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Canada rejects UN Human Rights Council Recommendations

June 10, 2009

Canada rejected, fully or partially, more than half of the UN Human Rights Council’s 68 recommendations, including recommendations that we sign the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, create a national anti-poverty strategy, and intervene in cases where Canadians face the death penalty overseas. I could only find CanWest coverage of the event (i.e. the same story in half a dozen different papers) and no full text of Canadian ambassador in Geneva Marius Grinius’ explanation for this rejection, or documents on the UN’s Universal Periodic Review page for Canada yet, so all I know about it is what Stephen Edwards says in the National Post – basically, that there are lots of members of the HRC (i.e. Russia, Algeria, Iran) with terrible human rights records themselves, so it’s not clear that the body is legitimate. I’m going to have to agree with Alex Neve of Amnesty International that this should be about the message, not the messengers. But we’ll have to wait until there’s more information available to really evaluate the government’s position. Assuming that they provide some…

For now, check out the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s page on Canada’s great historical reputation for Advancing Human Rights Institutions

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 11, 2009 8:47 am

    This is one instance when I think it makes sense to pick up the phone to understand the government’s position. Given that the government claims that human rights is one of its priorities, I believe that there must be some rationale for acting in this way. Reilly, thanks for this. I’ll let you know what I find out.

  2. Joel permalink
    June 10, 2009 4:23 pm

    Once again, the Harper government fails to see the value of international human rights norms. The message to Canadians and to the world is clear: Canada does not intend to protect the rights of the weak or vulnerable, at home or abroad. If only there were some economic gain to be had out of holding states accountable for abysmal human rights records, maybe then Harper would start paying attention.

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