Human Rights Day

On December 10th we reflect on human rights in Canada and around the world.  The day commemorates the UN’s 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Despite a 64 year global consensus on human rights, today the federal government’s actions threaten some of the rights enshrined not only in the UN declaration but also in Canada’s human rights law:

  • legislation that would limit unions’ ability to bargain, organize workers and would put an onerous, unparalleled financial reporting burden on them
  • punishment and retribution for public service workers who speak up on issues of public interest
  • attacks on public service workers’ sick leave
  • criminal law changes reduce civil liberties in the name of national securiy.
  • Inaction on women’s security and violence against women.
  • No inquiry on murdered Aboriginal women
  • No support for Bill C-279 that would make gender identity a prohibited ground for discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act and make violence against trans people a hate crime.
  • Ignoring the needs of Aboriginal communities: safe drinking water; education; reducing incarceration rates; adequate housing; and reducing the unconscionable level of poverty. 
  • Closed regional Veterans Affairs offices.
  • Denied basic health care and a fair process to some refugee claimants.

The Ferguson event is a reminder of on-going racial inequalities in both the U.S. and in Canada. Racial profiling and discrimination in the criminal justice system is a pressing issue for racialized communities.  

Mobilize: Unions are a powerful force. Join and support organizations – including human rights, women’s and equity committees in your workplace – that work to protect human rights.

Represent: Ensure that collective agreements conform to human rights laws and jurisprudence. Support your bargaining teams.

Educate: Learn more about groups who are still struggling to achieve equality and equity.

Speak out: Write to the newspapers and the politicians about human rights issues that matter to you.