The [Irish] government has rejected calls from Europe’s human rights watchdog to step up efforts to prevent American “rendition” flights using Irish airports.
The [Irish] government has rejected calls from Europe’s human rights watchdog to step up efforts to prevent American “rendition” flights using Irish airports.
The report also highlighted the need for increasing choice in the educational system, particularly to take account of cultural and religious differences.
[Human Rights Commissioner for the Council] Mr Hammarberg described the current lack of a choice as a problem, and expressed concern about the segregation of non-Catholic migrants in education.
“The growing diversity of Irish society has seen an increase in the demand for multi-denominational or non-denominational schools that the current practical and legislative infrastructure is unable to meet, in particular when schools are obliged to enrol Catholic applicants first. The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance has recommended that the greater demand for non-denominational or multi-faith schools should be met, ” he said.
In 2007, International PEN monitored the cases of more than one thousand writers who were persecuted because of their writing. Many of these writers were targeted as a result of their outspoken criticism of governments and corporations. At English PEN, we are hampered in our support for such writers of conscience whenever governments and corporations in the west endorse repressive laws such as criminal defamation.
In conclusion, we urge you to drop all actions in Thailand, and to impress your critics with the force of argument, not the threat of imprisonment. You will thereby impress us with your commitment to basic human rights. Any other course of action would, we believe, be damaging to Tesco’s brand in the UK and internationally and would be contrary to Tesco’s stated policy.
“However, in light of the editors’ latest assertion we are making a fair and reasonable proposal today. In exchange for Maclean’s publishing a mutually acceptable response to the Steyn article from an agreed upon author, we would be prepared to settle this matter.”
A year after a woman filed a complaint against Le Stud for discrimination, only men were in sight yesterday. While the bar is not necessarily welcoming to women, the Quebec Human Rights Commission said it can’t deny them entry.
The case prompted outcry from the gay community and another complaint to the commission. Rick Matthews complained the fitness club Curves discriminates against men by not allowing them to join.
He told The Gazette last year he hoped to make the point that women should not demand access to men-only bars if they’re not willing to open their clubs to men.
A different view of human rights, from Down Under:
An Australian hotel catering for gay men has been given the right to ban heterosexuals from its bars – to combat gangs of ogling women.
They won a ruling – believed to be the first of its kind in the country – from state authorities to impose the restriction.
It was granted even though equal opportunity laws prevent people being discriminated against based on race, religion or sexuality.
One of Canada’s foremost experts on women and the law and a highly regarded scholar and human rights advocate, University of Ottawa Law Professor Constance Backhouse has garnered many distinctions and awards for her path-breaking writings on sexual harassment in the workplace and other forms of gender and race discrimination.
The prize: 100 large.
From Backhouse’s faculty bio, a real stunner:
Professor Backhouse has served for many years as a mediator and adjudicator of human rights complaints.
Really? For years? Because we thought…
The Commission’s aim is a human rights system that:…is independent, impartial, and ensures good governance. [page 4]
Constance Backhouse: “I hope [my research] helps Canadians understand how unfair our legal system has been to women and ‘racialized’ communities…People operate under gender and racial assumptions that have definable effects on access to jobs and social opportunities.”
Manitoba’s Opposition says the government was “sneaky and underhanded” when it suggested to its Crown corporations that they should donate to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
The province’s auto insurer, the publicly owned utility and the agencies in charge of alcohol and lotteries have each planned to donate about $1 million for the construction of the museum.
Premier Gary Doer said Monday he “encouraged” various Crown boards to donate to the museum. The province has already pledged $40 million to the museum.
“Crown corporations make investments in our community in all the time,” said Doer.
“If you go to a Bomber game, you’ll see ads and other promotions [from Crown agencies] for the support of the football club.”
But Tory Leader Hugh McFadyen sees it differently. He said the New Democrats basically directed the Crown agencies to put money into the project.
“There’s no difference between encouraging and directing when it comes to the premier and a Crown corporation,” McFadyen said. “Generally speaking, when the boss encourages you to do something, you don’t take it as an optional thing.”
