Youth Speak Out for Human Rights
TORONTO: Youth for Human Rights Toronto chapter celebrated the UN International Human Rights Day by giving youth a voice to speak out on the importance of human rights and its value to the community.
This was the 11th annual celebration of International Human Rights Day hosted by Youth for Human Rights Toronto chapter. The event included heartwarming presentations by five youth who told us why human rights are important not only globally but from their own personal perspectives and in their own communities. There were also youth performances by the Tandem Studio Dancers and young singers. As well, The Story of Human Rights documentary provided insight into the history of human rights and its importance in the world today.
Toronto Youth for Human Rights Youth Engagement Coordinator, Grade 12 student Abeir Liton, acted as Emcee for the evening. His colleague Kristina Kissin, briefed the audience on the activities of the Toronto chapter this past year, including attending the International Human Rights Summit held at the United Nations in New York. Two University of Toronto students, Dauii Adam and Matt Thomas also spoke of their experience at the Summit and the impact of meeting youth from around the world, all united with forwarding the message of human rights.
Youth for Human Rights International provides educational materials designed to create awareness and understanding of the 30 human rights contained in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including audio visual materials like The Story of Human Rights. Chapters around the world distribute these materials that empower youth with this valuable knowledge.
As the keynote speaker for the evening, Chief Joliffe went on to say, "I commend the efforts of Youth for Human Rights and the youth that have engaged themselves in the promotion of human rights. Your actions have spoken louder than words and have personified the motto of York Regional Police, which is 'Deeds Speak'."
Each year Toronto Youth for Human Rights presents an award to acknowledge youth and adults for their advancement of human rights awareness and education. This year the recipients honored were officers of the York Regional Police Diversity Equity & Inclusion Bureau under Chief Eric Jolliffe. Chief Joliffe noted the importance of human rights education for the police force, particularly for his region of York which is home to many different ethnic populations. The Diversity Equity & Inclusion Bureau builds bridges between the community and the police, creating trust and strong partnerships that benefit all.
Youth for Human Rights Toronto Director Nicole Crellin, when presenting the awards stated, "The purpose of Youth for Human Rights International is to teach youth about human rights, specifically the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and inspire them to become advocates for tolerance and peace. I am honoured to present this award to these officers, who demonstrate daily their commitment to understanding and appreciating the rich diversity of their region. They serve as valuable role models for youth."
For more information about Youth for Human Rights and to obtain educational materials please visit www.youthforhumanrights.org . To get involved please contact Youth for Human Rights Toronto Director Nicole Crellin at 416-388-2542.