Human Rights

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Are You For Or Are You Against?

Ask Mussolini. Ask Hitler. Ask Stalin. Ask Pol Pot. Their populations were driven to exhaustion and paralysis by a constant barrage of attacks of that held most dear. Left stunned and disbelieving by the dizzying spin of hatred, demonization and battles seemingly lost, we're supposed to give up. Or fight a little less. So the old saw says.
Jeff Chiu/AP

Should Teachers Bring Their Politics Into The Classroom?

Among the groups that I saw at the Toronto march was a contingent of elementary school teachers. As most people know, the great majority of elementary school teachers everywhere are women. As women, they have experienced more than their fair share of discrimination, pay inequity, and even violence in the workplace. But should teachers have the right to protest and then to bring their views and opinions into their classrooms? It might depend on the views and how they are expressed.
Chris Wattie / Reuters

Human Rights Day Reminds Us Our Rights Record Is Unequal

In Nunavut, 60 per cent of children are living in food-insecure households while in Manitoba, 76 per cent of First Nations children on reserves live in poverty. Vulnerable populations, such as women, seniors, recent immigrants, indigenous populations and racialized individuals experience the effects of poverty disproportionately demonstrating that even within the realm of social inadequacy the playing field isn't level.
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A Turning Point For Human Rights

Our society has come to a fork in the road: we must decide the core values that will drive social policy in the future. Ontarians have big ideas and want bold approaches to address persistent human rights problems, and we agree. Our work has the most impact when we amplify the voices of the most marginalized people, and when the public echoes our human rights message and demands action.
World Vision

Giving Gifts That Honour Human Rights

Gifts are often something we think of as meaningful, but mostly superfluous expressions of our love for each other. But in some cases, gifts can be blessings that change the course of people's lives for good. As Human Rights Day approaches, I've been reflecting on ways to offer hope for a better future to children in need overseas.
Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

We Face Fresh, High-Placed Challenges To Human Rights

International Human Rights Day should be a chance to celebrate the advances we've made to make the world a safer place for those suffering the threats of hate, racism and division. But we seem to be taking steps backwards. The president-elect of the United States got to that office by unleashing and lending legitimacy to the hatred and xenophobia that we normally look to our political leaders to push back against.
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Are We There Yet? Gender Equality In Canada

We have a Prime Minister who calls himself a feminist -- a word previously taboo even among women's groups -- we have a gender-balanced federal cabinet where women hold some of the highest positions of power in the country, and the appointment of new Canadian Senators who are some of the leading feminist advocates in the country. So, are we there? Have we achieved equality for women in Canada? The answer, unsurprisingly, is not yet.
Chris Wattie / Reuters

Canadians Want A Rights-Based National Housing Strategy

The recognition of housing as a human right by Minister Duclos' office could be the turning point -- not just for how we view housing, but for poverty and other economic rights violations as well. To see housing as a right looks beyond the physical structure of a shelter to a number of other factors: access to sanitation, location, and access to services or employment, community, security of tenure, and cultural adequacy, as well as other rights such as health, life and dignity.
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Do Allergies At School Take Priority Over A Service Dog?

Discrimination is an odd thing. It often happens when people have the best of intentions. No one wants to make a person feel bad, but the actions they take, which they believe are in the best interests of everyone, can result in unfair treatment of someone. Rights will often come into collision with one another. Working out how best to balance this is not an easy job, but it must be done.
THE CANADIAN/Lars Hagberg

Prisoners' Justice Day: Significant Barriers To Progress Remain 42 Years Later

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.