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Educator’s guide

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Human rights are fundamentally about human dignity. At the heart of human rights is equality.”

Commissioner Kasari Govender

3 levels of human rights laws

There are three levels of human rights laws.

International human rights
These human rights include the right to food, education, and a place to live. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an example of international human rights law. If you live in a country like Canada that has committed to this law, you have these rights.

Constitutional human rights
These human rights are specific to Canada. They protect rights like your right to vote, to equality and to freedom of expression. Constitutional rights are part of Canadian law and most of our rights are written in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Statutory human rights
These human rights help protect you from harmful treatment by other people or by organizations. All provinces and territories in Canada have statutory human rights laws. In B.C. that law is called the Human Rights Code.