Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Report on the Evolution of Human Rights in Canada

The most recent issue of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications features a report by the Canadian Human Rights Commission on The evolution of human rights in Canada:
"How have Canadians’ ideas of human rights evolved over time? Change begins when someone believes that they are being treated unfairly, and then decides to take action. The following report traces the emergence of human rights as the primary language for social change in Canada. It documents the rights revolution in Canada, and how it transformed social movements, politics, law, and foreign policy. Canadians began to engage with the principles of human rights long before the 1970s, but it was only in this period when human rights became pervasive and systemic. Canadians established one of the most sophisticated human rights legal regimes in the world; largely abandoned the principle of Parliamentary supremacy; produced a unique human rights movement; and became one of the first countries to advance human rights as a cornerstone of international politics."

"The focus in this report is on social movements, political debates surrounding the constitution, human rights law, and foreign policy as evidence of Canadians’ evolving human rights ideals. Sections two through four document the rights revolution from the 1940s to the 1970s, with a focus on the shift from civil liberties to human rights. The foundation for how Canadians define human rights today was established in the 1970s. Sections five and six address the legacy of the rights revolution, and how Canadians’ ideas of rights have continued to evolve even when the law and politics have remained static. In particular, these sections draw on surveys of the media, opinion polls, and social movements to document emerging rights claims. A central theme in the report is that human rights are always contested, but human rights also contain an inner logic that invariably leads to new rights claims that build upon existing recognized rights."
The Weekly Checklist includes a listing of titles made available by the Parliament of Canada, federal departments, and Statistics Canada to the Depository Services Program for distribution to a network of Depository Libraries in Canada and abroad.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:17 pm


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