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December 10th, 2018 – Human Rights Day

I wish to take this opportunity to observe with you the occasion of the 70th Human Rights Day.

On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  The Declaration consists of 30 articles affirming an individual’s rights.

As the Advocate for Newcomers to Toronto, I meet many people who have had their human rights violated and have come to Canada to find a safe haven where their rights will be protected.

As a Member of Parliament, I fought for human rights around the world and visited the sites of many man-made and natural disasters. To mention a few, I was one of the MPs responsible for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the Canadian Parliament, as well as the atrocities against humanity on the Halabja and Anfal campaigns against the Kurds by Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

Similarly, as a City Councillor, I placed Motions for the recognition of the Pontian Greek Genocide, the 100th commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, and the Nanjing Massacre.


Across the globe, millions of people are denied the most basic of human rights, as they continue to be caught in the crossfire of conflict and persecution. On this Human Rights Day, we honour and remember who are fighting for their human rights.