“Essentially, human rights are universal, moral rights. In other words, human rights belong to everyone. They include the right to life, liberty and a decent human experience. Human rights also include all of the political, social, and economic rights necessary for people to live dignified lives” - Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre, p. 3
Below, you will find material on Human Rights and the legislation protecting these rights. In relation to our discussion on anti-racism, it is important to note that freedom from racial discrimination is one of the basic rights of all human beings. These rights are protected by the following international, national and provincial legislation:
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
↳ Passed by the United Nations in 1948
Article 2: “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status" (United Nations).
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
↳ Passed by Parliament in 1982
“(1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability
(2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability” (Government of Canada).
Alberta Human Rights Act — Formerly Human Rights, Citizenship and multiculturalism Act (1996) & Individual’s Rights Protection Act (1972).
↳ Latest amendment 2017
“[I]t is recognized in Alberta as a fundamental principle and as a matter of public policy that all persons are equal in: dignity, rights and responsibilities without regard to race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation” (Alberta Human Rights Act).
The Act prevents discrimination in the matter of publications and notices; goods, services, accommodation and facilities; tenancy; applications and advertisements re employment; membership in trade union; ameliorative policies, programs and activities (Alberta Human Rights Act).
Click here to learn more about the Alberta Human Rights Act and its precursors
The following resources have been developed by the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre:
The Rights Angle: Human Rights Education - Using the Newspaper
Refugees and Discrimination: Teacher and Student Materials
Full Text - Table of Contents, Chapters 1 - 6, Activities & Handouts, Glossary, Resources
Discrimination, Human Rights and You (Teacher's Guide)
Discrimination, Human Rights and You (Student Guide)