages on social networks remind us that we need concerted action to stop racism and discrimination,” today said the Commission’s President, Tamara Thermitus.

"The systemic nature racial discrimination requires many and diversified actions, and the Government of Québec and the municipalities must coordinate them," she said.

Several cities in Québec, including Montréal, Québec City, Gatineau and Saguenay, are members of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination, created in March 2004 by UNESCO, whose purpose is to strengthen policies to counter all forms of discrimination and promote social inclusion.

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination commemorates the Sharpeville massacre that occurred on March 21, 1960, when security forces opened fire and killed 69 people who were demonstrating peacefully against the internal passports imposed under apartheid in South Africa. In proclaiming this day in 1966, the United Nations sought to mobilize the international community to increase efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.

The United Nations theme this year focuses on racial profiling and incitement to hatred of racialized groups and, in particular migrants and refugees fleeing armed conflict.

Today, the 18th edition of the Semaine d’actions contre le racisme (SACR), also gets under way. The theme is “Notre histoire, nos luttes, notre avenir”.

To mark this week, the Commission will release a series of short videos featuring high school students speaking out against racism and offering their solutions to eliminate it. Moreover, the Commission will be participating in a public forum: L’égalité c’est l’affaire de tous (Equality is everybody’s business) being held at the Université du Québec à Montréal on March 24 and 25, 2017.

To learn more about the events and projects of the Semaine d’actions, please visit http://sacr.ca This link will redirect you to an external website. and follow us on social media.

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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