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Activism Guide

    March 29, 2019


    May 12 is Mother’s Day in Canada. It’s a time for family celebration.

    In Mexico, thousands of mothers will not be celebrating. Instead, many of them will take part in a huge Mother's Day march, 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.

    Take action this Mother’s Day to support the mothers who have courageously turned their suffering into determined efforts to support each other and change Mexico. 

    March 19, 2019

    Earth Day is April 22 and the week around it is a time for community celebrations and events focusing on pressing environmental issues facing our world.

    One of those issues that is a top priority for Amnesty International is the growing numbers of attacks, many of them deadly, against environmental human rights defenders whose efforts to defend the rights of their communities to a healthy environment put them on a collision course with powerful economic interests. The killing of iconic river defender Berta Caceres in Honduras is but one of countless examples.

    March 15, 2019

    It’s no coincidence that three of Amnesty’s highest priority, ongoing cases in Canada all revolve around the industrial contamination and destruction of rivers, lakes and streams. 

    The struggle over mercury contamination at Grassy Narrows. The risks to water and fish from the Mount Polley mining disaster. The threatened destruction of the Peace River Valley by the Site C dam. 

     Each of these cases is a powerful illustration of the continued importance of healthy rivers and lakes to the well-being of the Indigenous peoples who rely on them -- and the terrible consequences when federal and provincial governments ignore their rights. 

     Bringing these three cases together is a way to highlight common themes and engage more people in speaking out for justice. 

     Our campaign on water defenders and human rights launches on World Water Day (March 22) and will continue through the summer. We’re offering a variety of tools and techniques to focus on these three cases at public events, whether you have a table at an event already planned in your community or you host your own water rights event. 

     Look for the following: 

    March 11, 2019

    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. 

    March 10, 2019

    Water defenders living in the shadow of the Mount Polley mine say their fight to protect the waters in and around Quesnel Lake is not over, despite Imperial Metals’ announcement that it will suspend operations at the mine in May, 2019 until global copper prices improve. This is why:

    February 04, 2019

    Since 1967 when it captured the occupied Palestinian territories (OPT), it has been Israeli government policy to promote the creation and expansion of Israeli settlements in the OPT.  This is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and is one of the main driving forces behind the mass human rights violations resulting from the occupation.

    Meanwhile, companies from all over the world are conducting business activities in settlements and, in doing so, are helping sustain and expand Israel’s settlements in the OPT.  

    Digital tourism companies, like Airbnb,, Expedia and TripAdvisor, are profiting from war crimes by listing properties and attractions in Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories.

    January 17, 2019

    Fieldworkers are trained Amnesty volunteer leaders who work across Canada to promote human rights activism at the grassroots level.  They help and support individuals and Amnesty groups to carry out their human rights work as well as are the go to persons for any resources and information specific to Amnesty issues and campaigns. Need a fieldworker to help your group?  Need a guest speaker for your school class or at a community event?  Contact the Fieldworker closest to you! Go to

    Love mobilising masses for human rights? Interested in taking your human rights work one step further by becoming a leader in Amnesty Canada at local, regional, and national levels? Interested in becoming one of the faces of Amnesty through public speaking? We would love to hear from you.

    January 17, 2019

    By Cassandra DeFreitas

    The York University Community was eagerly waiting for the most anticipated event of the year; Write for Rights.

    The executive team had been brainstorming, taking notes, and discussing how to make Write for Rights ‘Bigger and Better’. The team went through the post-event notes last year, discussed what could be improved and how to improve them. The biggest challenge was getting more students to be aware and be engaged in addressing human rights abuses or issues and actively advocating for the rights of human rights defenders. 

    The entire team decided on the game plan, from promotions to outreach, booking tablings to preparing the incentives for the event. We had agreed on November 21st to be the date of our Write for Rights event. We had contacted our Student Community and Leadership Development coordinator to reserve the entire ‘Bear Pit’ as we were aiming for a high turn out this year. We were able to secure the maximum amount of tables and space as the whole from 10-4pm.

    January 17, 2019

    Save the Date! Toronto is hosting the 2019 Amnesty AGM from May 31-June 2!

