Canada has traditionally been admired for its commitment to human rights. Canada’s determination to better protect human rights within Canada and contributions to upholding human rights around the world have both equally won the country praise. But that assessment no longer holds true.

Thanks mostly to the Harper government, (and to some degree the Liberal government which preceded it):

1) We are one of only four countries that refused to sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). (Australia and New Zealand have since reversed their position.

2) Our foreign policy in the middle east has become one sided and unrelated to human rights issues.

3) Our government failed to stand up for the rights of Canadians as they were tortured abroad and in some cases our government even assisted the torturers.

4) Canada does not support efforts to recognize life-sustaining economic, social and cultural rights (ie. access to water) and instead has sided with corporate control.

5) Our government avoided responsibility for the treatment of Afghan detainees captured by Canadian forces.

6) We have cut funding to programs and organizations which promote human rights.

Amnesty International has noticed these and other failures in a recent critical report of Canada:

The Report:
www.amnesty.ca/files/HRA.pdf (external - login to view)

Press Release and Overview:
Reclaiming Canada's role as leader on human rights | Human Rights Agenda 2011 (external - login to view)