The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in Canada

By Vexen Crabtree 2018

#canada #equality #freedom #human_rights #politics #tolerance

Canada
[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index9th best
CapitalOttawa
Land Area9 093 510km21
LocationNorth America, The Americas
Population37.1m2
Life Expectancy82.22yrs (2017)3
GNI$42 582 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesCA, CAN, 1245
Internet Domain.ca6
CurrencyDollar (CAD)7
Telephone+18

When it comes to ensuring human rights and freedom, Canada leads the world, setting excellent examples. Canada comes in the best 20 for commentary in Human Rights Watch reports9 (one of the best in The Americas), supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms10 (one of the best in The Americas), its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice11 (one of the lowest in The Americas) and in opposing gender inequality12 (the lowest in The Americas). And finally, it does better than average when it comes to LGBT equality13, supporting press freedom14 (one of the lowest in The Americas), speed of uptake of HR treaties15 and in its nominal commitment to Human Rights16. Canada actively seeks to protect human rights at home and internationally, and has developed a culture that is tolerant, where it is frowned upon to behave in a prejudiced manner. Although Human Rights Watch does have some criticism when it comes to protecting the rights of Indigenous peoples and the placement of children in immigration detention17.


1. Canada's Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance

#equality #human_rights #morals #politics #prejudice #tolerance

Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance (2020)18,19
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank18,19
1Denmark9.7
2Sweden10.0
3Norway16.1
4Netherlands18.0
5New Zealand18.1
6Canada18.4
7Austria18.5
8Germany18.6
9Finland18.9
10Australia19.8
11Iceland21.3
12Hong Kong23.3
13Luxembourg23.6
World Avg89.8
q=199.

The best countries in the world at ensuring human rights, fostering equality and promoting tolerance, are Denmark, Sweden and Norway18. These countries are displaying the best traits that humanity has to offer. The worst countries are Tuvalu, The Solomon Islands and Palestine18.

The data sets used to calculate points for each country are statistics on commentary in Human Rights Watch reports, its nominal commitment to Human Rights, speed of uptake of HR treaties, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms, supporting press freedom, eliminating modern slavery, opposing gender inequality, the year from which women could participate in democracy, its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice and LGBT equality. The regions with the best average results per country are Scandinavia, Baltic States and Europe18, whereas the worst are Micronesia, Melanesia and Australasia18.

2. Human Rights & Tolerance Data Sets

2.1. Human Rights Watch Comments

#human_rights

Human Rights Watch Comments (2017)9
Pos.Higher is better
Score9
1UK9
2France9
3Germany9
4Canada8
5Netherlands8
6Sweden7
7Ireland7
8Finland6
9Luxembourg6
10Belgium6
11Greece5
12Cyprus5
World Avg-1.9
q=123.

Human Rights Watch comments concentrate mostly on negative issues, however, they also make positive comments for those countries that engage in human rights defence around the world, or who make improvements at home. By adding up positive and negative comments (including double-points for negatives that involve large scales and crimes against humanity), the Social and Moral Index turns HRW commentary into quantified values. Some countries may be unfairly penalized because HRW have not examined them, and, some countries "get away" with abuses if they manage to hide it, or if it goes unnoticed - a negative point has been given for those countries in which HRW specifically state that access to investigators has been barred. The points were limited to a minimum of -10 because there are some points at which things are so bad, with abuses affecting so many, it is difficult to be more specific about the depths of the issues.

2.2. Nominal Commitment to HR

#human_rights

Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)16
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties16
1Argentina24
2Chile23
3Costa Rica23
...
58Finland19
59Netherlands19
60Nicaragua19
61Canada19
62Kazakhstan19
63Luxembourg19
64Greece19
65Ireland19
World Avg15.1
q=194.

There are many international agreements on human rights, and, many mechanisms by which countries can be brought to account for their actions. Together, these have been the biggest historical movement in the fight against oppression and inhumanity. Or, putting it another way: these are rejected mostly by those who wish to oppress inhumanely. None of them are perfect and many people object to various components and wordings, but, no-one has come up with, and enforced, better methods of controlling the occasional desires that states and peoples have of causing angst for other states and peoples in a violent, unjust or inhumane way. Points are awarded for the number of human rights agreements ratified by the country, plus the acceptance of the petition mechanisms for disputes. The maximum possible score in 2009 was 24.

