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​​​Message from Dr. Evaristus A. Oshionebo, outgoing Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission

(December 9, 2022)

A Society Free from Discrimination

Seventy-five years ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR is one of the most significant documents in human history because it provides a template for the protection of human rights worldwide. The UDHR not only proclaims that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights," but also establishes human rights principles and standards to be observed by all nations. It recognizes that human dignity is inherent and that "the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world."

The Preamble to the UDHR proclaims the following goals:

The General Assembly,
Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Despite strides toward protecting human rights, the lofty goals established under the UDHR have yet to be fully realized. Our society is still full of instances of discrimination and other abuses of human rights. Hence, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights calls on us all "to increase knowledge of the UDHR as a foundational blueprint for taking concrete actions to stand up for human rights."

On this historic 75th anniversary of the UDHR, the Alberta Human Rights Commission joins the United Nations in calling for better awareness and protection of human rights in every corner of the globe.

Here in Alberta, the Commission is at the forefront of the campaign for equality, inclusion, and freedom from discrimination. We advance our mandate to foster equality and reduce discrimination through the delivery of impactful programs and initiatives and collaboration with community organizations in Alberta. In particular, the Commission is addressing the ongoing racism and discrimination faced by Indigenous people and other ethnic minorities in Alberta. While there has been significant progress in protecting human rights in Alberta, much remains to be done.

Coincidentally, the Commission will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023. During this milestone year, we will not only engage Albertans across all ages, sectors, and industries, but will also encourage all Albertans to participate in activities that promote human rights. Through our collective participation, we can realize our shared vision of a vibrant and inclusive Alberta where everyone can fully participate in society, free from discrimination.​

Our vision is a vibrant and inclusive Alberta where the rich diversity of people is celebrated and respected, and where everyone has the opportunity to fully participate in society, free from discrimination.