Keeping up with Friends
Separating children from parents
Many of us have seen chilling images from the US of child refugees who are terrified and extremely distressed after being forcefully separated from their parents. A new blog post by CFSC says this highlights the importance of Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Every child has a right not to be separated from parents without consent, unless it is in the best interests of the child, and then as a last resort and for the shortest time possible. However, in Canada too, children are routinely separated from their parents against their best interests.
A chance to end mandatory minimums
CFSC has written to all Senators to support a new Bill, S-251, which would enable judges to take into account individual circumstances and exercise compassion when making sentencing decisions. This would align sentences with Canada’s principles of justice, fairness and proportionality. See our open letter at https://quakerservice.ca/mandatoryminimums On that page we’ve also provided a sample email and an easy way to send Canada’s Senators your own note in support of Bill S-251
if so led.
New fact sheets explain Indigenous rights issues
We’re pleased to launch a new series of fact sheets developed with our partners in the Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples! The three fact sheets are brief but full of important and timely information.
Myths and Misrepresentations: The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples & Bill C-262 explores key myths circulating, such as that the UN Declaration creates special rights for Indigenous Peoples that other people don’t have, and that Bill C-262 (to make Canada’s laws consistent with the UN Declaration) would create chaos. Interpreting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples highlights and corrects mistakes we see all the time that lead to misinterpretations of the Declaration. Finally, Free, Prior and Informed Consent answers common questions you might have, such as, “What is free, prior and informed consent? Where does it come from? When does it apply? Who has the right to grant or withhold it? Is it the same thing as a veto?” https://quakerservice.ca/factsheets
Honesty in labelling
Do you know where the products you buy come from? In keeping with a concern expressed by Canadian Yearly Meeting, CFSC has written an open letter to the Minister of International Trade raising concerns that Canada is allowing products from occupied Palestinian territories to be sold with the false label “made in Israel.” The letter notes the moral and legal issues with this false labelling. It ends, “We call on you to uphold a standard of honesty that will allow Canadians to make informed decisions about the products they buy. We make this request with the eternal hope of a more just and peaceful future for Israel/Palestine.” http://quakerservice.ca/honestyinlabelling
CFSC joins call for inquiry into case of Hassan Diab
Following revelations that Canadian government lawyers may have actively sought to help French authorities with a case based on evidence they knew had already been discredited, CFSC has written to express our deep concerns. We see the need for a full, public, and independent inquiry into the extradition process and how it went so wrong for Hassan Diab. Canada needs to make sure nothing like this can happen again. https://quakerservice.ca/HassanDiab