News release

2021 Human Rights Awards Presented

Four Nova Scotians were presented with the 2021 Nova Scotia Human Rights Awards today, December 10.

These awards recognize the important work of community organizers, grassroots advocates, activists, researchers, educators and others who demonstrate a commitment to advancing human rights through their work.

Four awards were presented in the categories of Youth, Individual and the commemorative Burnley Allan “Rocky” Jones Award. An individual award was presented posthumously.

Andreas Robinson of Dartmouth received the 2021 Human Rights Youth Award, in recognition of his demonstrated passion and commitment to advancing education and awareness of the rights of youth and community.

Dr. Margaret Dechman, formerly of Howie Centre, was awarded a Nova Scotia Human Rights Award posthumously in recognition of her life’s work as an advocate, researcher, and champion for the rights of individuals impacted by poverty, mental health, and addictions throughout Cape Breton.

Steven Estey of Dartmouth received an Individual Award in recognition of exemplary, life-long, and continuous advocacy, education, and leadership in the field of equity and inclusion for persons with disabilities in Nova Scotia, across Canada and internationally.

Dr. Ron Milne of Halifax received the Burnley Allan “Rocky” Jones Award in recognition of his commitment to advancing access to equitable healthcare within African Nova Scotian communities.

For more information about this year’s award recipients including photos and bios, visit the Commission’s website at: .


The presentation of these awards is our opportunity annually to shine a light on the incredible work being done by Nova Scotians advancing the protection and promotion of human rights in our province. While the Commission administers the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act through the protection and advancement of human rights, this work is only part of the daily effort happening across Nova Scotia to bring equity and inclusion to all. That is why I believe this year’s Human Rights Award recipients deserve to be honored and celebrated. These are unprecedented times, yet their good work continues with resilience, momentum, and impact. Joseph Fraser, Director and CEO, Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission

Quick Facts:

  • this event marked the United Nations International Human Rights Day and was livestreamed via the Commission’s YouTube channel and Facebook page; recordings will be available on these platforms
  • recipients are selected by a committee from nominations that are submitted by their peers