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    September 13, 2019

    The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and numerous reports by international human rights bodies have all documented the profound and tragic harms that have resulted from Canada’s colonial laws and policies. Ongoing adverse impacts include denial of Indigenous systems of governance, jurisdiction and laws; dispossession of lands, territories and resources; the ongoing tragedy of Indigenous lives brutally cut short; essential opportunities denied to Indigenous children and youth; and the lack of adequate financial and other assistance to maintain and revitalize Indigenous cultures, traditions and languages in the face of continued threats.

    All these bodies have called on federal and other governments to heal the harm and build positive relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Canada must act now to fully safeguard and implement the fundamental human rights and protections affirmed in the United Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

    September 12, 2019

    (La version française suit)

    AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
    MEDIA RELEASE

    September 12, 2019

    Canadian organizations call on political leaders to respect dignity of refugees and migrants during federal election campaign

    Organizations and community leaders across Canada are calling on the leaders of federal political parties to respect the dignity of refugees and vulnerable migrants during the upcoming election campaign. Over 150 Canadian organizations from diverse sectors have signed an open letter.

    Sent to all federal parties in June, the letter was drafted by the Canadian Council for Refugees, Amnesty International, the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers and The Canadian Council of Churches as an expression of the organizations’ concern about how refugees and migrants in Canada may be characterized during the 2019 federal election campaign. The letter calls on leaders to engage in discussions about migration in ways that recognize:

    September 11, 2019

    Today, Amnesty International Canada wrote to hundreds of school boards across the country urging their support for student climate strikers. Around the world we wrote to over 30,000 schools, urging educators to allow children to take part in the unprecedented wave of global climate strikes planned for 20 and 27 September. There are more than 2,400 events planned in 1,000 cities around the world.

    The full text of the letter is below.

    11th September 2019

    To school leaders around the world,

    My name is Kumi Naidoo and I am the Secretary General of Amnesty International, the world’s largest human rights organisation. I am writing to you today about what I believe to be the single most important issue facing our current generation of children and how you can play a key role in enabling them to take action.

    September 11, 2019

    Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Kumi Naidoo, has written a personal plea to more than 30,000 schools around the world today, including hundreds of school boards across Canada, urging them to allow children to take part in the unprecedented wave of global climate strikes planned for 20 and 27 September.

    In a letter sent to school-heads and school boards by Amnesty International’s national offices in Australia, Canada, Hungary, Spain, New Zealand and the UK, Kumi Naidoo said:

    “I believe that the cause for which these children are fighting is of such historic significance that I am writing to you today with a request to neither prevent nor punish your pupils from taking part in the global days of strikes planned for 20 and 27 September.

    “The climate emergency is the defining human rights issue for this generation of children. Its consequences will shape their lives in almost every way imaginable. The failure of most governments to act in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence is arguably the biggest inter-generational human rights violation in history.”

    September 10, 2019

    EDMONTON, AB – Amnesty International has sent an Open Letter to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, highlighting serious human rights concerns with his aggressive approach to defending the oil and gas industry from criticism, including plans to establish an “energy war room” and a public inquiry into the alleged foreign funding of groups who oppose or criticize energy developments in the province.

    The human rights organization is deeply concerned that Kenney’s proposed “Fight Back Strategy” undermines and violates a range of Alberta’s human rights obligations, under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international law. Further, his approach exposes human rights defenders – particularly Indigenous, women, and environmental human rights defenders – to intimidation and threats.

    Apart from a call to abandon the Fight Back Strategy, Amnesty International urges Kenney to:

    Ensure that any initiatives to promote the oil and gas industry in Alberta are fully consistent with Alberta’s international human rights obligations and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    September 05, 2019

    Following poet and activist Rita Wong’s release from prison on September 3, 2019, Amnesty International reiterates its call on the BC government and all governments across the country to take deliberate action to avoid unjustified criminalization of protest.

    In particular, the organization again expressed concern about the use of criminal contempt prosecutions against individuals accused with defying the court injunction against protests connected with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.  

    September 04, 2019

    October 2019 marks 15 years since Amnesty International released our “Stolen Sisters” report, and much has happened during this time.

    In 2004, our report was ground breaking and helped to shine a light on a little known Canadian human rights crisis, and it promoted solutions identified by the Native Women’s Association of Canada and other Indigenous partners. Years of campaigning led by Indigenous women 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, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls issued its final report, including 231 Calls for Justice.

    September 04, 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

    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.

    September 04, 2019

    Carding is when police officers stop, question, and document individuals without any evidence that they have been involved in, or have knowledge of, an offence. Bias and stereotyping play into the officers’ decisions of who to stop and why, which affects many racialized groups, but especially Black people. 

    Here are 5 reasons why carding should be banned:  1. It's racist 

    Carding is a form of systemic police racism that disproportionately impacts Black people in Canada. Carding can often be the first point of contact that can lead to further mistreatment, violence, and racism within other segments of the justice system as well as negative mental and physiological health outcomes. 

    August 30, 2019

    This week, new legislation entered in force overhauling the federal government’s system to assess and approve large-scale resource development projects like mines and dams. How does the new legislation affect human rights?

    August 23, 2019
    Black people in Toronto are 20 times more likely to die from an encounter with the police.

    It has long been recognized that the Canadian justice system is fraught with racism that disproportionately impacts Black people and communities across the country, resulting in racial profiling, harsher sentencing, mistreatment in prison, denial of services, and other injustices which can be compounded for people with intersecting identities (e.g. Black Muslims, Black LGBTQ2S folks, etc.)The way that racism is institutionalized in the justice system, as well as in broader society, is connected to Canada’s long, sordid legacy of perpetrating anti-Black racism throughout history with enslavement, exclusionary immigration, and more. 

    August 22, 2019
    Spokespeople available for interviews

    With the threat of returns to Myanmar once again looming over Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, Amnesty International warned that Rakhine State remains unsafe while those responsible for atrocities continue to evade justice. Action from the Canadian government is urged as the needs of refugees pivot from shorter-term humanitarian response, to sustained human rights protections.

    This Sunday marks two years since the Myanmar military launched operations in Rakhine State which forced more than 740,000 Rohingya women, men and children to flee their homes and villages. The brutal campaign was marked by widespread atrocities, which a UN investigation team has said amount to crimes against humanity and likely genocide.

    August 20, 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.

    August 19, 2019

    15 August 2019

    The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
    Minister of Health
    The Honourable James Carr 
    Minister of International Trade Diversification
    The Honourable David Lametti
    Minister of Justice and Attorney-General

    Re: Kattenburg v. Canada (Attorney General) – Israeli settlement products – Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement

    Dear Ministers Petitpas Taylor, Carr and Lametti:

    We write with an urgent request that the Canadian government not appeal the recent, important Federal Court decision – in Kattenburg v. Canada (Attorney General) – that goods imported into Canada from the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem must not be identified as “Products of Israel.” The ruling provides important human rights safeguards which we call on the government to accept and respect.

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