On September 23rd, a new session of Parliament will begin and the government will deliver a Throne Speech, outlining their priorities. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has indicated this Throne Speech will be a ‘roadmap out of the pandemic towards a society that is fairer and more welcoming.’
Amnesty International has sent an open letter to the Prime Minister and his cabinet, urging them to implement a genuinely transformative human rights agenda.
We ignore today’s urgent challenges to our collective shame and at our collective peril. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare deep inequality at the heart of Canadian society, which can no longer be ignored. The failure to live up to the responsibility of all people in Canada to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples can no longer be ignored. The refusal to address systemic racism at the root of continuing police violence against Indigenous, Black and racialized communities in the country can no longer be ignored. The harsh reality of gender inequalities and violations of the rights of women, girls, and gender diverse people can no longer be ignored. And the lack of decisive action to avert the global climate crisis can no longer be ignored.
The global context is of course also of grave concern. In a time of polarization and conflict, fueled by leaders on all continents who are intent on advancing agendas of intolerance and hate, the paucity of unwavering, principled human rights leadership on the world stage is staggeringly apparent and deeply troubling.
Amnesty International has called on the government to make seven commitments, backed up by action and resources included in the next federal budget.
Will you help us spread the word?
If you follow federal politics, you know #ThroneSpeech2020 is coming up next week. We’re calling on @JustinTrudeau to adopt a genuinely transformative human rights agenda. Here are our seven recommendations https://t.co/rvYawdeZNp
— AmnestyCanada (@AmnestyNow) September 15, 2020
Then join us in taking action to call for transformative human rights change.
1) Call on Canada to embrace economic, social and cultural rights
Recognize and uphold economic, social and cultural rights as the essential framework to a just, safe and transformative recovery.
2) Call on Canada to demonstrate genuine respect for the rights of Indigenous peoples
Honour your promises to bring forward legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and fully fund the creation and implementation of a National Action Plan to implement the Calls to Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
3) Call on Canada to end systemic racism
Commit to concrete action to address systemic racism in Canada, including banning carding, street checks and racial profiling by all police and security agencies under federal jurisdiction, strengthening the implementation of the federal Anti-Racism Strategy, and initiating consultations towards wider reforms such as options for defunding police.
4) Call on Canada to address gender equality
Implement a feminist pandemic recovery plan which builds upon the Safe Restart Agreement and includes establishment of a fully-funded national childcare system to provide high quality, accessible, affordable, inclusive childcare for every family in Canada.
5) Call on Canada to take bold climate action
By the end of the year, adopt legislation and policy, consistent with human rights obligations, that reflect current scientific, Indigenous and international best practices and knowledge to mitigate the climate crisis, which will ensure a viable future on this planet for future generations and all species, and limit global temperature increase by 2030 to no more than 1.5oC.
6) Call on Canada to implement international human rights obligations
Put in place effective implementation and oversight of Canada’s human rights obligations, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
7) Call on Canada to be a consistent voice for human rights around the world.
Commit to consistent and unconditional respect for international human rights in all of Canada’s bilateral and multilateral relations.
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