NUPGE celebrates International Human Rights Day | National Union of Public and General Employees

NUPGE celebrates International Human Rights Day

'Labour rights and human rights should be promoted, protected and strengthened.' - James Clancy.

Ottawa (7 Dec. 2009) - The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is pleased to recognize International Human Rights Day which is observed by the international community every year on Dec. 10 to commemorate the day in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

To celebrate the occasion, NUPGE has produced a new poster in a series entitled One Good Idea Deserves Another - Full Human Rights for All. The union invites members and the public to download it and distribute it as widely as possible by clicking on the graphic in this article or the link below.

Download NUPGE Poster - UN Human Rights Day December 10

Drafted by a Canadian

The declaration was one of the UN’s first major achievements and it remains a powerful instrument and symbol worldwide.

Few people know that the historic document’s first draft was written by a Canadian. The principal author of the declaration was a native of New Brunswick named John Peters Humphrey. In 1946, he was appointed as the first director of the human rights division of the United Nations Secretariat, where he was the principal drafter of the declaration.

The declaration has become a universal standard for defending and promoting human rights. The first sentence of the preamble of the declaration reads: "The recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world."

In celebrating International Human Rights Day, NUPGE recognizes that all human beings are born with equal and inalienable human rights and freedoms.

Labour rights are human rights

NUPGE has a longstanding history of placing human rights at the forefront of our day-to-day work. This includes all human rights from equality and civil rights to social and economic rights. It also includes labour rights (the right to join a union and bargain collectively), which are contained in Article 23 of the declaration.

In addition to the poster, NUPGE will also be releasing a calendar for 2010 which highlights many of the important labour rights victories and struggles the Canadian labour movement has encountered throughout its history.

“The promise of the Universal Declaration is dignity and justice for everyone,” says James Clancy, NUPGE national president. “It reinforces the vision that human rights shouldn’t be viewed as a luxury and that governments can’t pick and choose among human rights, ignoring some while insisting on others. Labour rights and human rights should be promoted, protected and strengthened.”

You can order a copy of NUPGE’s labour rights calendar by sending an email to You can also visit our campaign website and check out the various research and campaign materials in support of progressive labour law reform. Finally, you can subscribe to NUPGE’s monthly Labour Rights are Human Rights E-Bulletin by e-mailing to stay on top of the most recent news about labour rights in Canada and around the world.


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

More information:
Download NUPGE Poster: UN Human Rights Day December 10 - pdf