Human Rights

“Breeding ground” for slavery?

A few weeks after Jamaican seasonal workers were sent home early after allegedly complaining about housing and working conditions, a United Nations Human Rights Council rapporteur says the federal employment programs are “a breeding ground for contemporary forms of slavery.” In his report, Tomoya Obokata of Japan urges the government to step up efforts to safeguard workers’ rights and offer a clear pathway to permanent residency. [node:read-more:link]

Afghan refugees’ lawsuits

When a Canadian-Afghan claimed discrimination against Afghan refugees by treating them differently than they did Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion, the federal government requested that his case be combined with another. The latest claim, filed in July, is by a former language and culture adviser who served NATO in Afghanistan; two others had earlier said their families also were not being allowed to come to Canada. [node:read-more:link]

Travel advisory for LGBTQ+

A Global Affairs Canada travel advisory posted today warns the LGBTQ+ of possible discrimination in some U.S. jurisdictions. While none were identified, 18 states have legislated restrictions and more than a dozen others seem to be following suit. [node:read-more:link]

High court to hear expats’ case?

The Supreme court of Canada is being asked to rule on the cases of four men detained in Syria after allegedly travelling to join the Islamic State. A Federal Court of Canada judge ruled last January that the government could request their release but that was overturned by the Federal Court of Appeal in May. [node:read-more:link]

Taliban still a challenge for Canada

Twelve years after Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan ended and two years since the U.S. left the Taliban in power, Afghan women are seeking Canadian help in resisting legitimacy for the terrorists while protecting human rights. [node:read-more:link]

Pushback on "slavery” legislation

Industry is pressing for at least a year’s delay in the January 2024 launch of the federal government’s Modern Slavery Act, which is designed to address forced labour and child labour in supply chains. Mining and apparel lobbies say the government has failed to spell out the details of the legal requirements for compliance. [node:read-more:link]

Covid-19 legal saga ends

The Supreme Court of Canada announced today (Case No. 40622) that it would not hear an appeal by some B.C. religious leaders who challenged limits on indoor services during the pandemic. The province’s appeal court had ruled last December that the restrictions were justified on health grounds even if they did infringe on constitutional freedoms. [node:read-more:link]

More Iranians sanctioned

The federal government imposed sanctions on seven more Iranians August 8, boosting the total to 170 individuals and 192 Iranian entities. The targets are deemed to be involved in activities Global Affairs says “gravely threaten international peace and security or that constitute gross and systemic violations of human rights.” [node:read-more:link]

Aid to Niger government stopped

Canada has suspended direct financial assistance to Niger’s government in the aftermath of a coup but said August 6 that it will maintain aid for vulnerable civilians. Coup leaders rejected a weekend deadline from Economic Community of West African States to reinstate the deposed government. [node:read-more:link]

Myanmar’s “brazen” war crimes

UN investigators reported “strong evidence” today that Myanmar’s military is committing “increasingly frequent and brazen war crimes”, including mass executions and sexual violence. The country has been ravaged by violence since the elected government was deposed in February 2021. [node:read-more:link]

Foreign interference inquiry hindered?

The New Democrat Party’s call for the list of countries accused of interfering in Canada to be expanded is being frustrated by other parties, says NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. House leaders have been meeting over the summer to set the terms and timeline for the inquiry and to appoint a potential leader and the NDP would like to see India, Iran and Russia join China on the list. [node:read-more:link]

“Stalinist” sentence for Navalny

A Russian court today convicted imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny of extremism and sentenced him to 19 years atop a nine-year term he’s already serving on charges he says were politically motivated. Almost all key opponents of President Vladimir Putin are in prison or self-imposed exile and Navalny had said he was expecting a “long Stalinist sentence.” [node:read-more:link]

“Screaming into the wind” at CBSA

Three years after the Auditor-General said the Canada Border Services Agency did not adequately deal with workplace harassment, discrimination and violence, one of the agency’s veteran dog-handlers has gone public with ongoing issues. [node:read-more:link]

Israeli protests involve reservists

The right-leaning Israeli coalition government’s ramrodded legislation to curb Supreme Court jurisdiction took place against a backdrop of widespread protests and now the leadership is concern about the role of military reservists. More 11,000 have threatened to end their voluntary service and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant is seeking consensus to ensure the military is “separate from political discourse.” [node:read-more:link]

Peace bonds for repatriated women

The RCMP have secured terrorism peace bonds for two women recently repatriated from Syria along with three teenage girls. Arrested on their arrival in Montreal and then transported to Edmonton for a bail hearing, the women have been released pending further investigation. [node:read-more:link]


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