Defining Moments Canada Begins New Project, Realizing The Pledge: Canada and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

August 11, 2023

Defining Moments Canada, an educational not-for-profit, commemorates Canada’s role in the ratification of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA,  — Digital heritage organization, Defining Moments Canada (DMC), is announcing a commemoration marking the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This commemoration, titled Realizing the Pledge: Canada & The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, will showcase key moments where the Declaration’s principles have guided Canadian actions and policies. Teachers can expect to see an array of free educational resources, historical material, and multimedia content becoming available in the coming months, which will support elementary and secondary educators in bringing this topic into their classrooms. 

In 1946, Canadian legal scholar, jurist, and human rights advocate John Humphrey was appointed the first Director of the United Nations Division of Human Rights. As part of his new role, Humphrey collaborated in drafting the document that would be adopted in 1948 as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). In the decades that followed, Canada increasingly committed itself to the principles of the UDHR in both domestic and foreign policy. Today, the UDHR is recognized as a milestone document in the history of human rights that has paved the way for over seventy human rights treaties globally. 

DMC will use the articles of the UDHR to highlight moments when Canada’s involvement in international or domestic affairs embraced the aspirational spirit of the Declaration. Realizing the Pledge will include historically significant moments when Canada asserted the principles within and beyond leadership of the United Nations, beginning with the armistice marking the end of the Korean War in 1953—a pivotal moment in Canada’s identity as a peacekeeping nation on the international stage. 

This project is funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage. To bring this project to life, DMC will collaborate with myriad individual and organizational partners, including the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights, the Shiloh Centre for Multicultural Roots, and the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations; we also look forward to continued support from long-standing partners at Esri Canada and McMaster Children and Youth University. These partnerships will enhance the creation of education, multimedia, and historical content and expand the reach of the project.  

These are just some of the free resources that will become available to the public in the coming months:

Defining Moments Canada (DMC) is a Canadian heritage organization dedicated to exploring moments throughout our shared histories by engaging with the lesser-known, often-excluded, and dynamic stories that impart significance and influence.

For more information visit Defining Moments Canada at: For inquiries, please contact Executive Director Jenifer Terry at