A man standing on principle (“”I think it’s wrong to have to discuss your personal life with your employer,” he said, “and I also don’t want to be in a position of accusing my spouse, so I declined to appeal or discuss the matter in any way with my employer”), and not suing somebody? Weird.
Oh. Wait. Now we get it. Didn’t happen in Canada.
At another college, professor Kent Gramm’s divorce from his wife of 30 years might be a private matter known only to friends and close colleagues.
But at Wheaton College, the end of the popular English professor’s marriage has cost him his job—and sparked a debate about whether a divorce should disqualify a faculty member from teaching there.
Though the college has sometimes hired or retained staff employees whose marriages have ended, officials say those employees must talk with a staff member to determine whether the divorce meets Biblical standards. Gramm told administrators about his divorce but declined to discuss the details.
Tim George, student body president, said it is a shame that Gramm has to leave, because he is an outstanding teaching professor and a scholar. Although there has been controversy, the majority of students support the college’s decision, he said.
“We just hate to see him go. . . . But we just don’t want to compromise the values that we hold,” George said.
The Patron Saint of England (and a number of other countries) has been hailed a human rights campaigner by fellow activist Peter Tatchell – who backs ideas that his national day should be a public holiday celebrating dissent.
“It is time we ditched the myths surrounding St George and celebrated the reality of his courageous life”, said Tatchell – who is a prospective Green candidate in Oxford, and has gained widespread media attention for his direct action campaigns for Tibet, against Robert Mugabe, and for the LGBT group OutRage!
“St George’s Day should be a national holiday in England. We should celebrate St George as a symbol of freedom, dissent and multiculturalism,” says the human rights activist.
A classic. After several editorials, letters to the editor, and a spot in a CBC documentary, the Canadian Islamic Congress and a gaggle of students are now prepared to make a public offer to Maclean’s to rectify the magazine’s prejudiced views.
We call bullshit.
If newspapers, magazines, and CBC airtime aren’t already “public,” then what is?
THE CANADIAN ISLAMIC CONGRESS
PRESS CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT
April 29, 2008
ISLAMIC CONGRESS AND LAW STUDENTS TO MAKE PUBLIC SETTLEMENT OFFER TO MACLEAN’S ON HUMAN RIGHTS COMPLAINTS
TORONTO – The Canadian Islamic Congress and a group of law students who recently filed human rights complaints against Maclean’s magazine for publishing Islamophobic content, are planning to present a public offer to the magazine’s management to settle the matter.
We thought Canadian Senators simply collected a check and kept their mouths shut. Turns out, they make declarations on foreign policy.
“As a democratic institution, the IPU requires the host country to grant visas to any country in the world associated with the Inter-Parliamentary Union without any discrimination,” Seyyed Mohsen Yahyavi, Secretary-General of Iran’s Inter-Parliamentary Group, told Fars News Agency after the assembly, which ended on April 18.
The Canadian stance is a tricky proposition, [Canadian Senator] Ms. Carstairs suggests. “If we applied the rules we’re suggesting, then Nelson Mandela would not have been allowed into the country,” she said.
“One nation’s terrorist is another nation’s freedom fighter.”
Many progressives, human rights advocates, and opportunistic right-wing ideologues point to the principle of self-determination.
And, last paragraph: no wonder women and children get massacred while people preach human rights.
Progressives must oppose imperialism everywhere; they must oppose war everywhere; they must support human rights everywhere.
They didn’t give you an old rifle. They violated your human right to efficiently shoot somebody. Weird, we know, but sue anyway.
A couple of weeks ago, a British High Court judge concluded that sending soldiers into war with defective equipment could be a breach of their human rights. The ruling by Mr. Justice Collins, according to The Independent newspaper, could have significant impact on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and open the door to lawsuits by the families of soldiers killed.
It’s a valid question: At its national convention earlier this month, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers passed a resolution that included the following provision: “CUPW will … support the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel recognizes the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.”
I’m no labour expert. But doesn’t this mean that a mailman who, say, slips the new Eddie Bauer catalog through the mail slot at 180 Bloor Street West here in Toronto would be violating union rules?
