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    Amnesty International Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, April-May 2013

    In this submission, prepared for the UN Universal Periodic Review of Canada in April-May 2013, Amnesty International comments on Canada’s implementation of its human rights obligations and on its engagement with UPR principles, such as consultation with civil society. 

    Amnesty International notes Canada’s reluctance to ratify international human rights conventions or to adopt binding international standards on corporate accountability.

    The organization also comments on the human rights situation facing Indigenous Peoples, the rising inequality of women and troubling trends regarding sexual violence against women, arbitrary detention and refoulement of migrants, as well as concerns regarding torture, and excessive methods of policing during protests.

    Your Member of Parliament needs to know that constituents like you are calling for a comprehensive national response to the alarmingly high rates of violence against Indigenous women. 

    Phone or meet with your Member of Parliament (MP) during the week of October 14-17, when MPs are home for the Thanksgiving break week, to express concern about the scale of the violence and to call for a National Action Plan on violence against Indigenous women coupled with a National Public Inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.

    Who is your MP?

    Find out here.

    You are invited to join Alex Neve, Amnesty International Canada's Secretary General, at the Herr Lecture Series in Lacombe, Alberta, where he will be the guest speaker on Sunday March 18, 2018.

    We hope you will attend to hear Alex speak on the world's refugee crisis. As a supporter, you have already been a large contributor in changing policies and bringing this issue to the world stage.

    Come hear what other steps we can do to ensure, together, we create a world with human rights for all, no matter who they are or where they live!

    To register for this event go to Eventbrite by clicking here.

    Thank you for your generous support of Amnesty International's human rights work!

    On Friday, February 26th, at 7:30 p.m. in Room B-112 of Okanagan College, 1000 KLO Road, Amnesty International's Kelowna group presents "Highway of Tears"- a documentary film about the disappearances of at least 40 young women, mostly aboriginal, since the 1960s on Highway 16 in northern B.C.  A recent RCMP special investigation linked DNA from one of the missing women to a deceased American criminal.  The cases reveal sweeping crimes: kidnapping, rape, torture, murder and the disposal of human bodies.  The women have been victims not only of murderous predators but also of a pervasive systemic racism that has kept them marginalized on impoverished reservations.  First Nations leaders and activists contend that there has been little interest in further investigating the crimes and in apprehending their killers.  Admission is by donation.  More information at 250-769-4740.

    Hi-Ho Mistahey! by Alanis Obomsawin, National Film Board of Canada

    Hi-Ho Mistahey, a powerful new documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Alanis Obomsawim, tells the story of Shannen's Dream, a grassroots youth movement standing up for First Nations children and their right to equitable access to schools and education.

    Until February 16, you can click on the link above to view Hi-Ho Mistahey!  online. This special streaming presentation of the documentary is in collaboration with Have a Heart Day. Have a Heart Day is a national campaign, initiated by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society to promote the rights of First Nations children.

    More information on Have a Heart Day

    The scale and severity of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls requires a corresponding commitment by government to ensuring their safety. Amnesty International has long called for a comprehensive, coordinated national plan of action to address gaps in current policies, programs and services; involve Indigenous women’s organizations in identifying the necessary solutions; and ensure accountability in their delivery.

    A spirited celebration of the contributions of refugees to Ottawa, and of our community's welcome for refugees.  The event is an Open House at Amnesty’s beautiful historic building on Laurier Avenue East and will present an opportunity for the general public to engage in activism for refugee rights.  Inspiring speakers. Light refreshments.  Live music.

    New Canadians Bushra Alarim and Husam Aldakhil will speak about their experience of being welcomed in Ottawa.  Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, will open the event.

    We are delighted that Surai Tea will provide its organic jasmine scented teas, handcrafted in Canada and packaged by Syrian-Canadian refugees.

    Musical appearances by Lee Hayes VOX! and by Adesso

    Mark World Refugee Day with us! 

    Join the Facebook event. 


    Speaker Bios

    A number of organizations are calling on their supporters to join this timely rally at BC Hydro headquarters in Vancouver. 

    The Peace River Valley in northeastern British Columbia is a unique ecosystem and one of the very few areas in the region that so far has been largely preserved from large-scale resource development. First Nations and Métis families and communities rely on the valley for hunting and fishing, gathering berries and sacred medicine, and holding ceremonies. Their ancestors are buried in this land.

