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Activism Guide

    October 31, 2019

    The Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) encourages refugee claimants to cross the border unsafely and irregularly, putting lives at risk. With the arrival of winter, it’s important to take action now.

    The STCA requires that refugee claimants who arrive in Canada or the US request protection in the first country in which they arrive. However, it does not bar refugee claimants from seeking protection in Canada if they do not enter Canada at an official border crossing. 

    In response to the harsh, xenophobic immigration polices of President Donald Trump’s administration, many refugee claimants have turned to Canada for protection. Because they would be sent back to the United States if they make a claim for refugee protection at an official border crossing, many have resorted to crossing the border between official border posts. During the winter months, this is particularly dangerous: people have had amputations due to frostbite, and at least one woman believed to have been attempting to cross the border has died.

    October 01, 2019

    Canada will have its next federal election by October 21st, 2019.

    Hateful rhetoric and divisive politics are on the rise, but many human rights issues will be left off the table this election.

    We must make human rights an election issue.

    Register now to help make human rights an election issue >>> 

    Tweet at your local candidates >>> 

    Ask your local candidates to take action on UNDRIP >>> 

    Ask your local candidates to take action on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigneous Women and Girls >>> 


    September 30, 2019

    Because of persistently high levels of gender-based violence, because women are still being sterilized without their consent, because of the gender wage gap and lack of economic security for women and non-binary people… we need all candidates in the October federal election to discuss women’s rights and gender equality issues.

    In 2015, Amnesty International was part of a coalition that advocated for such a debate. But not all parties were willing to participate in a debate on issues directly impacting half of Canada’s population. In fact, the last federal leader’s debate on women’s rights and gender equality issues was 35 years ago!

    When you engage with federal election candidates in your riding, let them know what gender equality is not yet a reality and we demand that the issues impacting women and non-binary people in Canada be directly addressed in the federal election campaign.

    What are the three key things we’re asking for?

    September 04, 2019

    “Let us rise with more energy. Let us stand with a greater determination.”
                       – MP Romeo Saganash, author of Bill C-262 

    The last session of Parliament fell just short of an essential and long overdue step in the protection of Indigenous rights.

    Bill C-262, a private member’s bill setting out a framework to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, was passed by the House of Commons in 2018. But when the Bill came to the Senate, it was blocked by the stalling tactics of a small group of Senators.

    As deeply frustrating as this was, the campaign for Bill C-262 nonetheless built an important foundation for the future.

    We saw a tremendous display of public support for implementation of the Declaration and we know that politicians took notice. In fact, even as that small group of Senators exploited the procedural rules of the Senate to delay and ultimately block Bill C-262, all parties in the House of Commons passed a motion expressing unanimous support for the Bill.

    September 04, 2019

    People typically think of the climate crisis as an environmental issue. But did you know it also spells big trouble for human rights? People in Canada and around the world are already experiencing the impacts of climate change – such as drought, flooding, extreme storms and heat, forest fires, and sea level rise – and it’s only going to get worse. People who are already disadvantaged, vulnerable or facing discrimination will be hardest hit.

    It is imperative that governments take urgent action to drastically reduce global greenhouse emissions before it’s too late. Furthermore, they must do so in a way that avoids further harming human rights. So far, the actions taken by the Canadian government and other states are inadequate to prevent a climate crisis. More ambitious action is necessary.

    September 04, 2019

    September 26 is an important date for defenders of human rights in Mexico and their allies around the world. It marks five years since police attacked buses carrying students from a rural teacher training college in Ayotzinapa. The police took 43 of the students away, never to be seen again. 

    Finding out what happened and bringing to justice everyone who played a role is obviously of tremendous importance to the families and classmates of the 43. 

    September 04, 2019

    From the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador and Brazil, to the watersheds of Colombia, the canyons of Mexico’s Sierra Tarahumara, across beautiful Guatemala, Honduras and beyond, Latin America is a region that is incredibly rich in biodiversity and natural resources. Amid a global climate emergency, the importance of protecting biodiversity-rich land, forests and water has become ever more urgent.

    In Latin America, as elsewhere, Indigenous peoples are leading the way, together with other determined earth defenders. They are paying a heavy price to do so, increasingly with their lives. New research suggests it is battle that has become more lethal than some war zones.

    Amnesty Canada’s campaign to defend earth defenders under attack in Latin America needs your support! 

    Here are priority actions that Amnesty Canada is promoting this fall. 

    July 05, 2019

    Summer is finally here and the season brings the perfect opportunity to get active with Amnesty in your community!

    From local community fairs and music festivals to speaking tours and Pride parades, there are countless opportunities for Amnesty supporters to spread the word and build support for our work for human rights through tabling. 

    To get you started, we've prepared a tabling toolbox with all the resources you'll need to get active this summer. Make sure you have all the tools you need, and then take action on the important issues below. 

