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Building welcoming communities one aspect of Human Rights Day


December 9, 2005, Edmonton... International Human Rights Day is celebrated annually on December 10, reminding Albertans of the importance of human rights in our communities and around the world, as well as the challenges that remain in order to make human rights a reality for everyone.

This year, libraries across Alberta have been invited to recognize International Human Rights Day by distributing bookmarks and brochures at their checkout areas. This information provides tips on how Albertans can make their communities more welcoming for all people through their day-to-day actions. For example, they can learn about other cultures, volunteer for a community group to work with people of diverse backgrounds, or participate in the celebration of different holidays.

“To build strong and welcoming communities, we need to ensure people are not excluded or discriminated against because of their personal characteristics,” said Gary Mar, Minister of Community Development, responsible for human rights. “The efforts of individuals can make a profound difference in fostering a fair and harmonious society based on cooperation and mutual respect.”

Earlier this year, Alberta Community Development, in partnership with Global TV and Alberta Seniors and Community Supports, aired public service announcements on Global TV as part of the Help Make a Difference initiative. These announcements showed Albertans how they can build stronger, better relationships between people in a variety of ways.

“Education is one of the best means available to protect human rights. With a greater understanding comes a greater respect for open-mindedness and acceptance,” said Charlach Mackintosh, Chief Commissioner, Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission. “Only then can people fairly and equally participate in the social, cultural and economic life of society.”

The public service announcements, bookmark and brochure are available online at

International Human Rights Day has been commemorated every year on December 10 since 1948, when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed by United Nations members.


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