Statement from the Green Party of Canada for Human Rights Day

On Human Rights Day, the Green Party of Canada wishes to bring attention to the human rights challenges we continue to face both in Canada and around the world.

In honour of the the 20th anniversary of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights, the theme for this 64th annual Human Rights Day is “20 Years Working For Your Rights.”

At the 1993 Conference, representatives from over 170 states voted to adopt the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, which reaffirmed the commitment of world leaders to strengthen and promote human rights.

“While some progress has been achieved over the past twenty years, much work remains to be done to address the severe human rights abuses that continue to this day, globally and in our country,” said Elizabeth May, Green Party Leader and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands.

The Green Party of Canada remains committed to advocating for the rights of persecuted peoples around the world. The Party has repeatedly called on the Canadian government and the international community to recognize the autonomy of Tibet, and to speak out on behalf of persecuted religious and ethnic minorities, including Falun Gong practitioners in China and the Christian communities of Pakistan.

The Green Party has also called on the Harper administration to address human rights abuses in our own country.

A report issued earlier this year from the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) criticized the Canadian government’s failure to combat domestic poverty, along with discriminatory policies within our country’s justice and immigration systems.

The report also emphasized the urgent need for the Canadian government to conduct a national inquiry into the ongoing crisis of violence against Aboriginal women. To date, the Conservatives have not acted on any of the UN HRC recommendations.