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Celebrating International Human Rights Day

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December 10, 2013

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For immediate release

Toronto - In recognition of the U.N. International Human Rights Day, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today released a new and Improved edition of its popular school package entitled, Teaching Human Rights in Ontario (THRIO). This edition focuses on Ontario’s Human Rights Code, its human rights system, and most recent developments in human rights policy and case law.

“As our society becomes more diverse, the human rights challenges we face become more complex, and the need to bring a solid grounding in human rights becomes more critical. This guide can serve as a starting point for what I hope will be lifelong learning about human rights, and the value of respecting the dignity, worth and inclusion of all Ontarians,” said Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner.

THRIO is a practical tool that can help teachers educate students on the valued concepts of equality, justice and fairness. It is also an ideal education resource for law, history and civics courses, and cooperative education programs. The package includes information and activities to help students learn the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behaviours under the Code. Most situations used in this resource are based on real-life cases at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and/or the courts.

Another key aspect of this package is its links to the OHRC’s Living Rights Project. This web-based virtual library features interviews with human rights leaders and individual Ontarians who share their own personal experiences related to human rights. The guide offers links to human rights experiences from the past, and also includes stories about current human rights issues.  These stories serve as vivid life-learning lessons that can help advance human rights in the future and ensure that written rights under the Code become lived rights for everyone,

The Students' handouts section includes a human rights quiz, five fact sheets and 12 case studies. Completing these activities can help students to:

  • Increase their awareness of the Ontario Human Rights Code and the work of the three agencies that make up Ontario’s human rights system: the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, and the Human Rights Legal Support Centre
  • Identify the grounds and social areas the Code covers
  • Understand what discrimination is
  • Explain how the Code protects individuals and groups from discrimination and harassment
  • Know their rights and responsibilities under the law, how to protect those rights and how to help others who experience discrimination or harassment.

Teaching Human Rights in Ontario is available on the Commission’s website at:, and printed copies are available in English and French.


For more information:

Afroze Edwards
Sr. Communications Officer
Ontario Human Rights Commission