Dr Pell noted that in Canada, the Supreme Court has given a charter of rights a substantive rather than procedural meaning, so that any infringements against them are ruled to be major rights violations.
“As a consequence, the threshold for excluding evidence from criminal trials has been progressively lowered, seriously hampering the administration of criminal justice, and making these rights a matter of controversy,” he said.
“So, it is not only in areas of life, family, freedom of religion, discrimination and equality that a bill or charter of rights causes trouble.
“The irony is that the uses to which courts put a bill of rights often generate exactly the hostile majority reaction to rights that this sort of legislation is meant to avert.
“We don’t have a culture war here in Australia in the way the United States does, but a bill or charter of rights could help provoke one.”
Premier Gary Doer says he “encouraged” four of Manitoba’s Crown Corporations to make $1 million donations to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, but said there’s nothing wrong with that because it is in keeping with their tradition of supporting the community.
Last year the Manitoba government gave $40 million to the $265 million museum project slated to be built at The Forks.
The province tacked that money onto the budget of its department of culture, heritage, tourism and sport. The donation caused that department to go nearly 47% over budget.
Imagine that Mother Theresa and her Missionaries of Charity had been told that their ministry in the streets of Calcutta was, in essence, not ministry but “social work.” In order for the sisters to continue in their work, they would no longer be permitted to require that staff members share their beliefs and ministry commitment.
As bizarre as this may sound, this is essentially what a single adjudicator acting as an Ontario Human Rights Tribunal recently decided in the case of Heintz v Christian Horizons.
Sadly the human rights abuses faced by converts do not end there. Some of the other violations include extrajudicial killings by state-related agents or mobs; “honour” killings by family members; detention, imprisonment, torture, physical and psychological intimidation by security forces and the denial of access to judicial services and social services.
Through my research, a tragic picture emerges. Converts live in a no-man’s land; isolated from their native communities, haunted by the actions of their states, burdened by the vulnerability of their families and overlooked by the international community.
One convert told me in an interview that when he was subjected to torture in a Middle Eastern country, his torturer told him he could scream as loud as he wanted, but no one would hear or save him. When he realised this was true, he broke down and has never really recovered from the damage caused by his detention. For too long the experiences of men and women like him to go unnoticed. The Muslim world and the international community must not allow these cries for help to be swept under the carpet any more.
[Tenerife News, Canary Islands] We all know that the U.S. practises torture against terrorist suspects- water boarding or simulated drowning is clearly that- and we all know that when a new president is elected, given the clear statements of the remaining three candidates, the practice will stop. What we don’t know is if a new president will have the guts to open the windows in the Justice Department and allow the fresh air of the rule of law to blow into every corner.
Two elderly sisters fighting for the same rights as married and gay couples have lost a last-ditch legal appeal for equal treatment.
In a 15-2 vote, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled that Joyce and Sybil Burden, who have lived together all their lives, do not face unfair discrimination under UK inheritance tax rules.
In 2006 the Burdens lost the case by a 4-3 majority of the panel of seven human rights judges – although three members of the court described their inheritance tax plight as “awful” and “particularly striking”. But the appeal hearing, before a larger 17-member panel of human rights judges, produced a more decisive 15-2 majority against the sisters.
On Saturday 19 April, Dorking-based Dr Robert Verkerk was awarded for his work to protect natural healthcare across Europe.
The Award, presented at the 39th Anniversary of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights United Kingdom (CCHR), recognised Dr Verkerk for his work to expose the multinational pharmaceutical interests and giant food companies to limit the public’s access to herbs, vitamins and other therapies.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights is an international psychiatric watchdog group co-founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and Dr Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights.
We’ve been reading a lot of mumbo jumbo about the Christian Horizons people having to pay 23 grand in fines to Connie Heintz.
We call bullshit. It’s 23 grand, plus interest, 2 years pay, and a multi-thousand dollar human rights programme, effective 6 months from now. Heintz, by the way, gets to review the programme to see if it is satisfactory. If not, she can use the red pen.
