Articles Human Rights

  • Lessons from the 70th birthday of the National Health Service

    Human Rights

    This summer marks the 70th anniversary of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS). When it was established in 1948, the NHS was the world’s first universal healthcare system. It quickly became a beacon of what a decommodified public service could be: open to all, free at the point of service and paid out of taxes. Healthcare was dispensed according to need and funded according to ability to pay.

  • Child-separation: an ugly Canadian tradition

    Human Rights

    Alternatives to incarceration must be found both for the still relatively small numbers of migrant families detained in Canada and the disproportionately high numbers of Indigenous youths populating Canadian prisons. In the latter case it is well worth investing in and expanding recourse to restorative justice programs, aimed precisely at reintegrating offenders into their communities. Until Canada radically reforms its prison system and ceases to criminalize asylum seekers, our smug responses to the egregious actions of the United States are unwarranted.

  • A State That Belongs to Only Some of its Citizens

    Human Rights

    There is a form on the Israeli Interior Ministry’s website, where one can order duplicate and translated copies of a birth certificate. On that form is a drop-down menu, above which it is written: “Nationality.” In that drop-down menu you will find a list of nationalities which defies all logic. The nationalities listed include ethnicities without their own states, states without distinct or exclusive nationalities/ethnicities, and long-defunct “minority rule” colonial constructs.

  • Israel Effectively Declares Itself an Apartheid State

    Human Rights

    On July 19, Israeli lawmakers gave their final approval to the “Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People” bill that unambiguously defines Israel as a state that belongs exclusively to the “Jewish people.” This is despite the fact that one in five citizens of Israel is an indigenous, non-Jewish Palestinian. Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset condemned the law, which enjoys constitutional power, as an “apartheid law.”

  • Hassan Diab: Nothing Less Than a Public Inquiry Will Do

    Human Rights

    How and why did our former government facilitate the extradition of one of its citizens by withholding critical information that would otherwise have saved him years of torment? Given this egregious irregularity in judicial and government proceedings, and given that Canada’s extradition law offers few, if any, safeguards to protect the requested individual from extradition, it behooves all Canadians to ponder seriously the extent of their civil liberties.

  • Settler-colonialism targets youth

    Canadian Politics

    As the world contemplates with horror the United States’ recent policy of separating immigrant and refugee children from their parents and detaining them for attempting to cross the border, it is important to see these disturbing events in a global context and to recognize them for what they are. Although such practices also take place in Canada, the reality is that anti-immigrant sentiment is pure hypocrisy in settler-colonial states like the United States and Canada.

  • End Immigration Detention: An Open Letter

    Human Rights

    We are a group of healthcare providers working in Canada who – like many around the world – have been watching with horror the news of the separation of over 2000 child migrants from their parents in the United States. This cruelty is apparently the newest front of the Trump administration’s war against asylum seekers. We’ve heard audio recordings of young children begging for their parents, and read first person accounts of migrants being told they will never see their children again.

  • Immigration: Western Wars and Imperial Exploitation Uproot Millions

    Human Rights

    In this paper we will discuss the reasons behind the massification of immigration, focusing on several issues, namely imperial wars, multi-national corporate expansion, the decline of the anti-war movements in the US and Western Europe, the weakness of the trade union and solidarity movements. We will proceed by identifying the major countries affected by US and EU wars leading to massive immigration, and then turn to the western powers forcing refugees to ‘follow’ the flows of profits.

  • Who is your oppressor?

    Human Rights

    It’s hard to pinpoint when the bifurcation of all of society into either oppressor or oppressed was first articulated. Hegel noted that “[t]he Catholics had been in the position of oppressors, and the Protestants of the oppressed.” But one could safely argue that many spiritual holy men, from the Buddha to Jesus, have relied on these categories in one way or another to deliver their indictments of the world.

  • Israel: Arms embargo needed as military unlawfully kills and maims Gaza protesters

    Human Rights

    Israel is carrying out a murderous assault against protesting Palestinians, with its armed forces killing and maiming demonstrators who pose no imminent threat to them, Amnesty International revealed today, based on its latest research, as the “Great March of Return” protests continued in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military has killed 35 Palestinians and injured more than 5,500 others – some with what appear to be deliberately inflicted life-changing injuries.

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