2.3. HR Treaties Lag

#human_rights #international_law #micronesia #politics #small_islands

HR Treaties Lag (2019)15
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Yrs/Treaty15
1Ecuador2.15
2Uruguay2.25
3Tunisia3.65
...
26Germany5.62
27Austria5.68
28Belarus5.71
29Canada5.73
30Cyprus5.81
31Argentina5.90
32Hungary5.91
33Mongolia6.26
World Avg10.02
q=195.

Human Rights (HR) Treaties Lag is a count of how long it took each country to sign each of 11 key HR treaties. From the date of the first signatory of each treaty, all other countries have one point added to their score for each day they delayed in signing. Results are presented as average time in years to sign each one. The lower a country's score, the more enthusiastically it has taken on international Human Rights Treaties - which are, of course, minimal standards of good governance. The slowest are the countries of Micronesia, Melanesia, Australasia and Polynesia all lagged by over 12 years per treaty. The best regions are The Americas, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.

2.4. Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom

#freedom #politics

Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)10
Pos.Lower is better
Rank10
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
4Ireland4
5Denmark5
6UK6
7Canada6
8Australia6
9Finland9
10Netherlands10
11Luxembourg11
12Austria11
World Avg79.7
q=159.

The Human Freedom Index published by the Fraser Institute is...

... a broad measure of human freedom, understood as the absence of coercive constraint. It uses 79 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom in the following areas: Rule of Law, Security and Safety, Movement, Religion, Association, Assembly, and Civil Society, Expression, Relationships, Size of Government, Legal System and Property Rights, Access to Sound Money, Freedom to Trade Internationally, Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business. [...]

The highest levels of freedom are in Western Europe, Northern Europe, and North America (Canada and the United States. The lowest levels are in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. [...]

Countries in the top quartile of freedom enjoy a significant higher per capita income ($37,147) [compared with] the least-free quartile [at] $8,700). The HFI finds a strong correlation between human freedom and democracy.

"The Human Freedom Index" by The Fraser Institute (2016)20

2.5. Press Freedom

#democracy #freedom #mass_media #politics #UK

Press Freedom (2013)14
Pos.Lower is better14
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
...
17Germany1024
18Costa Rica1208
19Namibia1250
20Canada1269
21Belgium1294
22Poland1311
23Slovakia1325
24Cyprus1383
World Avg3249
q=178.

The freedom to investigate, publish information, and have access to others' opinion is a fundamental part of today's information-driven world. Scores on the Press Freedom Index are calculated according to indicators including pluralism - the degree to which opinions are represented in the media, media independence of authorities, self-censorship, legislation, transparency and the infrastructure that supports news and information, and, the level of violence against journalists which includes lengths of imprisonments. The index "does not take direct account of the kind of political system but it is clear that democracies provide better protection for the freedom to produce and circulate accurate news and information than countries where human rights are flouted".

It must be noted that press freedom is not an indicator of press quality and the press itself can be abusive; the UK suffers in particular from a popular brand of nasty reporting that infuses several of its newspapers who are particularly prone to running destructive and often untrue campaigns against victims. The Press Freedom Index notes that "the index should in no way be taken as an indicator of the quality of the media in the countries concerned".

2.6. Slavery

#burundi #eritrea #france #human_rights #indonesia #slavery

Slavery (2018)21
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims21
1Japan0.03
2Canada0.05
3Taiwan0.05
4Australia0.06
5New Zealand0.06
6Chile0.08
7Mauritius0.10
8Uruguay0.10
9Costa Rica0.13
10USA0.13
11Argentina0.13
12Hong Kong0.14
World Avg0.65
q=167.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory22. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends23. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life24. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves25.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery26. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity27. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.28. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi21, Eritrea21, Indonesia29) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery30.