Human rights justice. The only place where the fines are unlimited, and the judge is told the err on the high side: “ A complainant is typically entitled to an award of general damages to compensate for the loss of the right to be free from discrimination. There is no ceiling on general damages. These awards should not be so low as to trivialize the violation or amount to a “licence fee” to discriminate.”
1. the respondent, Christian Horizons, shall pay the complainant, Connie Heintz, the following amounts:
(a) general damages in the amount of $8000 for for the application of the discriminatory employment policy;
(b) general damages in the amount of $10,000 for the poisoned work environment;
(c) damages in the amount of $5000 for the wilful and reckless infliction of mental anguish arising from the poisoned work environment;
(d) pre-judgement interest on the amounts in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) payable from September 23, 2000 to the date of this decision in accordance with the Courts of Justice Act;
(e) special damages amounting to all wages and benefits the complainant would have received between September 23, 2000 and July 12, 2002 less any monies earned elsewhere during that period, plus pre-judgement interest on those amounts commencing August 2, 2001 payable in accordance with the Courts of Justice Act;
(f) post-judgement interest payable in accordance with the Courts of Justice Act.
2. The respondent Christian Horizons shall develop and adopt an anti-discrimination and an anti-harassment policy as well as a human rights training program for all employees and managers within six months from the date of the decision.
3. The respondent, Christian Horizons, shall cease and desist from imposing the Lifestyle and Morality Statement as a condition of employment. The effect of this order is stayed for a period of 8 months from the date of this decision, or for such longer period as the Tribunal may direct.
4. Within 30 days of the date of this decision, the respondent, Christian Horizons, must commence a review of its employment policies, in consultation with the Commission, to ensure that such policies comply with the Code.
5. No later than six months from the date of this decision, the respondent, Christian Horizons shall submit a report to the Tribunal outlining the steps it proposes to take to ensure that its employment policies are in compliance with theCode, including a time frame for implementation.
6. At least 30 days prior to the submission of its proposal to the Tribunal the respondent, Christian Horizons, shall provide its proposal to the Commission and Ms. Heintz.
7. The Commission and Ms. Heintz are entitled to make submissions to the Tribunal on the respondent’s proposal. The submissions will be provided to the Tribunal within 30 days of receipt of the respondent’s proposal.
To paraphrase: ”I love the UN, and I hate guns. There. Said it. Now I can get on with my day…”
British PM Gordon Brown:
“The coming days will be critical. We will intensify international action around a UNSC discussion on Tuesday. We will press for a UN mission to investigate the violence and human rights abuses,” he said in a statement.
“The whole international community must speak up against the climate of fear in Zimbabwe.”
Under a new Swiss law enshrining rights for animals, dog owners will require a qualification, anglers will take lessons in compassion and horses will go only in twos.
From guinea-pigs to budgerigars, any animal classified as a “social species” will be a victim of abuse if it does not cohabit, or at least have contact, with others of its own kind.
The new regulation stipulates that aquariums for pet fish should not be transparent on all sides and that owners must make sure that the natural cycle of day and night is maintained in terms of light. Goldfish are considered social animals, or Gruppentiere in German…
[Center for Women & Trans People, March 2007. Page 8.] Aside from challenging narrow gender boxes/binaries, other issues that women’s movements struggle against also affect trans people. For example, violence and poverty are prominent features in the lives of trans people as well. This is yet another reason for us to fight together against gender oppression.
[Ottawa Sun, April 26, 2008] The pair sit at a local coffee shop, sharing their stories. They occasionally hold hands. They were men attracted to women who are becoming women, and so, now, can be considered lesbians. Alone or together, they get second takes and odd glances. But both say they have not been the target of any type of trans phobia or discrimination in Ottawa.
Aimed at speeding up the resolution of discrimination cases, the controversial reforms will send complainants directly to the Human Rights Tribunal instead of funnelling them through the Ontario Human Rights Commission first. Freed from guiding individual cases through the system, the commission is supposed to refocus its efforts on systemic issues and public education. And a new human rights legal support centre is being set up to help complainants navigate their way through the process.
But as the deadline looms, questions are being raised about whether the new system will be up and running in time for the changeover.
Naturally, the “new human rights legal support centre is being set up to help” defendants, too…right?