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Baird Honours Human Rights Defenders 2012 John Diefenbaker Award Ceremony | Cérémonie de remise du prix John Diefenbaker 2012 March 14, 2012 -

Human RightsForeign Affairs Minister John Baird today presented this year’s John Diefenbaker Defender of Human Rights and Freedom Award to the late Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s former Federal Minister for Minorities, and Susana Trimarco, Argentinian activist and founder of the Fundación María de los Ángeles. “With this award, Canada honours the memory of Shahbaz Bhatti, whose determined efforts in the struggle for equality, justice and freedom cost him his life,” said Baird. “Braving multiple threats to his safety, Mr. Bhatti worked tirelessly to advance the rights of Pakistan’s religious minorities.” Mr. Peter Bhatti accepted the award on behalf of his late brother. “Canada also hails the courage of Susana Trimarco, who helped to shed light on the world of human trafficking and forced prostitution while searching for her missing daughter,” Baird said. “The foundation she created, Fundación María de los Ángeles, has helped raise awareness of this issue. Through Ms. Trimarco’s unyielding determination, she has helped hundreds of victims escape inhumane conditions.” Canada is among those nations leading the world in combatting human trafficking. “Canada stands with the defenders of human rights for all—people who courageously seek to promote and protect fundamental freedoms around the world. For more information, see Address by Minister Baird at Second Annual John Diefenbaker Defender of Human Rights and Freedom Award Ceremony. 

Exclusive footage of Shahbaz Bhatti\'s interview

TRIP TO THAILAND, MALAYSIA AND PAKISTAN

APRIL 30- MAY 15, 2018

International Christian Voice is committed to highlighting the plight of persecuted, marginalized,

and vulnerable religious minorities in Pakistan.

In pursuance of our goal to successfully bring to Canada our most recently sponsored refugee family - for whom our community and friends have so generously donated to meet their financial obligations - it became necessary to visit Pakistan and Thailand to assess firsthand the difficulties from which this family and others are suffering. Further, it is important for ICV to educate and bring awareness to asylum seekers on how to properly apply for Canadian immigration under Canada's Private Sponsorship Program and other programs.During the sponsorship process, ICV encountered a serious roadblock when the office of the UNHCR did not accept the application for our sponsored family, claiming that since the husband died in Thailand, his wife and children were no longer in danger in Pakistan and hence should go back to Pakistan.

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Backgrounder - Diefenbaker Award and Recipients Shahbaz Bhatti

Shahbaz Bhatti was elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan in 2008 and named Federal Minister for Minorities a portfolio he accepted because of the opportunity it offered to defend the oppressed and marginalized of Pakistan.

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