    The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is an opportunity for Amnesty members and activists to come together and inspire one another, to learn about each other’s efforts and campaigns, to share stories and experiences, and to listen and participate in our sessions and panels.

    The AGM is also Amnesty Canada’s highest decision-making body and a place where important governance work happens, including electing our National Board and voting on resolutions that guide us in how we do our work.

    Throughout the weekend, you will meet and interact with individuals and groups from across Canada who share your commitment to human rights, and make important decisions involving our work. We hope that when you leave AGM, you leave with new skills, knowledge, inspiring stories, and a refreshed sense of hope and determination.

    Join us for the AGM in Toronto!

    Registration opens early February. For more information or to receive a notice when the AGM registration open please contact Shauna at

    January 16, 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.

    January 16, 2019

    Have a Heart Day is an annual appeal for all First Nations kids to have the opportunity to have a healthy and safe childhood. Lead by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, Have a Heart Day calls on the federal government to end the widespread and systemic underfunding of basic services that First Nations children and families need and deserve, from safe, quality schools to culturally-appropriate family supports and services.

    Individual actions and community events take place on and around February 14th (Valentines Day). Last year at least 70 Have a Heart Day events were held across Canada and more than 10,000 Valentine`s cards and messages were sent to Parliamentarians to show that Canadians care about fairness and justice for First Nations children.

    Amnesty International is proud that our members have supported this appeal each year through events and individual letter-writing. Here's how you can get involved.

    January 15, 2019

    On January 23rd, the Supreme Court of Canada will decide whether to allow a ground-breaking lawsuit to go forward against a Canadian mining company for the use of slavery.

    Yes, you read that right: a Canadian company is going before the Supreme Court of Canada to determine whether it can be sued for the use of slavery.

    In 2008, Nevsun Resources (NSU) entered into a joint-venture partnership with the Eritrean government to develop the Bisha gold-zinc-copper mine. Nevsun owns 60 percent of Bisha while the Eritrean state owns the other 40 percent. Bisha is the largest single source of revenue to the Eritrean government, bringing in over $1 billion in taxes and other payments (such as royalties) since exploitation began in 2011.

    January 10, 2019

    Berta Caceres was a beloved, internationally-recognized defender of Indigenous rights and the environment in Honduras. She received death threats as she led efforts to stop construction of the Agua Zarca hydro-electric project on the Gualcarque River, considered sacred by Lenca Indigenous communities and vital for their survival in their territory. Berta reported the threats. She was assassinated on March 2, 2016.

    Bringing this horrific crime to justice is vital since impunity only fuels more killings of defenders of land, territory and the environment in Honduras. Indeed, the killings have continued in the three years since Berta’s murder.

    January 10, 2019

    January marks one year since Edwin Espinal and Raul Alvarez were arrested and sent to a military-run prison without trial, denied the chance to defend themselves against accusations they say are false.

    This injustice happened during a brutal crack-down as thousands of Hondurans took to the streets to protest alleged electoral fraud by the government of Juan Orlando Hernandez. Security forces shot at and beat protestors. Dozens were killed or badly injured. Others, like Edwin and Raul, were detained and denied their rights to due process. The crackdown was documented by Amnesty International in our report Protest Prohibited. 

    After one year in a maximum security prison for violent criminals, without adequate food, water, sanitation, medical attention or access to daylight and exercise, both men have lost considerable weight and their health is in danger. There is no end in sight as Amnesty has documented multiple irregularities and serious violations of their right to defend themselves.

    January 09, 2019

    January 17th marks the one year anniversary of the Canadian government's announcement to create an independent Ombudsperson that would enable people harmed by Canadian companies overseas to have access to justice in Canada.

    We celebrated the announcement, thrilled that Canada would finally be "Open for Justice". Yet one whole year has passed, and the Ombudsperson is still not in place! Equally concerning is whether or not the office will be granted the powers it needs to be effective. The  Canadian government did promise a year ago that Canada's Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise would be independent, transparent, and have the power and tools necessary to conduct effective investigations. But we are still waiting to see whether they follow through on their word.

    We need your help! 


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