Select this search icon to access the amnesty.ca search form

Main menu

Facebook Share

Canada

    June 28, 2020
    The Right to a Healthy Environment: An Update on Quesnel Lake and the Mount Polley Disaster

    Many of us are looking forward to the late summer when physical distancing measures may ease and we can begin to venture out again to our favorite campsites, cabins, and fishing spots. Last August, I spent a week in British Columbia’s Cariboo region when I led a caravan of kids and adults from Vancouver’s lower mainland to the shores of Quesnel Lake in Secwepemc traditional territory.

    Over that August long weekend, we joined dozens of residents and their supporters to celebrate the community’s resilience over the five long years since the Mount Polley mine disaster of August 2014. 

    June 24, 2020

    A human rights response to COVID-19 must include an intersectional approach which recognizes the specific impacts of the pandemic on LGBTI people, and the need for specific actions to ensure that the pandemic response doesn't lead to discrimination and further inequalities.

    Everyone is impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic. But we aren’t all impacted in the same ways or to the same extent. Multiple and intersecting identities including gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, disability, age, family status, employment status, and immigration status, all shape how a person experiences the pandemic.

    LGBTI people face significant discrimination which leads to barriers to accessing healthcare services; high rates of homelessness, poverty, and social isolation; and high rates of harassment and violence. The pandemic has further exacerbated these inequalities.

    June 18, 2020
    Chief Roland Willson, West Moberly First Nation
     

    June 12, 2020

    “… the Working Group is deeply concerned by the structural racism that lies at the core of many Canadian institutions and the systemic anti-Black racism that continues to have a negative impact on the human rights situation of [Black people in Canada]. .” ….[T]here is clear evidence that racial profiling is endemic in the strategies and practices used by law enforcement.” 

    — "Report of the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent on its Mission to Canada”, August 2017 

    June 11, 2020

    In 2019 the Canadian government appointed an Ombudsperson to ensure justice and remedy for individuals and communities harmed by Canadian mining, oil, gas and garment companies operating overseas. However, the Canadian government failed to give the Ombudsperson the powers needed to conduct effective investigations (for example, the Ombudsperson cannot compel corporate disclosure). Without an effective Ombudsperson, the individuals and communities who seek justice for allegations of murder, sexual violence, dispossession from their land, dangerous and exploitative working conditions, exploitation of children, poisoning of land and water, and other human rights abuses, will continue to be unable to have their voices heard in Canada.

    June 05, 2020
     
    It is time for transformative change to end anti-Black racism in Canada too

    by Alex Neve, Secretary General

    Over these past 10 days, the names, the pain, the images and the violence associated with anti-Black racism in the United States have been absolutely searing. The pain and violence of racism that Black communities across the country have endured for generations.  Many activists and commentators are pointing to a glimmer of hope and possibility that the resulting waves of anger, outrage, courage and protest can and will unleash the fundamental change that is so necessary.

    And it must. Change that is truly transformative. Change that addresses anti-Black racism in all its aspects, not only when it comes to the police but reaches far beyond. Change that dismantles the systems of oppressive white supremacy that are the source of this racism and have been its toxic fuel for centuries. Change that will endure.

    May 27, 2020
    Cracks in the “Canada Brand”: profit before people creates high-risk conditions for communities made vulnerable by the pandemic 

    Workers’ concerns ignored at Canadian meat packing plants and hundreds made sick. Amazon employees fired for speaking out about conditions on warehouse floors. Energy workers expected to continue working despite outbreaks at mine sites and an inability to physically distance. Construction workers unable to wash their hands on the job because there is no running water. Mining considered an essential service that employs workers from across the country while small communities struggle to keep away visitors. These are some of the dire stories being shared across Canada as the pandemic reveals the impact of business decisions on workers and communities. While the situation varies from community to community, and some companies have taken steps to suspend operations in order to protect workers and communities, there is growing concern that not all companies are truly respecting human rights through this crisis.

    April 24, 2020

    Today marks the seven-year anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory building in Bangladesh, which tragically left more than 1,100 workers dead and thousands more injured. Covid-19 has created new threats to the lives and livelihoods of garment workers.

    Standing in solidarity with Bangladesh garment sector workers, and with garment sector workers in all countries, Amnesty International joins Canadian labour and civil society organizations in urging Canadian brands, retailers, and the Canadian government, to address workers rights.

    Here is our joint statement:

    Protect the women who make our clothes: Canada’s unions and civil society organizations call for action

    Seven years after the tragic Rana Plaza building collapse, Bangladesh garment sector workers now confront even more risk and vulnerability in the fight against Covid-19.

    Canada’s unions and civil society organizations are calling for immediate relief for workers and protection of rights in global supply chains.

    April 23, 2020

    Jenn Clamen is a powerful advocate for the rights of sex workers in Canada and around the world, and she is the Montreal-based National Coordinator for the Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform. The Alliance is a coalition of sex worker and allied organizations across Canada advocating for law and policy reform that respects and upholds the rights and safety of sex workers. Members of the Alliance have expertise, analysis and experience on the impact of criminal and other sex work-related prohibitions on the lives and wellbeing of those who sell or trade sex.