    The proposed $8 billion plus Site C hydroelectric dam would flood more than 80 km of the river valley, stretching west from Fort St. John. The severe impact on Indigenous peoples is beyond dispute. A joint federal-province environmental impact assessment concluded that the dam would “severely undermine” use of the land, would make fishing unsafe for at least a generation, and would submerge burial grounds and other crucial cultural and historical sites.

    Join Amnesty International at a Red Dress concert to raise awareness of our Stolen Sisters campaign. 

    With the 2016 release of her album Holding Patterns the Red Dress single and video, and Amanda Rheaume continues her history of advocating change through her work – and this time, it’s personal. 

    Red Dress was recorded to honour the over 1,180 Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada. 

    The Centre’s “Red Dress Concert” will be an expression of community solidarity and awareness-raising for this ongoing national tragedy. 

    Check out the Red Dress Single and Video here:

    Tickets are $23 (including all taxes)

    If you are an Indigenous woman or girl in Canada—whether you live on reserve or in an urban area, regardless of your age or socio-economic status—the simple fact that you are an Indigenous woman or girl means that you are at least 3 times more likely to experience violence, and at least 6 times more likely to be murdered than any other woman or girl in Canada. This violence is a national human rights crisis and it must stop.

    Why are the rates of violence so high?

    Racist and sexist stereotypes lead perpetrators to believe that they can get away with committing acts of violence against Indigenous women and girls.

    The many legacies of colonialism increase the risk of experiencing violence—from impoverishment to the lasting harm from residential schools to the disempowerment of Indigenous women and girls in their own communities.

    Decades of government and law enforcement inaction to end the violence.

    Clare Bayley’s provocative depiction of migrant smuggling won the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award for its unflinching and empathetic portrayal of the very human stories behind the statistics. 

    When the doors of the container shut behind you, let your eyes adjust as you meet five complex individuals: Fatima, Asha, Jemal, Ahmad and Mariam. You join them on the final leg of their voyage, as they are smuggled across Europe in the confined space of a shipping container. The only thing they have in common is their goal: to get to England and start a new life. Witness them torn between greed and generosity, watched over by the mysterious Agent who orchestrates their journey. With freedom so close, what price would you pay?

    Show runs from September 4-18, Thursday and Fridays at 6 & 9PM, Saturdays and Sundays at 3 & 6PM.

    Join us on Parliament Hill for the 6th Annual Families of Sisters in Spirit Vigil to honour the memory of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. 

    Details about other events and vigils in Ottawa on October 4th will be posted as more information becomes available. 

    Let the Indigenous peoples of the Peace River valley know that you stand with them in their fight against the Site C dam

    Join our global campaigning on Site C by sending a solidarity message or photograph of yourself to show you support their struggle to protect their ancestral lands.

    Add your photo or message to this page by posting on twitter or instagram using the hashtag #withthePeaceRiver.

    What would resource extraction and development look like if the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was implemented in Canada? This panel attempts to answer that question. We'll hear from Indigenous rights advocates and legal experts about what UNDRIP is, how it has been contravened by projects like the Site C dam in BC and the Alton Gas project in Nova Scotia, and processes developed by Indigenous communities to give, or withhold, consent. Panelists will discuss the topic in broad terms as well as offer specific insights to ongoing projects and resistance movements. This event is co-sponsored by the Council of Canadians and Halifax Public Libraries. 

    Join members of the Urgent Action Network from across Canada for our ONLINE Urgent Action Exchange Workshop.

    This event will take place online on Wednesday 18 April 2018, 7 - 8.30pm EST.

    This will be an interactive online workshop.  

    No. of places available: 20 places

    We would ask that you come prepared to participate fully, just as you would an in-person interactive workshop.  Be prepared to connect from a quiet place on a computer with headphones.  A computer with a webcam is recommended for maximum participation (but this is not a requirement).  High speed internet will give you the best experience. 

    Organizers will be in contact with you prior to the day of the workshop to share details on how to connect to the session. 

    REGISTER here >>>


    meet other letter writers in the Urgent Action Network from across Canada;


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