As an Indigenous woman who is currently studying law, you are truly an inspiration. There are literally no words to describe the overwhelming feelings I have experienced over the last couple of days. But "law student" is only one of the many hats that I wear. I am also a sex work activist, who advocates for the decriminalization of sex work.
Following over two years of consultations with sex workers and human rights experts in member countries globally, a leading human rights organization, Amnesty International, put forward a draft policy in support of decriminalization of sex work as critical to ensuring the human rights of all citizens. The policy recognizes decriminalization as a key measure for protecting the human rights of sex workers globally and will be discussed and voted on at the International Council Meeting to be held later this week in Dublin, Ireland.
Despite government statements that Canada has done "more than any of our allies," our allies have introduced smart humanitarian policies that have moved far more Syrians abroad than anything Ottawa has yet introduced. Canada can look to them - Germany, Sweden, Norway, Brazil and more - for inspiration.
Despite the support of many human rights organizations, Khaled's inhumane conditions remain the same. He has now suffered more than 500 days without charge or any semblance of evidence in a two by two meter, insect-infested cell. He has spent 23 hours of most of those days in solitary confinement, having no access to even the most basic of possessions.
While troop-contributing countries have been fed a steady diet of the excesses committed by the Taliban, many thousands of Afghan civilians have had to endure untold suffering through error, ignorance, negligence and over-reach of the international military forces sent in to create security and stability in the country.
Classical Islamic law interpretations stipulated death as a punishment when apostasy was combined with treason and rebellion against the state, not for blasphemy. This later position is more in line with the Quranic message of tolerance. The Quran further states that had God willed it He could have created all of humanity with the same beliefs.
Are you aware that it's illegal to be homosexual in 78 countries? Israel is one of the most progressive states regarding the rights of gays and lesbians in the West. It is the only country in the area -- the Middle East and North Africa -- that treats the gay community with respect and dignity. But that's not good enough for some gay-rights activists.
I am writing to urge Amnesty International to reconsider its policy position, leaked to the public, which promotes the legalization of prostitution and the rights of pimps over the rights of victims of sexual exploitation. AI has built its reputation on advocating for victims around the world. Why is AI abandoning victims now? We need to recognize prostitution for what it is. It is inherently harmful to women and girls and therefore must be eliminated. Legalization is the wrong approach.
In the last few months the world has witnessed, once again, atrocities planned and in two cases, carried out, disguised in the name of Islam. The debate among Muslims in the West is filled with tension. And as Muslims what more must we do to stop the chaos, in addition to demanding changes in our Western countries' foreign policies?
n Canada and abroad - Amnesty International has been an eloquent and powerful voice when it comes to human rights. The Secretary General of the Canadian branch of AI since 2000 -- and a recent Queens Diamond Jubilee medal recipient -- Alex Neve has been a powerful advocate for human rights for decades.
Don't underestimate the power of a letter, especially the power of many pens. Sandi Rae, a teacher at Mt. Slesse Middle School in Chilliwack, B.C. recently wrote an email -- that counts as a letter, right? -- telling us about her Grade 9 Leadership class and their letter-writing campaign to protest funding cuts for the Rainier Hotel in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.