David W Cerny / Reuters
Canadian Human Rights Commission
This April 8 we dare you to empathize. We dare you to reflect on the reasons why millions of people, not just Roma, live in squalid conditions, or resort to petty theft. During this time of political and social uncertainty, International Roma Day will show who the real champions of social justice are and who, under that veil, fall short.
THE CANADIAN/Lars Hagberg
It seems obvious that solitary confinement for someone with mental health issues is dangerous and destructive. The Canadian Human Rights Commission has long held that placing vulnerable individuals in solitary confinement denies them their human rights, and for those with mental health issues, it can lead to irreparable harm.
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On August 10, 1974, Edward Nolan died by suicide in a segregation cell at Millhaven Institution in Bath, Ontario. Each year on August 10, we commemorate Prisoners' Justice Day to remember Nolan and all of the prisoners who have died in custody, and to renew calls to respect the basic human rights of prisoners housed in jails, correctional centres, and penitentiaries across the country.
The photobomber in my phone highlights a man who, instead of ignoring the message, chose to stand with me and show compassion for a cause he probably cannot fully understand but supports anyway. After all, most of us here on earth would love to exist in an equal and just society.
These days you don't hear a great deal of praise for the American melting pot. Perhaps it's because there is a growing realization amongst Americans that historically the melting pot was more virtual than real. A frank look at the evolution of the race relations across America's history throws the melting pot idea into question.
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Every year, thousands of people are placed in segregation in jails and penitentiaries across the country. Systemic data about the use of segregation in both provincial and federal contexts indicates that segregation is being overused on -- and causing particular harm for -- vulnerable groups, such as black and indigenous prisoners, women, and those with mental health disabilities.
An absence of multigenerational interaction may seem like a blessing to some, but it has those in city planning concerned. Just as our neighbourhoods have traditionally been segregated by race, ethnicity, income and culture, today they're also increasingly split by age.
The South African Reconciliation Barometer, a survey of racial and social attitudes, consistently finds a deeply divided nation. Less than 40 per cent of South Africans socialize with people of another race, while only 22 per cent of white South Africans and a fifth of black South Africans live in racially integrated neighbourhoods.
Members of the audience at the launch of my new book exchanged ideas on modernizing or "moderating" Islam. Was there indeed a window of opportunity to interpret Islam's precepts in line with modern sensibilities on women's rights? Was there potential to change people's attitudes on the status of minorities in Muslim countries?