Healing Gaia

Human Rights for All - No Exceptions

Please Join us on Tuesday, July 3 from 7 to 9:00 PM at Mississauga Central Library to learn more about what Amnesty International is doing to promote universal human rights.

By Doreen Nicoll
Published June 29, 2018

The news is anything but upbeat these days. But, there is group that inspires hope here at home and around the world. Amnesty International has a myriad of national and international campaigns and they could use your help.

If you want to tell human rights abusers that they have to stop, then please join us Tuesday, July 3 from 7 to 9:00 PM at Mississauga Central Library, 301 Burnhamthorpe Road West. (Square One). This will be an introductory session about the work of Amnesty International and how you can help promote and protect human rights.

Here's a small sampling of the campaigns Amnesty is currently working on.

No More Stolen Sisters

No More Stolen Sisters is calling for a comprehensive response to discrimination and violence against Indigenous women in Canada.

It's well documented that First Nations, Inuit, and Metis women in Canada, referred to collectively as Indigenous women, have a history of oppression dating back to first contact with Europeans.

The multiple oppressions Indigenous women live with on a daily basis means they are subject to a disproportionate risk of violence, especially more severe violent episodes, than non-Indigenous Canadian women.

Rates of violence against women vary widely across Canada, but Indigenous women are 2.5 times more likely to be victims of violence than non-Indigenous women.

Every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner, but Indigenous women are killed at rates six to seven times greater than non-Indigenous women.

Indigenous women are almost three times more likely to be killed by a stranger than non-Indigenous women.

It's time to acknowledge and address the multiple discriminations that put Indigenous women living in Canada at greater risk of violence.

I Welcome Refugees encourages individuals and governments to take responsibility for protecting the human rights and freedoms of those seeking asylum.

Amnesty is encouraging countries around the world to take responsibility to live up to international obligations and offer sanctuary to refugees. Amnesty would like you to join this campaign by simply stating: "I welcome refugees," and urging the Canadian government to protect asylum seekers being adversely affected by current US policies.

Open for Justice addresses human rights violations often caused by Canadian companies doing business in countries around the globe.

Your voice is needed to ensure that Canada's human rights ombudsperson has the ability to ensure corporate disclosure in cases where Canadian-owned mining, oil and gas, and textile companies are accused of participating in international human rights abuses.

We Defend is a campaign designed to protect the very people who are defending the human rights of others.

Human rights defenders are under attack and that may take many forms including smear campaigns, government surveillance, unjust imprisonment, forced disappearance, and even death.

Without their courage, our world is less fair, less just and less equal. That is why today we are calling on everyone - not just world leaders - to stand with human rights defenders and protect the brave.
—Salil Shetty, International Secretary General, Amnesty International

According to the United Nations, human rights are rights that belong to every person regardless of ethnicity, sex, nationality, religion or any other status. They belong to all people by virtue of their humanity.

Please join us Tuesday, July 3 from 7 to 9:00 PM at Mississauga Central Library, 301 Burnhampthorpe Road West (Square One).

Add your voice and energy to those across the country and around the world working to ensure universal human rights for all.

This event is free. However, space is limited so please contact Louise Briggs: briggslou@hotmail.com or Mohamed Fetaih: mfetaih@hotmail.com to RSVP.

Doreen Nicoll is a feminist and a member of several community organizations working diligently to end poverty, hunger and gendered violence.

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By beancounter (registered) | Posted July 02, 2018 at 11:56:29

Human Rights for All – No Exceptions: a cause for which many have fought and even died. No doubt Amnesty International has been an important part of this struggle. Its annual report for 2017/2018 shows the high price paid by those who supported it: “Hundreds of activists were killed last year as authorities sought to silence campaigners and muzzle the media”. Yet I have to ask whether there isn’t a glaring exception among those groups for whom Amnesty is fighting. It is arguably the most vulnerable and most marginalized group of all. It consists of the unborn children living in some of the most dangerous places on earth: their mothers’ wombs. These mothers (and other women) are raising their voices and saying these are our bodies and governments have no rights to force women to continue their pregnancies.
But the children cannot speak out, so who speaks on their behalf? Apparently not Amnesty International. In a report on the work of a Citizen’s Assembly which called for legalization of abortion in Ireland, Amnesty International Ireland’s Executive Director said that one of the Assembly’s key documents “ unhelpfully includes wording on ‘rights of the unborn’ “ Sure, many women have died or been injured through “unsafe” abortions and it is impossible to imagine the anguish and revulsion experienced by a woman who is pregnant as the result of rape. But do we not need to weigh these terrible hardships against, for instance, the tens of millions of deaths resulting from just the Roe v Wade decision? Yes, human rights belong to every person regardless of ethnicity, etc., including status. Let’s add one more status to protect, that of being alive but not yet born. Some people would refer to this status as a blob of tissue, but some quick research will demonstrate the rapid progress in even the first trimester towards a fully-viable human being able to live on his or her own. Feminists will recall that women were not considered persons in Canada until 1929. I look forward to the day when our unborn children will also be recognized as persons, deemed worthy of protection by virtue of their rights as human beings. No more stolen sisters and no more stolen brothers either!

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