Nova Scotia Marks 75th Anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Dec 04, 2023

The Province of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission are recognizing the 75th anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a groundbreaking global commitment to protect the rights of all people.

Premier Tim Houston has proclaimed December 3-10 as Nova Scotia Human Rights Week. The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission is hosting a series of events and celebrations focused on human rights.

"The UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights was a milestone for humanity, founded on the recognition of a simple premise - that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights," said Brad Johns, Attorney General and Minister of Justice. "We are deeply committed to creating a more equitable Nova Scotia for all people. While there is always more to be done, I am proud of the significant work happening across government to remove systemic barriers, address inequities and eliminate hate."

Nova Scotia's first-of-its-kind Equity and Anti-Racism Strategy and the Mi'kmaw Language Act, which recognizes Mi'kmaw as Nova Scotia's first language, were recently highlighted before the UN Human Rights Council as part of Canada's fourth Universal Periodic Review. Periodic reviews are peer reviews of UN member states' human rights records and are held regularly.

"Human rights are central to creating safe, equitable communities and to protecting the inherent dignity of all people," said Joseph Fraser, Director and CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. "As polarizing politics, escalating international violence, poverty and a national housing crisis divide and challenge us, the universal principles enshrined in human rights law have the power to unite us."

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission's upcoming public events include:

  • a partnership with the Atlantic International Film Festival for all Nova Scotians to watch the film Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor for free via the festival's virtual screening platform; the film was shot and is set in Nova Scotia
  • virtual panels on trans representation in film, and on housing and human rights
  • the 2023 Nova Scotia Human Rights Awards ceremony, livestreamed from the Halifax Central Library.

A full schedule of events can be found here.

Nova Scotia Human Rights Week includes the International Day for Persons with Disabilities (Sunday, December 3), the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women (Wednesday, December 6) and International Human Rights Day (Sunday, December 10).