November 23, 2016

2016 Human Rights Award Recipients Announced

The Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Manitoba Human Rights Commission have just announced the recipient of the 2016 awards. These awards are given out every year in celebration of International Human Rights Day.

Human Rights Commitment Award: The 2016 recipient is Tracia Trust- Manitoba’s Strategy to Combat Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking.  The members of this team will be accepting the award. 

Tracia’s Trust, named in honour of Tracia Owen who died tragically at the age of 14, is Manitoba’s strategy responding to children and youth at risk of/or survivors of sexual exploitation and human trafficking.  These unsung heroes of this made-in-Manitoba strategy team are worthy of the Human Rights Commitment Award of Manitoba. Their daily, collaborative determination and dedication to protecting and working with our most vulnerable embodies what human rights work is all about.

The Human Rights Commitment Award recognizes those who have promoted respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and have advanced the rights of Manitobans.  The award itself is piece of art, designed this year by Brandon artist, Chris Cooper. 

In addition, the Award Selection Committee selected two nominations for an Honourable Mention; Ms Janet Bladwin and Dr. Joseph Kaufert.  Both are currently volunteers at Winnipeg Harvest and have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to human rights.

Sybil Shack Human Rights Youth Award: The 2016 recipient is Ms Lauren Milne.  She is a law student from Manitoba currently studying at the University of North Dakota.

Lauren wrote “The Gender Development Index and Gender Empowerment Measure: An Analysis of Strengths and Limitations in the Context of South Africa” which was published in 2014 in Undercurrent: a Canadian Journal for International Development Studies.

In addition, Lauren traveled to “The Projects Abroad Human Rights Office” in Cape Town, South Africa to further her academic and social awareness studies. Her volunteer activities include, Immigrant Refugee Community of Manitoba, the Institute for International Women’s Rights Organization, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and the Legal Help Centre.

The Sybil Shack Human Rights Youth Award recognizes the work of a person or group of people, 25 years old and under, that has had an impact on the advancement of human rights as guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and human rights legislation in Manitoba.  

The sponsoring partners encourage the public to meet the recipients and join in celebrating the achievements of these remarkable Manitobans. 

The Awards will be presented at a reception at the RBC Convention Centre, on Thursday December 8, from 5:00 pm until 7:00pm.  This event is free but you must register to attend.  Light refreshments will be served.  To register please visit or

For further Information or to set up interviews with the recipients, please contact


Patricia Knipe       
Communications Director,
Manitoba Human Rights Commission
Phone: 204-945-3021