    >>> Check out our tabling toolbox

    Protest and Parade with Pride

    June 15, 2019

    Young people from Grassy Narrows are travelling to Toronto for a massive rally on June 20th to focus attention to urgency of addressing the crisis of mercury poisoning facing their First Nation.

    Amnesty International is urging its members and supporters to do all they can to help this vital and timely campaign.

    The people of Grassy Narrows are living with the devastating consequences of a half century of mercury contamination of their rivers and lakes. The harm they’ve experienced, including erosion of culture, loss of livelihoods, and one of the worst community health crises anywhere in Canada, has been made so much worse by decades of government denial and inaction. 

    Last month, federal Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O’Regan visited Grassy Narrows but failed to deliver on a long promised treatment centre for mercury survivors. 

    This stalling and inaction is all the more shocking in light of the fact that two of the United Nations independent human rights advisors, the expert of health and the expert on toxic wastes, have now both urged Canada to take action on the mercury crisis.

    May 05, 2019

    Did you know that in 1995, Canada proclaimed that the second Monday of every May would kick off a national Mining Week in Canada? Industry associations, like the Mining Association of British Columbia, hold dozens of events to promote mining investment in Canada and abroad.

    But for corporate accountability activists, May is also Mining Justice Month.

    Amnesty activists will be well-aware that every May Amnesty joins more than 30 partner organizations from the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (CNCA) and grassroots groups across Canada to take action in solidarity with human rights defenders and communities harmed by Canadian oil, gas and mining operations abroad and in Canada.

    May 04, 2019


    PLEASE NOTE: This action is open until the first week of June.

    Throughout the month of May, we are collecting cards to echo the calls for action by mothers of the disappeared in Mexico.

    May 10 is Mother's Day in Mexico. Thousands of mothers marked the date by taking part in a huge Mother's Day March for Dignity (promoted in their poster, left), carrying the photos of sons and daughters who disappeared, never to be seen again. The mothers of the disappeared organize the march to make visible the massive dimensions of this heart-rending crisis and to call for action.

    Our solidarity is vital!

    More than 40,000 people are now reported missing in Mexico. It's a staggering number that only continues to grow. Some people were abducted by criminal gangs. In other cases, public officials were involved.

    May 03, 2019

    All around the world, Pride marches and events are held to celebrate hard won rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people and to continue demanding equality. But in many parts of the world, Prides are not allowed to take place or face backlash, repression and violence. And many of the activists working to ensure LGBTI rights are protected, respected, and upheld face harassment, criminalization, and violence.

    This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the uprising that saw the mobilization of LGBTI people against police harassment and brutality in New York City. The Stonewall riots are now celebrated worldwide as a cornerstone of the liberation movements for LGBTI communities, and led to the founding of the first Pride marches in the United States.

    Join Amnesty International this summer as we participate in Pride festivals in Canada and around the world alongside LGBTI partner organizations to take action in support of LGBTI rights and demonstrate solidarity with LGBTI human rights defenders.

    May 02, 2019

    On 20 June, people around the world celebrate World Refugee Day. It commemorates the strength and resilience of refugees around the world, as well as the important contributions they make in their new communities. It is also a time to reflect on the 24.4 million refugees and 3.1 million refugee protection claimants globally.

    Here in Canada, there are a number of recent developments that are threatening the rights of refugee claimants, and it is important for provincial and federal governments to know that these changes will not go unnoticed. The omnibus Bill C-97 threatens to create a two-tier system of refugee status determination by removing access of some refugee claimants to the independent Immigration and Refugee Board. In Ontario, it appears almost certain that legal aid will be practically eliminated for refugee protection claimants in that province, despite the fact that people depend on such services to navigate the complex legal system.

    When it comes to refugee rights, there are many things you can do to demonstrate your solidarity with refugees. To get you started, here are some ideas: 

    May 02, 2019

    On Friday, May 3rd, students across Canada and around the world will strike for the climate and call on governments to take urgent action to stop climate change.

    Amnesty International is in solidarity with the climate strike and warns that the failure of governments to address climate change may amount to the greatest inter-generational human rights violation in history. Climate change affects the rights to life, health, housing, water and sanitation, among others, and it disproportionately affects those who are already marginalized or subject to discrimination.

    Amnesty’s 2019 Human Rights Agenda calls on Canada to address the human rights implications of climate change by, among other measures:

    Ending the dependence on fossil fuels by 2040 Ending fossil fuel subsidies Promoting a just transition to a zero-carbon economy Ensuring that the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous communities for any new energy projects is respected

    Climate change is a human rights issue. As Amnesty develops and deepens our work on climate justice, we need you to take action and call on Canada to stop climate change.

    May 01, 2019

    Amnesty International is pressing the Canadian government to take decisive action on human rights at home and on the world stage in 2018. The call comes as we release our annual Human Rights Agenda for Canada, pressing the federal government to build on progress seen in 2017 while addressing ongoing serious human rights shortcomings.