Since the age of 14, George Stamatis now 30, possesses the distinction of being an accomplished, dedicated, and results-driven International Child Rights Activist, motivational & leadership conference speaker, while working for the most vulnerable and disempowered children around the world, who believe themselves to be incapable of affecting social change. George’s role as initiator in youth mobilization has helped to promote the implementation of United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) through the continued empowerment of young people.
Mission ? George acts to protect, monitor abuses, advocate and promote children rights as guaranteed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. He also acts to abolish the slave trade and slavery and helps to rescue victims from Child and/or Human Trafficking and/ or Slavery.
George first became a spokesperson for children's rights at the age of 14. Acting on a teacher's request at school while trying to learn, understand and practice his English language, he read an article in the Montreal newspaper, "The Gazette", and discovered that a locked facility called "Chapel" at the Shawbridge campus managed by Batshaw Youth and Family Service Centres had a high occurrence of rights violations towards the children housed in the institution was revealed.
That article is titled "Panel to probe locked doors at youth rehabilitation centre" dated November 07, 1996 page A.7. Eager to take action to free children from such abuse, George gathered a group of classmates and protested against the local provincial government and local Media and demanded for the closure of the centre and advocated for better conditions for children living in these centres. In 1997 after many years of leading many initiatives and protests with his mentor Robert Hatton who wrote the official complaint for George; the Quebec Human Rights Commission ordered the closure of the "Chapel Unit" located at the Shawbridge institution of the Batshaw Youth and Family Service Centres in Prévost, Quebec within 30 days after intervening. Chapel was permanently closed a few days after the order.
Interested in the investigation? Check the 1996 annual report (page 38) mentioning the investigation: http://collections.banq.qc.ca/ark:/52327/bs24072
If wish to obtain a copy of the investigation report and 1997 annual report, please email the Commission: firstname.lastname@example.org
During the 1998 North American Ice Storm which ravaged parts of Quebec, George organized a group of young people at the Complex Claude Robillard to help facilitate the needs of families and their children in order to help cope to the high stress situation that was endured.
At the age of 15, George successfully negotiated & convinced UN Member States to include youth representatives into the United Nations General Assembly and its committee, including the Security Council.
Since 1995, several Member States (countries) now include youth delegations with the number gradually increasing year by year since 1994. *** Interested to be come a representatives for your country ? *** go to: http://social.un.org/index/Youth/Whatcanyoudo/Establishayouthdelegateprogramme.aspx
In July 1999, ever passionate about changing the world and promoting youth involvement in decision making that affecting youth, George was selected by the One Day Foundation to attend as a youth representative from Canada to the “United Youth Conference” in Sedona, Arizona which convened 20 young people from 12 different countries. Throughout this conference, the Global Youth Action Network (GYAN) was formed as a clearinghouse for today's youth movements. Today, GYAN is one of the largest networks of youth organizations ever created. It encouraged collaboration and helps to maximize the collective impact of global youth activism. GYAN grew to connect over 10,000 organizations in 180 countries, facilitating global collaborations and working closely with the United Nations to increase youth participation. GYAN later coordinated the Global Youth Service Day from 2001 to 2005 in 117 countries, mobilizing 3.5-5 million young people worldwide in over 1735 service projects. In 2000, he was nominated as Canadian Youth Ambassador for GYAN to lead the organizing, outreach and development of GYAN in Canada until 2005. In 2000, he was nominated as Canadian Youth Ambassador to the United Nations (3rd committee - Youth Committee) until 2007. George supported the collaboration among different youth organizations and created a global network of young people so as to encourage youth engagement within their own communities. Here's a 1999 video with pictures, the first United Youth Conference in Sedona, Arizona which gave birth to the GYAN: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OOg2-TVI0k
In September 2003 George was nominated as the Youth Affairs representative and Public Relations Director for the International Bureau for Children's Rights. His main work was to promote and ensure implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in all countries. In 2007, he was nominated Vice-President of the same organization with additional responsibilities which included the financial management of the organization, fundraising, police training and community stakeholder’s involvement in the fight against child trafficking through investigating complaints of major cases of child abuse and identifying research issues in child trafficking for exploitative purposes.
During February 2006, the media once again began covering reported cases of abuse occurring in Quebec youth protection centres. Bearing in mind that at the age of 15 he had previously had a youth unit permanently shut down for children’s rights violations, George stood up for the rights of children & youth as he proposed modifications to amend the Quebec Youth Protection Act (Bill 125) through a briefing presented before the National Assembly of Quebec. Many of the recommendations he suggested have since been adopted and are now a part of the currently Youth Protection Act (Law). Brief available: http://www.bibliotheque.assnat.qc.ca/01/mono/2006/02/839970.pdf
Merely hours following the Dawson Shooting Tragedy, which occurred at Dawson College in Montreal on September 13, 2006, the Dawson student community requested the help of George due to his previous experiences in dealing with youth, community and government organizations to coordinate a emergency Crisis Centre on behalf of the Dawson Student Union and Concordia Student Union.
