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Activism Guide

    November 03, 2020

    There are countless opportunities to get involved with Amnesty International. This guide is your resource for the latest campaigns and actions. 

    Learn about upcomng events and new actions you can take to get involved. 

    November 02, 2020

    The end of October is a time of traumatic memories for the Indigenous Rarámuri community of Coloradas de la Virgen in the Tarahumara mountains of northern Mexico. It was on October 24, 2018 that community leader and forest defender Julián Carrillo was shot dead. The assassination came just a week after Julian spoke out against the environmental impacts of a mining concession awarded by authorities to a Canadian mining company without the free, prior and informed consent of the Indigenous people whose lands would be impacted.

    The killing of Julián Carrillo is no isolated case. A shocking number of defenders of land, Indigenous territory and the environment have been killed in Mexico. Many others have received death threats and must decide whether to abandon their efforts to protect rights and the environment, or live in constant fear of being gunned down.

    This crisis is largely invisible, despite the election of President López Obrador, who promised to bring human rights change to Mexico. Violence and injustice continue, especially when communities speak out against resource extraction projects they say will damage their land and the environment.

    November 01, 2020

    From November 21-22, Saudi Arabia hosted the G20 Leaders’ Summit. The Summit brought together some of the wealthiest and most powerful countries in the world, including Canada, to address global issues. We let Canada and other G20 member states know that if they didn't make women's rights and freedoms their business at the G20, they'd legitimize Saudi Arabia's atrocious human rights record. We called on G20 member states to #UnmuteSaudiVoices & #FreeSaudiFeminists

    On November 24, Saudi Arabia announced a trial hearing for the five jailed women human rights defenders. The hearing was held on November 25 and instead of releasing Loujain, the court moved her case to the Specialized Criminal Court (anti-terrorism court). In the wake of this news, we need to keep up our activism even though the G20 Leaders' Summit has now passed!

    September 29, 2020

    On September 23rd, a new session of Parliament will begin and the government will deliver a Throne Speech, outlining their priorities. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has indicated this Throne Speech will be a 'roadmap out of the pandemic towards a society that is fairer and more welcoming.' 

    Amnesty International has sent an open letter to the Prime Minister and his cabinet, urging them to implement a genuinely transformative human rights agenda. 

    September 28, 2020

    Years of campaigning led by Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people resulted in government finally calling an inquiry to investigate the scope and scale of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit persons, and to identify solutions to end the violence. In June 2019, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls issued its final report, including 231 Calls for Justice. The federal government committed to creating a National Action Plan by June 2020 to transform the Calls for Justice into concrete actions, but has delayed creation of the plan, and a timeline and process to create it remains unknown.

    Normally on October 4th, hundreds of Sisters in Spirit vigils are held in communities across Canada to honour Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people who have gone missing or been murdered, and every year many Amnesty members participate in these vigils.

    September 27, 2020
    Amnesty International’s Ethical Battery Project aims to end human rights violations in the production of rechargeable batteries.

    It may surprise you to know that lithium-ion batteries – the kind found in many electronics such as laptops, cell phones and electric cars – contribute to human rights abuses around the world. Over the last few years, Amnesty’s researchers have documented child labour, environmental harms and violations of the rights of Indigenous peoples in the countries where battery minerals are mined. We have challenged the world's leading electronics and automobile makers to develop a battery untainted by human rights abuses.

    We invite you to join our campaign for an ‘ethical’ rechargeable battery.

    September 07, 2020

    The next Day of Action to stop the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia will take place on September 21st, 2020, the International Day of Peace. Hundreds of people from across Canada will come together – both virtually and in-person – to show their support for an immediate end to the Saudi arms deal and to raise this issue yet again with the government. The coalition organizing this Day of Action is broad and includes human rights activists, arms control advocates, labour groups, and feminist and humanitarian organizations. 

    1. Join us for the Day of Action

    Sign up to join us for our virtual protest on September 21st at 6:00 pm EST. Register now >>> 

    September 01, 2020

    Misuse of the justice system to imprison indigenous environment defenders in Guatemala is an all too common practice designed to silence them and paralyze their vital struggles for human rights. This is happening at a time when Guatemala is experiencing devastating impacts of climate change, including water shortages, crop failures and famine.

    Bernardo Caal Xol is a Maya Q’eqchi’ teacher and trade unionist who is in jail, although he has committed no crime. 

    Authorities prosecuted Caal Xol with trumped up charges as he was successfully leading a peaceful struggle by communities seeking to protect the Cahabón River from big dam projects that violate indigenous rights, affect fish stocks and limit Indigenous communities’ access to water. Caal Xol was convicted without evidence. Since then, on six separate occasions, authorities have cancelled scheduled court hearings for an appeal of the wrongful conviction. 

