N.B. Human Rights Commission chair encourages New Brunswickers to stand against all forms of discrimination

by | Nov 22, 2023

Statement specifically asks people to watch for hate speech, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia

Phylomène Zangio, chair of the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission, issued the following statement:

The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission has been following the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in Palestine and Israel over the past weeks and is devastated by its profound effects on humanity. This crisis may be taking place an ocean away; however, the commission acknowledges and understands its impact on our communities here in New Brunswick.

As one of the founding members of the United Nations, Canada has an international obligation to promote a “universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” as described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The New Brunswick Human Rights Act reinforces this responsibility to protect the rights of all persons in our province, as “ignorance, forgetfulness or contempt of the rights of others are often the causes of public miseries and social disadvantage.”

The commission is the government agency in place to ensure that the rights of all New Brunswickers are protected under the act. As such, we ask the people of New Brunswick to stand with us and not allow hateful sentiments to grow in our province. Remain vigilant against acts of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and remember that the act expressly prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, ancestry, national origin, place of origin, as well as political belief and activity. The events in Palestine and Israel have undoubtedly unearthed intergenerational trauma and brought up feelings of grief, anger and sadness for many. It is, therefore, more important than ever, amidst this suffering, that respecting human rights in New Brunswick remains a guiding principle for all.

While our hearts are heavy, we implore all New Brunswickers to uphold the values of respect and dignity for all and ensure that incidents of hate, even those which may be experienced elsewhere, do not take root in our province. Should you experience discrimination, please get in touch with the commission at 506-453-2301 or hrc.cdp@gnb.ca.

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