In December 2006, George received sincere gratitude and appreciation from the Dawson College student body, the Dawson College community, and the Executive Council members of the Dawson Student Union for his work that he conducted during the Dawson College Crisis during the tragic events which conspired on September 13, 2006. The Dawson Student Union unanimously said to George "The Dawson Student Union would like to extend its sincerest gratitude for the tremendous work that you conducted during the Dawson College Crisis and the events on September 13, 2006, your participation and leadership have been a major help during our darkest hour. Without your involvement, most of the services provided to the students and the victims would not have been possible. It is thanks to you that Sun Youth provided us with blankets and water barely hours after the event. We are also very grateful that you have made the creation of the special Kids Help Phone line possible. Furthermore, your coordination and assistance with the municipal and provincial government proved to be a significant asset. Finally, the transportation arrangement with the STM from Dawson College to Anastasia De Sousa's wake was only organized thanks to your contribution. On behalf of the student body and the community of Dawson College, the Executive Council members of the Dawson Student Union present you their deepest gratitude and appreciation"
In 2007, George received accolades from the City of Montreal for his work as "Head Coordinator" for the response team during the Dawson College tragedy on September 13, 2006. He helped coordinate a team using the Sir George Williams campus (Concordia University) as a temporary crisis centre offering food, blankets, bus tickets/taxis vouchers, and counselling services (psychologist/psychiatrist) to traumatized individuals, staff, students and families affected by the tragedy.
In March 2007, he received recognition from the Hellenic Community of Montreal and led the annual Greek Parade in Montreal as Grand-Marshall and Greek Man of Year in the World.
In June 2009, he collaborated in drafting a Bill presented by Member of Parliament Marc Garneau in the House of Commons, establishing an independent official in order to ensure governmental accountability in respecting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Additionally, this legislation was designed to promote, monitor, and report on the Canadian efficiency in the implementation of the Convention, which lay within the legislative authority of Parliament; thereby, safeguarding the principle that children are inherently entitled to special care and assistance, including appropriate legal protection in Canada.
George, age 30, has traveled to many countries, visiting streets and working children and speaking out in defence for children's rights. He frequently addresses business groups, government bodies, educators, unions and students' groups and has antecedently advocated on behalf of children during meetings with political and religious leaders, including Prime Ministers, Presidents,CEOs of major corporations as well as meet with known dignitaries such as Bill Clinton, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince William of Wales,Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
George has been advocating for many years for the United States to ratify the “United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)” by meeting with senators and White House staff to achieve a possible ratification. He also participates in the Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the CRC. In 2008, feeling pressured, President Obama described the failure to ratify by the USA the CRC as 'embarrassing' and promised to review this. No one else has been able to accomplish this since 1995.
George's work on children's rights has been featured on television programs, including CNN. George is involved with many organizations to help unite and empower young leaders, especially the disadvantaged. His goal is to help increase their participation and depth of their impact on international policy and decision-making.
He has received many honours from Ministers and Mayors for his work on children's rights.
In 2010, the Globe and Mail (National newspaper in Canada) considered George to be 1 of the 25 Great Transformational Canadians and remarkable citizen whose accomplishments through vision, leadership and actions, has immeasurably improved the lives of others and made this country - and the world - a better place and has been a forceful presence and champion of children’s rights in his community, throughout Canada, and abroad.
What do people say about George ?
Gerald Tremblay (Mayor, the City of Montreal) says about George: "You are an example for younger generations...it is people like you who enhance our society"
President Bill Clinton says to George: "Fortunately, there are people like you who have selflessly made the welfare of these children a priority…. Thank You for all you do to give children everywhere a real chance for a better future."
George favorite quote he created is "We must say what we see. But first, and more difficult, We must see what we see !"
To reach George Stamatis or anyone in his office for children's rights related issues, media interviews or to book him for speeches (events, conferences, panel speaker or other) please call his office and speak with one of his assistants (Helen Ryan, Simon Khan or Bob Reilly) at 1-877-657-5409. Since the age of 14, George Stamatis now 30, possesses the distinction of being an accomplished, dedicated, and results-driven International Child Rights Activist, motivational & leadership conference speaker, while working for the most vulnerable... (more)
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