Human Rights Day: Canada’s unions stand up for human rights

December 9, 2017

Canada’s unions have a long-standing legacy of advancing human rights. This year on December 10, the CLC will honour the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by standing up for human rights through legislative and social change.

On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the declaration, outlining the basic and fundamental rights and freedoms to which all human beings are entitled.

This year on Human Rights Day, the UN kicks off a year-long campaign to promote, engage, and reflect on how each of us can stand up for human rights.

“Canada’s unions are committed to defending human rights. We are proud to have stood against apartheid in South Africa and to have fought for labour rights in Colombia,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff. “And we continue to challenge racism, xenophobia and discrimination at home and around the world,” he added.

Here in Canada, advancing human rights means:

  • Addressing systemic discrimination of all forms, including interrupting anti-black racism, and Islamophobia;
  • Reconciliation and nation-to-nation relationship building with First Nations;
  • Reforming the criminal justice system to address the disproportionate number of incarcerated Black and Indigenous people;
  • Taking steps to narrow the gender wage gap by passing proactive pay equity legislation in early 2018;
  • Addressing ongoing systemic discrimination experienced by LGBTQ2SI people, and ending the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure and the ban on blood donation for gay men ;
  • Ensuring that promised federal accessibility legislation provides a clear path to address the many barriers to inclusion that people with disabilities face;
  • Advocating for an independent and impartial federal ombudsperson to help ensure Canadian corporations respect human rights in the countries where they operate.