Articles Human Rights

  • Xenoracism and the Hypocrisy of Managed Migration

    There are 125 million people who are displaced in this world. Who are these people? Where are they from? And what are the causes of their displacement?

  • Solidarity Across Borders

    Canada tends to take pride in its humanitarian tradition of providing protection to thousands of refugees who fear persecution, or who are at risk of torture or cruel and unusual treatment. Despite this popular image, however, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) are both highly flawed institutions, which often fail to protect those seeking asylum.

    For example, members of Solidarity Across Borders (SAB), a Montreal-based coalition of self-organized refugees and their allies, recently received a call from Lilia Diaz. Telephoning in tears from Mexico, Diaz told us that she and her family are living clandestinely in the constant fear of being discovered and attacked, since their deportation from Canada this past summer back to the country they had fled.

  • Newfoundland Women Want Pay Equity Too

    More than 25 years after the adoption of the Charter, the obligation to implement pay equity is still unmet. A test case for why the legal obligation to implement pay equity remains unfulfilled has recently been played out in Canada’s courts and federal/provincial system involving unionized female health-care workers in Newfoundland.

  • Honour Killings

    When a young female reporter joined the staff of The Jordan Times in 1993, “honour” killings were a dirty secret. For Rana Husseini, however, then newly assigned to the paper’s crime beat, “honour” killings provided a suspiciously uncomfortable amount of copy. She took on the mantle of uncovering this silent-but-deadly aspect of Jordanian life.

  • Canadian Crimes in Haiti: Beyond Complicity

    Human Rights

    In light of the graphic and well documented human-rights reports coming out of Haiti, the Canadian government has a number of serious questions to answer. It is doubtful that Canada has ever been so heavily implicated in an illegal intervention in Latin America and the Caribbean as it has in the case of Haiti.

  • Drawing the Line on Anti-Semitism

    Remember Tolstoy’s “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”? Genocides and war are like that, too. They are each incomparable. As you surely know, millions of Jewish people like me (together with a substantial contingent of homosexuals, Communists, Roma and others) were cattle-carred to Nazi concentration camps, subjected to horrific medical experiments, labour to death, gassing and other inhuman ways to live and die.

  • The Contemporary Struggle against Racism in Canada

    Racism continues to be manifest in various ways in Canadian society. It is not a distant “bad” memory, something that previous generations practiced and experienced. Many Canadians acknowledge some history of racial oppression and the need to address it. But efforts are often limited by the habitual contrast of Canadian racism with American racism in a way that encourages moral superiority, drawing on such artifacts as the underground railroad.

  • Racism in Canada

    Historians like to engage in thought experiments with dates. One way to measure the change in racism in Canada over the past forty years is to put the question in the context of the previous forty-year period. If one was asked the same question in 1963, Canada would probably not have looked all that different from the Canada of 1923. In 1963, as in 1923, Canada was still a country in which nearly all citizens (with the exception of Aboriginal people) could either directly or indirectly trace their ancestry to Europe. Within government policy and many organizations, non-white immigrants and Aboriginal peoples were still regarded as groups who posed “racial” problems for the processes of nation building and state formation.

    I doubt whether we can say that there is a similar continuity to the 1963-2003 comparison. Canada today is considerably different from the Canada that existed four decades ago

  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace?

    When Toronto began issuing gay-marriage licenses on June 10, 2003, WorldNetDaily quoted Toronto attorney Michael Lershner as saying “The argument’s over. No more political discussion, we’ve won, the Charter won, it’s a great day for Canada.” Lershner had good reason to celebrate. Justices in three provinces had just redefined marriage as being between “two persons” instead of ” a man and a woman,” giving gay and lesbian couples across the country (and visiting citizens of the United States and elsewhere) legal grounds to apply for marriage licenses.

    However, hindsight shows Lershner’s proclamation that the political discussion is over to be a bit premature.

  • Inventing Enemies: Project Thread & Canadian “Security”

    In post-9/11 Canada, even minor immigration irregularities can quickly become the basis of suspicions of terrorist activities, depending on your religion and country of origin. The terrible consequences for immigrants of this new arrangement are obvious with the seven-month-long Project Thread investigation by the RCMP’s Public Security and Anti-Terrorism unit (PSAT) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

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