    September 01, 2020

    The climate crisis is a monumental threat to human rights, like nothing humanity has ever experienced before.

    Last year, millions of people marched in climate strikes organized by youth around the world, demanding urgent action to stop the climate crisis.

    The next global climate strike will take place virtually on Friday, Sept 25th and we hope you will get involved!

    Here are five ways to participate in the climate strikes:

    1. Youth climate justice webinar – Join our climate justice webinar on Tuesday September 22nd. More information, bios of the amazing youth climate activists who are the panelists for the event, and the registration link are all here!

    September 01, 2020

    The Federal Court of Canada has found, for a second time, that the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement is unconstitutional. It violates section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects the right to life, liberty and security of the person. 

    Under the STCA, refugee claimants must claim protection in the first country in which they arrive in most cases.  The agreement assumes the US is a ‘safe’ country which upholds international human rights and the Refugee Convention.  

    However, Justice Ann Marie McDonald found that refugee claimants returned under the STCA often face arbitrary immigration detention in conditions that “shock the conscience.” She recalled the case of Ms. Mustefa, a refugee claimant who was turned away by Canada under the STCA, only to be locked in solitary confinement in a freezing cold cell and given meals that she could not eat due to her religious beliefs. When Canadian officials return claimants to such conditions, they are complicit in that mistreatment. 

    August 31, 2020
    NEW: Protect Peaceful Protest in Belarus

    Hundreds of thousands of Belarusian people have taken to the streets across the country to protest electoral violations, police brutality and severe reprisals against peaceful dissent; demanding truth, justice and accountability for the perpetrators.

    During the first three days of post-electoral protests – August 9-12 – authorities responded with widespread arrests, harassment and intimidation, using rubber bullets, stunt grenades, tear gas and water cannons against protesters. Over 6,700 people were detained. Hundreds reported torture and other ill-treatment in police stations and detention facilities. Some 50 journalists have also been detained.

    TAKE ACTION

    Add your name to the online petition and share on social media.

    LEARN MORE

    Watch the video and read the latest news:

    August 30, 2020

    Communities have been speaking out for decades about how Black people experience policing in Canada. It’s time to listen: racism is not up for debate – it’s systemic.

    Amnesty International unequivocally supports frontline groups and activists in communities across the country who work courageously and tirelessly to expose that systemic racism and demand justice for the growing number of BIPOC who have been wrongly arrested, mistreated or killed by police across Canada.  

    A Comprehensive reform agenda should:

    August 29, 2020

    Amnesty International is partnering with the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network to raise awareness about the Sixties Scoop. We will be advocating for the continued need to connect survivors who were taken with their families and raising awareness about the ongoing human rights fight, the class action lawsuits and the settlement.

    From the late 1950's to the 1980's, many children were adopted not just out of their Indigenous community, or out of province, but some were sent as far away as Germany, Britain, and Australia. The Provincial, Territorial and Canadian governments gravely violated the rights of these families: to belong to their Indigenous nation, to learn their culture and language, to not be subjected to assimilation, and to not be subjected to genocide.

    Colleen Hele-Cardinal, cofounder of the Sixties Scoop Network writes,

    August 29, 2020

    “It is especially disturbing to see that some governments are punishing workers who voice their concerns about working conditions that may threaten their lives. Health workers on the frontline are the first to know if government policy is not working, and authorities who silence them cannot seriously claim to be prioritising public health.”
    Sanhita Ambast, Amnesty International’s Researcher and Advisor on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

    Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic in March 2020, health and essential workers have played an extraordinary role in the response to it. Across the world, they have put their health and well-being at risk, working in very difficult circumstances and often with very little support, to ensure that we are able to access the essential services we need, including health care, food and other nutritional supplies, and emergency services.

    August 28, 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating existing gender inequalities as public health guidelines and lockdown measures lead to higher rates of gender-based violence and less access to sexual and reproductive information and health services including gender-affirming care. School and daycare closures and restrictions have substantially added to the unpaid care work disproportionately carried out by women. In a few short months, we have gone back to 1980s levels of women’s labour force participation, with fears the situation will become ever more dire as the pandemic wears on.

    Not all women, girls, and gender diverse people are experiencing the pandemic in the same way. Women, girls, and gender diverse people who are Black, Indigenous, and other people of colour; people with disabilities, LBTI folks, sex workers, refugees and migrants, and people living in poverty already faced heighted risks of violence, discrimination, and other human rights violations, and the pandemic has further heightened these risks.

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