Salil Shetty, Secretary General, Amnesty International
The Globe and Mail reports, “Canada has lost its standing as a world leader in pressing for human rights, Amnesty International says. …(Its new) report marks a shift: Groups like Amnesty, which once viewed Canada as a paragon of their rights agenda, pushing initiatives like an international criminal court and protections for child soldiers, now see it as lacklustre.” The Montreal Gazette adds, “The report suggested that party leaders could use the federal election to help restore Canada’s role in defending human rights by promising to act on implementing a United Nations plan to help First Nations, and by recognizing a global right to clean water.”
The Amnesty International ‘Getting Back On the Rights Track’ report says, “Canada’s standing as an international human rights champion has dropped. In the days leading to the election all parties must make concrete commitments to help to restore its leadership role, says Amnesty International. As Canadians go to the polls they have a crucial opportunity to reflect on these fundamental issues.” Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, says, “In recent years there has been a decline in Canada’s international human rights leadership. There has been erosion of Canada’s past policies including a principled and non-partisan reputation in the Middle East. There was opposition to a declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. And action on economic, social and cultural rights including the right to water has faltered. …Canada must reclaim its leading role in human rights. …Canada must recognize the right to water and sanitation in international law.”
Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, adds, “There should be mandatory legislated human rights standards for overseas operations and independent impact assessments of all trade deals.”
The AI report can be read at http://www.amnesty.ca/media2010.php?DocID=450.