Canadian Law Enforcement Official Receives International Human Rights Award
Setting the standard for police–community partnerships: policing through the lens of human rights.
Youth for Human Rights International presented Ricky Veerappan, Superintendent (Ret.) of the Community Services Division of the York Regional Police, Ontario, Canada, with its Human Rights Award during the Youth for Human Rights International 20th Anniversary Global Online Conference. The award commended him for “his dedication and outstanding service to promoting human rights set out in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
Executives of the Youth for Human Rights chapter in Toronto introduced the Youth for Human Rights International campaign to Ricky Veerappan in 2008. Veerappan saw in the educational materials a means to disseminate the 30 human rights to the community. After discovering the materials, Veerappan immediately trained some 120 police recruits using Youth for Human Rights’ Story of Human Rights documentary and its 30 public service announcements—one for each article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The York Police department then established the Human Rights Classroom in their Community Safety Village, where they do early intervention programs for children and youth.
“I thank you for this very special award which I accept on behalf of my many policing colleagues who, as moms, dads, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters in uniform, champion the cause of peace-building, human rights and social justice through public service every day,” said Mr. Veerappan. “Events over the past two years have had a huge impact on police and community relationships in the level of trust and confidence in policing in general.” He explained that York Regional Police believes that policing must be done “through the lens of human rights, not human rights through the lens of policing. Human rights has to be the platform on which policing is built.”
The Youth for Human Rights 20th Anniversary Global Virtual Conference was attended by more than 1,600 human rights proponents from 97 nations and gathered a panel of renowned human rights advocates and personalities. These included Mr. Jorge Luis Fonseca Fonseca, Deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica; Rabbi Michael Shevack, Councilor-General of the World Cultural Organization; Laura Guercio, President of Legal Aid Worldwide; and Fabio Amicarelli, Humanitarian Programs director of the Church of Scientology International.
Over the past 20 years, Youth for Human Rights International has grown to a worldwide movement of 150 groups, clubs and chapters; partnered with 1,500 organizations and government agencies across 92 nations; educated 1.7 million youth with its materials; and reached more than 700 million people, leaving its mark at every level of society.
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