Human Rights

CP

For Canada's Indigenous Women, Going Missing Is a Terrifying Possibility

There's an epidemic in our country that our government is refusing to respond to. For Indigenous women in Canada, the idea that they might go missing is a terrifying reality. The United Nations has urged Canada to launch a national inquiry on missing and murdered Indigenous women. But Harper has not been willing to act. Disappointing as the news is, it's, unfortunately, not surprising that a settler-colonial state does not value the lives of Indigenous women as much as other citizens.

Everyone in Detroit Should Have Access To Clean Water

Detroit is the canary in the coalmine. As the gap between rich and poor continues to grow everywhere and the price of essential services such as water continues to rise, we will see more cut-offs and more evictions and that will happen right here in North America. This cannot be allowed to stand.
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To the Hollywood Girls Who Don't Fully Understand What a Feminist Is

David Letterman recently hosted Parks and Recreation actor Aziz Ansari on his show who beautifully summed up what it means to be a feminist. I think even those Hollywood girls who won't call themselves a feminist will agree with this analogy: "You're a feminist if you go to a Jay Z and Beyoncé concert and you're not like, 'I feel like Beyoncé should get 23 per cent less money than Jay Z. Also I don't think Beyoncé should have the right to vote and why is Beyoncé singing and dancing -- shouldn't she make Jay a steak?"
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Why Has Our Supreme Court Barred Civil Claims by Canadians Tortured in a Foreign State?

The International Human Rights Program (IHRP) at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights were interveners before the Supreme Court and argued that the right to a remedy is protected under international law, and is a principle of fundamental justice under the Charter (which protects life, liberty and security of the person). The Supreme Court rejected that argument.
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Iran's President Continues to Violate Human Rights

While Iranian President Rouhani pledged to usher in a new era of human rights for Iranians, he continues to engage in massive repression. What follows is an overview of some of the serious human rights violations in Iran that serve as a litmus test for the authenticity of Rouhani's commitment to human rights for the Iranian people.
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Why Are Human Rights So Easy to Violate and Hard to Protect in Times of Conflict?

The escalating conflict in the Middle East and North Africa is provoking shock and condemnation across the plant. But despite -- or maybe because of -- media coverage of crisis after crisis and of the relentless work of humanitarian partners in the field, I am concerned at the risk of growing general fatigue around these conflicts and in particular, around the human rights abuses that are taking place -- and a consequent "timidity" in our collective response to them.
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Former Alberta Teacher Unjustly Detained in Indonesia

I know the Bantlemans, and I too have taught at international schools in Asia. I met my husband--a guy from Edmonton--in the Middle East, and we had twins in Bangkok. I know the lure and the realization of what Mrs. Bantleman describes as wanting "to learn more about the culture and the people" of a far off land. I also can imagine how powerless you would be if incarcerated in a foreign country.
Rachel Decoste

This Canadian Stood Up to Racism Before Rosa Parks

In the social context of Canada before the Quiet Revolution (1950s), before Viola Desmond's act of defiance (1946), before Rosa Parks triggered the United States' Civil Rights Movement (1955), Fred Christie stood up to institutional discrimination. A decade before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1947), Fred Christie exhibited unimaginable courage and perseverance in asserting his civil rights. Though the judicial process did not deliver the desired result, Fred Christie remains a key instigator in Canada's journey towards the establishment of universal rights.
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A Canadian Passport Can't Save You From Being Wrongly Accused and Imprisoned

Along with the widely-publicized sentencing of a Canadian journalist in Egypt, several other Canadians are currently being held abroad under dubious circumstances and critics say the Canadian government has repeatedly let them down. "Over the past decade a growing number of Canadian citizens and permanent residents have experienced serious human rights violations in other countries, while imprisoned by governments or held by armed groups," says Amnesty International on its website.

Are You Doing Your Part to Fight Child Labour?

While much of the onus lies on individual nations to strengthen their laws and enforcement against labour exploitation, van de Glind also pointed out that Canadians can do our part, too. And if exploitation continues because it remains profitable, we as consumers can make it less so. Before checking out the half-off sale at that popular clothing chain, do your research. Check web sites to read what companies say about their sourcing. If the information isn't easily available, write the company and ask. The more pressure companies feel from customers, the more attention they will pay to ethical sourcing.
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Looks Like 'Serve and Protect' Doesn't Extend To Toronto's Black Community

All I could see was my dad attempting to move past the first officer and that officer not moving, continuing to block the door way and then preceding to hold back my father. I screamed, "Daddy, just wait! Just wait! Don't move any further." I was reminded me of the rash, fatal shooting and tasering of Sammy Yatim and feared that my father could too have suffered a similar fate
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The Importance of Minority Women Role-Models for Young Women and Girls

Systemic discrimination expands beyond our general scope of understanding. Behind every young man that is criminalized there is a community that is affected, and half of that community is female. These women are all affected by the higher likelihood of their community's men being criminalized. It is fundamental to our Canadian values to make all members of society feel at home, and that requires addressing the systemic discrimination that exists in our nation.

Visible Minority Youth Aren't Getting Adequate Access to Legal Aid

When an at risk visible minority youth comes into contact with the law they often cannot afford the high cost of legal counsel and are forced to apply for legal aid. But what happens when they are unable to access the essential legal aid program? The fact of the matter is that many at risk visible minority youth come from backgrounds of poverty where they are unable to afford their own legal counsel which means they must rely on the government legal aid program. Federal government funding to provinces and territories to provide legal aid services has not changed in 10 years.
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Toronto's Carding System Is Basically a 'Stop and Frisk' Program

On March 3, the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights discussed the issue of visible minority youth and their interactions with the criminal justice system. In Toronto, the police have implemented a carding system where police forces stop, question and document people during non-criminal encounters on the streets. Statistics about carding in Toronto tell us that people who are black or brown are more likely to be carded than whites. Essentially this means that a brown or black person is more likely to be seen as suspicious by the police than someone who is white.
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Don't Lump Homosexuals in With Criminals

Homosexuality is not a criminal behaviour. It is a sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is like race, religion, ethnicity, sex, age and all the other prohibited grounds of discrimination found in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and in human rights legislation in every Canadian jurisdiction. I assume they'll teach this at TWU Law School. If they miss this fundamental, but not fundamentalist, point, they're in danger of their law degree having the same currency as a diploma from the Amish Institute of Technology.