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    February 14, 2020

    All eyes have been on Wet’suwet’en territory over the past week. The situation is changing rapidly, and solidarity actions have been taking place across the country to highlight the disturbing human rights violations.

    This weekend, here are three ways you demonstrate solidarity: 

    Donate to the RAVEN Trust fund in support of the Wet’suwet’en’s legal actions. Find a solidarity rally near you and let governments know that they need to respect the law and Indigenous rights. Check out the Wet’suwet’en Supporter Toolkit for other creative solidarity actions, educational materials and more! 

    Learn more: 

    February 07, 2020

    Amnesty International is deeply concerned about reports that RCMP officers threatened to arrest journalists for taking photographs and documenting police activity in the Wet’suwet’en territory. 

    In the early hours of Thursday, Feb. 6, RCMP officers conducted a raid on land defense camps in the Wet’suwet’en territory. They arrested six people in the course of enforcing a court injunction against blockades along access roads related to the construction of Coastal GasLink’s 670-kilometre pipeline from northeastern B.C. to the Kitimat area. 

    January 30, 2020

    Last week, in the lead up to the International Day of Education, Amnesty International once again pressed the government of Bangladesh and the international community to address the continuing failure to provide education to Rohingya refugee children, and the lack of educational opportunities for many children in host communities near the refugee camps in Bangladesh.

    What a difference a week makes! On Tuesday, the Bangladeshi government announced it will open up the prospect of going to school for hundreds of thousands of refugee children who have been denied that right for years.

    It is tremendous news, and Canada is well-placed to work with Bangladesh to ensure that vital promise becomes reality.

    The International Day of Education draws attention to the vital role that education plays in advancing peace and development in our world. It is grounded in recognition that access to education is an important human right, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and numerous other international treaties adopted over the decades. Recognition as well, though, that around the world it is a right far too frequently violated and ignored.

    January 20, 2020

    By Ana Collins and Alex Neve

    Any society, whether Canadian, British, or Wet’suwet’en, is made up of people who have shared territory, interaction, and culture; this doesn’t mean that members of a society will always agree with one another. A fundamental liberal democratic value is to honour and respect the right to disagree. The challenge in any society is how to reconcile differing opinions in order to live together well. Indigenous nations have historically been excluded from this social discussion in the Canadian state, and their traditional teachings and values have not merely been disregarded within social and political discourse but have been entirely supressed by the attempt to eradicate these other ways of being and thinking.

    January 14, 2020

    The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
    Prime Minister of Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario

    The Honourable John Horgan
    Premier of British Columbia
    Victoria, BC

    The Honourable Jason Kenney
    Premier of Alberta
    Edmonton, Alberta

    January 13, 2020

    Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Premiers Horgan and Kenney,

    January 13, 2020

    When it comes to human rights there is much relief leaving the turbulent 2010s behind. But we face enormous challenges in the decade ahead. Here are eight ways that Canada can champion human rights in the 2020s.

    First step is to adopt overdue legislation making the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Canada’s framework for rights and reconciliation. And to show we truly mean it: address mercury poisoning at Grassy Narrows First Nation, halt construction of the Site C dam in NE British Columbia and redress years of discrimination against First Nations children.

    January 09, 2020

    OTTAWA ­– With little more than a week left to submit entries, Amnesty International Canada invites Canadian journalists and students to apply for its 25th annual Media Awards.

    **The deadline for submissions has been extended to Jan. 17, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST.** 

    All entries must be published or broadcast in Canada between Oct. 1, 2018 and Dec. 31, 2019. Unfortunately, we can only accept English submissions at this time.

    These awards honour the efforts of journalists to increase Canadians' awareness and understanding of human rights issues, while also highlighting excellent journalism.

    You can read more about Amnesty International Canada’s Media Awards here or head directly to the submissions form to apply.

    The winners will be announced in late February or early March 2020. A reception to honour the winners will be held in Toronto on May 6, 2020.

    January 04, 2020

    March 8th, International Women’s Day, is both a day of protest and celebration. It’s a time to reflect on feminist achievements over the past year as well as a time to take action to end the violence and discrimination that women, transgender, and non-binary people continue to experience across Canada and around the world because of who they are.

    Marches, film festivals, public events, and other activities are held on March 8th and throughout March to mark International Women’s Day. We encourage you to support feminist movements—particularly those led by Indigenous, Black, and other marginalized women, transgender, and non-binary people—by participating in International Women’s Day events. Ask organizers how Amnesty can support events, and consider having an Amnesty table with petitions and other actions.

    January 03, 2020

    As 2020 dawns, we face consequential times for human-rights protection around the world. If ever there was a need for a resolution for a new decade, this is it: put human rights first.

    A tumultuous decade of widespread conflict and demonizing politics is wrapping up; far too much war, alongside the rise of politicians everywhere peddling bigotry and fear.