"Victims of human rights abuses associated with Canadian mining companies operating abroad have had limited redress in Canada. However, in a potentially ground-breaking decision in November [2017], the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled that a civil claim against the Canadian firm, Nevsun Resources, for alleged used of forced labor at an Eritrean mine could be heard in Canada"17.

3. Gender Equality Data Sets

Canada is notable for its equality between the sexes.

See:

3.1. Gender Inequality

#gender #gender_equality #human_rights #misogyny #women

Gender Inequality (2015)12
Pos.Lower is better12
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
...
15Spain0.08
16Italy0.08
17Portugal0.09
18Canada0.10
19France0.10
20Israel0.10
21Japan0.12
22Cyprus0.12
World Avg0.36
q=159.

The UN Human Development Reports include statistics on gender equality which take into account things like maternal mortality, access to political power (seats in parliament) and differences between male and female education rates. Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

3.2. Year Women Can Vote

#christianity #gender_equality #human_rights #politics #women

Year Women Can Vote
Pos.Lower is better
Year
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
17Luxembourg1919
18Czechia1919
19Poland1919
20Canada1920
21USA1920
22Albania1920
23Lithuania1921
24Sweden1921
World Avg1930
q=189.

Women now have equal rights in the vast majority of countries across the world. Although academic literature oftens talks of when a country "grants women the right to vote", this enforces a backwards way of thinking. Women always had the right to vote, however, they were frequently denied that right. The opposition to women's ability to vote in equality with man was most consistently and powerfully opposed by the Catholic Church, other Christian organisations, Islamic authorities and some other religious and secular traditionalists.

4. Prejudice Data Sets

4.1. Anti-Semite Opinions

#antisemitism #christianity #germany #indonesia #israel #jordan #judaism #laos #morocco #netherlands #pakistan #philippines #religion #religious_violence #saudi_arabia #spain #sweden #turkey #UK #vietnam

Anti-Semite Opinions (2014)11
Pos.Lower is better
%11
1Laos0
2Philippines3
3Sweden4
...
9Tanzania12
10Thailand13
11Czechia13
12Canada14
13New Zealand14
14Australia14
15Norway15
16Ghana15
World Avg36.8
q=101.

Anti-Semitism is the world given to irrational racism against Jews. It is not the same as anti-Judaism (involving arguments against the religion) nor the same as anti-Zionism (arguments against Israel). In history, influential Christian theologians concocted the arguments against Jews that led, very early on, to widespread Christian action against Jews31,32,33,34. As Christianity rose to power in the West and presided over the Dark Ages, there were widespread violent outbursts against Jews of the most persistent and horrible kind. The Crusades were frequently aimed at them and the feared Spanish Inquisition paid Jews particular attention. The horror of the holocaust instigated by German Nazis in the 1940s was followed (finally) by the era of European human rights and a movement against racism in general.

The places that are the least anti-Semitical are a few countries of south-east Asia (Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam) and some of the secular liberal democracies of Europe (Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK). The worst countries for antisemitism are Islamic states of the Middle East35, which are undergoing their own Dark Age. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Indonesia, Pakistan and Turkey see the most oppressive and violent actions towards Jews36,37. Jews in Muslim countries face a host of restrictions and "ceaseless humiliation and regular pogroms"38. In 2004 the European Union Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia reported on violent anti-Jew crimes in the EU and found that that largest group of perpetrators were young Muslim males39.

4.2. LGBT Equality

#equality #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #sexuality #tolerance

Prime Minister Trudeau's government has taken significant steps domestically to advance the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, including passing legislation to protect transgender people from discrimination and creating a non-binary gender option on passports. [...] In November, Prime Minister Trudeau apologized to members of the LGBT community for actions the government took through the late 1980s against thousands of workers in the military and the Canadian public service. The government also announced in May that it would pardon and expunge records for any Canadians who were charged, and who still have on their records, criminal offences that are no longer on the books.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)17

LGBT Equality (2017)13
Pos.Higher is better
Score13
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
...
17Andorra63
18New Zealand63
19Portugal63
20Canada62
21Colombia58
22Finland57
23Austria56
24Ireland53
World Avg12.6
q=196.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence40. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws41. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries40. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.