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Mandate

Inspiring a global dialogue.

As the world's first museum dedicated to human rights, we are centred around the idea that respect and understanding of human rights can serve as a positive force for change in the world.

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Our Mandate

Our mandate is to explore the subject of human rights, with special but not exclusive reference to Canada, in order to enhance the public's understanding of human rights, to promote respect for others, and to encourage reflection and dialogue.

As with all of Canada’s National Museums, the Museum will play an essential role in:

  • Preserving and promoting our heritage at home and abroad
  • Contributing to the collective memory and sense of identity of all Canadians
  • Inspiring research, learning, and entertainment that belong to all Canadians

Our Guiding Principles

Exceeding our visitors' expectations.

The Museum aspires to offer its visitors an inspiring encounter with human rights while exceeding Canadians’ expectations for balance, transparency, sound business practices and meaningful public consultation.

Inspiring human rights, reflection and dialogue.

The Museum fosters an appreciation for the importance of human rights, spurs informed dialogue and invites participants to identify the contemporary relevance of past and present human rights events, both at home and abroad. The Museum exemplifies Canadians’ commitment to freedom and democracy and aims to ignite an informed, ever-evolving global conversation.

Celebrating Canadians’ commitment to human rights.

The citizens of Canada are endowed with inherent human rights and responsibilities, codified over time in treaties, policies, laws and declarations. The Museum provides a safe and engaging space to cultivate respect, gratitude, understanding and ongoing improvement of this human rights inheritance. The Museum connects its visitors with opportunities to explore the global development of human rights concepts and Canada’s important role within it.

Meaningful encounters between architecture and human rights.

The Museum is purposefully situated at a historic junction where two rivers meet, an important meeting place and starting point for new journeys for more than 6,000 years. The Museum honours this tradition by inviting guests to participate in a human rights journey of their own, in a building significant for its architectural symbolism of human rights advancement.

Dynamic and accessible human rights content.

The Museum aims to deliver an immersive, interactive and memorable experience for visitors of every background, age and level of ability. All participants will have access to a fully reinvented museum experience that reflects a design approach that sets new Canadian and world standards for inclusion and universal accessibility.

A credible and balanced learning resource.

As a global human rights learning resource, the Museum bears a responsibility to ensure the accuracy, integrity and credibility of its research and collected knowledge. The Museum strives to serve as a trusted international source for human rights learning, at all times encouraging critical engagement with museum scholarship and content.

Our History

From big idea to breaking ground to grand opening, discover the story behind building a global home for human rights.

The Building

Learn about the acclaimed design of the Museum, as it guides you on a journey from darkness to light.