    Six weeks into COVID-related lockdowns across Canada, Jenn took time to speak with Amnesty about the devastating impacts that  responses to COVID-19 are having on sex workers in Canada.

    What’s changed for sex workers since the pandemic started? Has the pattern of human rights violations experienced by sex workers changed, and if so, how?

    The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the inequalities and human rights violations that the diversity of sex workers in our communities experience.

    April 19, 2020
    Earth Day 2020 #ClimateStrikeOnline

    Earth Day is an opportunity to celebrate the nature around us. It is also a chance to join others in calling attention to the urgency of protecting the place we all live.

    Our human rights are intertwined with the environment. People need a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment to fully enjoy their human rights, including the rights to life, health, food, and water. While other human rights, including the rights to information, freedom of expression, public participation in decision-making, and access to justice, are essential for protecting the environment.

    April 22nd is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Although many wonderful celebrations had been planned across Canada and around the world, many of these events have been cancelled or revised due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for physical distancing. The global climate strikes, for example, that saw millions of people marching in the streets in 2019, have moved online.

    We encourage you to stay safe at home and join the next big climate strike online this Earth Day (Wednesday, April 22, 2020). 

    To join the strike online here is what to do:

    April 17, 2020

    The Month of Action for Mining Justice is an opportunity to deepen your understanding of mining justice and to take action in solidarity with mining-affected communities.  

    Although we derive many benefits from mining, it is absolutely crucial that the mining industry adhere to international human rights standards. Too often, we hear of human rights abuses related to mining, including: forced labour; child labour; people threatened, harmed, raped or killed for opposing mining projects; unsafe working conditions; toxic contamination of water; people forcibly evicted from their homes; a lack of respect for Indigenous rights; and more.

    On May 14th  join us for a mining justice webinar and hear directly from people whose lives have been negatively impacted by Canadian-owned mines in Asia, Africa and South America and who are fighting for justice.

    During the webinar, we will also launch a parliamentary e-petition. By signing the petition and sharing it with your contacts you can help us convince the Canadian government to hold Canadian companies accountable for human rights abuses overseas.

    April 11, 2020
    Protecting communities, supporting workers and their families should be Canada's priority

    The global pandemic is a frightening time for humanity. Yet all around us, people are working hard to adapt to our current reality, support one another, protect the vulnerable, and together dream of a better future. In urging all levels of government to respect human rights and protect essential workers and their families, frontline healthcare workers, and communities, we are speaking together with one, unified voice. 

    People across Canada living in remote, rural and Indigenous communities with lesser access to health services, hospital beds and crucially, ventilators to help the critically ill, are calling on all of us to help them shut down the known pathways of infection into their communities.  They are asking us to help them stay healthy by staying away. 

    April 02, 2020

    The global climate strikes that saw millions of people marching in the streets in 2019 are going online in response to the need for physical distancing to prevent the spread of covid-19.

    We encourage you to stay safe at home and join the climate strike online tomorrow, and every Friday until the end of April. To join the strike online here is what to do:

    1.    Make a climate strike sign
    2.    Take a photo of yourself holding the sign
    3.    Post to your favourite social media channel with the hashtag #climatestrikeonline.

    We would love it if you would also tag Amnesty Canada at @amnestynow so that we can see your posts.

    Although we are physically distant at the moment, we are more united than ever. We may be stuck inside, but we can continue advocating for human rights. After all, a focus on human rights is crucial to fight the covid crisis in a fast and fair way, and the same applies to the climate crisis.

    See you at the #climatestrikeonline!

    March 16, 2020

    Manitoba Hydro states that its operations are “good for Manitobans, good for our environment.” But good for which Manitobans?

    Decades of Manitoba Hydro operations in the north of the province are associated with harms to the land, water, and animals, as well as profound adverse impacts on the health, safety, and wellbeing of Indigenous peoples. The impacts include a heightened risk that Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people will experience violence.

    Take action now calling on Manitoba Hydro to address the discrimination, harassement, and violence at Keeyask!

    March 11, 2020
    Quesnel Lake/Yuct Ne Senxiymetkwe: a Love Story 

    Christine McLean is ready to retire. After running a successful electrical business in Calgary for the last 20 years, the Kamloops, BC born and raised McLean planned to move back to BC with her husband, Eric. In 2014 they began laying plans to spend their retirement years living in what Christine describes as, “paradise” – a gorgeous log cabin on a large, treed lot perched above the stunningly beautiful Mitchell Bay on Quesnel Lake. For Christine, it is a place for the spirit to rest and the heart to soar.

    For Secwepemc and Nuxalk activist Nuskmata (Jacinda Mack), Quesnel Lake is part of her cultural heritage. Raised in the northern Secwepemc community of Xat’sull, Nuskamata spent her youth out on the land and eventually came to work for her Secwepemc community as the Natural Resources manager. Her mother taught her that for Indigenous peoples, “our economy walks on the land and swims in the waters.” She calls the relationship between her community and the land a ‘love story’. 

    Pages