Professor Yunus receives Equitas Award for Human Rights Education

05 June 2014

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus

GCU Chancellor Professor Muhammad Yunus has been presented with the Equitas Award for Human Rights Education in Canada.

The award was created in 2009 to recognise individuals and organisations who have made exceptional contributions to advancing equality, social justice and respect for human dignity. Past recipients include Phil Fontain, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations; Asma Jahangir, former UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief; the Youth Leadership Development Foundation of Yemen; and the Society for Children and Youth of British Columbia.

Nobel Laureate Professor Yunus is internationally renowned for his work to alleviate poverty through microfinance initiatives, such as the Grameen Bank which was established in 1983. His work has helped millions, particularly women.

Speaking at the ceremony in Montreal, Melissa Sonberg, Chair of the Equitas Board of Directors, said: “The work of social change is never easy. It requires intelligence, imagination, passion and commitment – qualities which Professor Yunus possesses in spades, as well as many more.”

Professor Yunus said: “Poverty is the absence of all human rights. The frustrations, hostility and anger generated by abject poverty cannot sustain peace in any society. For building stable peace, we must find ways to provide opportunities for people to live decent lives.”

Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education is a non profit organisation that works for the advancement of equality, social justice and respect for human dignity in Canada and around the world through transformative human rights education programmes.