    These past 10 years have witnessed the unforgivable and unending agony of Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, Gaza, Venezuela, Libya, Ukraine, the Rohingya crisis, the mass incarceration of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China, and so many other corners of our world racked by turmoil and violence.

    It has also been the decade of Donald Trump, Viktor Orban, Vladimir Putin, Narendra Modi, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Jair Bolsonaro, Matteo Salvini, Rodrigo Duterte, Xi Jinping and an increasing cadre of world leaders who have deliberately set out to undermine human rights. They unapologetically stoke hate, racism and misogyny, rising to and wielding power on the backs of women, refugees, racial and religious minorities, Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ people and human-rights defenders.

    January 03, 2020

    _______

    The Canadian justice system is fraught with racism that disproportionately impacts Black people and communities across the country, resulting in racial profiling, harsher sentencing, mistreatment in prison, denial of services, and other injustices which can be compounded for people with intersecting identities (e.g. Black Muslims, Black 2SLGBTQ folks, etc.) On March 21, 2020 — the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination — Amnesty International Canada will raise awareness and advocate for the elimination of racial discrimination in policing.

    _______

    Carding is when police officers stop, question, and document individuals without any evidence that they have been involved in, or have knowledge of, an offence. Bias and stereotyping play into the officers’ decisions of who to stop and why, which affects many racialized groups, but especially Black people. 

    December 27, 2019

    The youth of Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows) First Nation are demanding the Canadian government keep its promises to finally address the mercury crisis in their community. Because of government inaction for 50 years, generations of young Indigenous people have grown up with devastating health problems and the loss of their cultural traditions like fishing and time on the land.

    To help amplify their urgent call, the youth-led campaign for mercury justice was one of the focal cases of last month's global Write for Rights campaign, marking the beginning of a year-long campaign to mobilize Amnesty members and supporters in Canada and around the world. Grassy Narrows youth were one of ten global cases focused on young human rights defenders leading the charge for change in their communities.

    Highlights from the Write for Rights 2019 campaign:

    December 17, 2019

    My name is Nora Sneaky. I’m 15 years old and I’m from Grassy Narrows. Grassy is the only home I've ever known, and it’s a home I love. Grassy teaches me so much: it teaches me about the land, animals, and our Anishinaabe culture. But being from Grassy Narrows has also taught me that life can be unfair at times.

    From 1962 until 1970, a pulp mill dumped 10 tonnes of mercury into the Wabigoon-English river upstream from my community. That mercury still sits in the river to this day and it has come with many health effects like numbness, difficulties breathing and standing, inability to feel in areas in the body, muscle weakness. The list goes on and on. Most often it affects people physically, but it also affects people emotionally and mentally. I myself suffer from migraines, depression, anxiety, and other things that come with the effects of the poisoning.

    Because of mercury, I grew up with a lot of fear in my life, and this fear only grew as I got older and learned more about the impacts of mercury.

    December 11, 2019

    TORONTO – There is not much to laugh at in the world these days, but Comics Without Borders is partnering with Amnesty International to shine a light in the darkness many of us are feeling.

    Eight talented comedians will provide a night of levity on Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles St. West, starting at 7:30 p.m.

    Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, will also be attending the event to give a short talk at the VIP reception and the onset of the show.

    These comedians are available for interviews in advance (either in-studio or by phone):

    Nour Hadidi, a Jordanian-born, Toronto-based comedian who has been featured on CBC, FLARE Magazine, and Just for Laughs. The Toronto Star named her one of the four comedians to watch in 2016.

    Frank Spadone, a Toronto-based comedian who has frequented the top comedy clubs in the city and across Canada.

    Leonard Chan, who won the Absolute Comedy Prove You're a Comic contest in 2016 and the Comedy Brawl in 2018, beating over 400 comics.

    December 11, 2019

    Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Citizen Yasser Ahmed Albaz has been arbitrarily detained by Egyptian authorities for 10 months without charge in very difficult prison conditions. Today Yasser’s family was joined by the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG), Amnesty International and the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) to call for Minister François-Philippe Champagne to secure Yasser’s release and reunite him with his family during his trip and bring Yasser home with him.

    Minister Champagne will be in Egypt to attend the inaugural Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development in Africa on December 11 and 12, 2019.

    December 09, 2019

    Amnesty International will appear as an intervening party before the Supreme Court of Canada in Saskatchewan and Ontario’s historic legal challenges of the federal carbon pricing plan. The two cases will be heard jointly on March 24-25, 2020.  The human rights organization was granted leave to intervene on December 4.

    This case marks the first time that governmental climate action is challenged before the Supreme Court, as the legitimacy of Canada’s carbon pricing regime is called into question by several provincial governments challenging the federal government’s constitutional authority to regulate Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions in such a manner.

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