The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in Canada

https://www.humantruth.info/canada_human_rights_and_freedom.html

By Vexen Crabtree 2018

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

Canada
[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index8th best
LocationNorth America, The Americas
Population37.1m1
Life Expectancy82.66yrs (2017)2

When it comes to ensuring human rights and freedom, Canada leads the world, setting excellent examples. Canada comes in the best 20 in commentary in Human Rights Watch reports3 (amongst the highest in The Americas), the rate of gender bias (from 7 indicators)4 (the lowest in The Americas), supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms5 (amongst the lowest in The Americas), its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice6 (one of the lowest in The Americas) and in opposing gender inequality7 (the best in The Americas). And finally, it does better than average in LGBT equality8, supporting press freedom9 (amongst the lowest in The Americas), speed of uptake of HR treaties10, its nominal commitment to Human Rights11 and in freethought12. 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 detention13.


1. Canada's Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance

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

Compared to The Americas (2020)14
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank14
1Canada21.0
2Uruguay26.5
3Costa Rica36.5
4Chile39.9
5Argentina43.6
6USA47.3
7Brazil52.1
8Bolivia53.6
9Peru53.8
10Mexico56.4
11Ecuador57.9
12Panama59.7
13Guatemala62.8
The Americas Avg73.9
q=35.
Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance (2020)14
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank14
1Sweden9.0
2Norway14.5
3Denmark14.5
4Netherlands15.6
5New Zealand17.3
6Iceland19.9
7Canada21.0
8Austria22.3
9Luxembourg23.7
10Finland23.8
11Australia23.9
12Hong Kong24.3
World Avg87.9
q=199.

The best countries in the world at ensuring human rights, fostering equality and promoting tolerance, are Sweden, Norway and Denmark15. These countries are displaying the best traits that humanity has to offer. The worst countries are The Solomon Islands, Somalia and Tuvalu15.

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 rate of gender bias (from 7 indicators), the year from which women could participate in democracy, its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice, LGBT equality and freethought. The regions with the best average results per country are Scandinavia, Baltic States and Europe15, whereas the worst are Melanesia, Micronesia and Australasia15.

For more, see:

Amnesty International's 2023-23 report needed to say little about Canada: "Marginalized groups faced intersecting inequities, systemic discrimination and barriers to the realization of their human rights. The right to assembly was often under threat, particularly for Indigenous land defenders"16.

2. Human Rights & Tolerance

2.1. Human Rights Watch Comments

#human_rights

Human Rights Watch Comments
Higher is better3
Pos.2017
Score3
1=UK9
1=France9
1=Germany9
4Canada8
5=Netherlands8
6Sweden7
7=Ireland7
8Finland6
9=Luxembourg6
9=Belgium6
11Greece5
12=Cyprus5
The Americas Avg-0.8
World Avg-1.9
q=123.
Canada ranks 4th-best in the world regarding commentary in Human Rights Watch reports.

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
Higher is better11
Pos.2009
Treaties11
1Argentina24
2=Chile23
2=Costa Rica23
...
58Finland19
59=Netherlands19
59=Nicaragua19
59=Canada19
59=Kazakhstan19
59=Luxembourg19
59=Greece19
59=Ireland19
The Americas Avg16.5
World Avg15.1
q=194.
When it comes to its nominal commitment to Human Rights, Canada is 51st in the world.

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
Lower is better10
Pos.2019
Avg Yrs/Treaty10
1Ecuador2.15
2Uruguay2.25
3Tunisia3.65
...
26Germany5.62
27Austria5.68
28Belarus5.71
29Canada5.73
30Cyprus5.81
31Argentina5.90
32Hungary5.91
33Mongolia6.26
The Americas Avg8.45
World Avg10.02
q=195.
Regarding speed of uptake of HR treaties, Canada ranks 29th in the world.

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.

For more, see:

2.4. Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom

#freedom #politics

Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom
Lower is better5
Pos.2014
Rank5
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
4Ireland4
5Denmark5
6=UK6
6=Canada6
6=Australia6
9Finland9
10Netherlands10
11=Luxembourg11
11=Austria11
The Americas Avg72.4
World Avg79.7
q=159.
(one of the lowest in The Americas)In terms of supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms, Canada comes 6th-best in the world.

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)17

2.5. Press Freedom

#democracy #freedom #Freedom_of_Speech #Good_Governance #mass_media #politics #UK

Press Freedom
Lower is better9
Pos.20139
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
...
17Germany1024
18Costa Rica1208
19Namibia1250
20Canada1269
21Belgium1294
22Poland1311
23Slovakia1325
24Cyprus1383
The Americas Avg2853
World Avg3249
q=178.
(amongst the lowest in The Americas)Canada comes 20th in the world in terms of supporting press freedom.

The freedom to investigate, publish information, and have access to others' opinion is a fundamental part of today's information-driven world, and is linked with Freedom of Speech and Good Governance. 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". The rankings are used as one of the datasets of the Social and Moral Development Index18

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
Lower is better
19
Pos.2018
% Victims19
1Japan0.03
2=Canada0.05
2=Taiwan0.05
4Australia0.06
5=New Zealand0.06
6Chile0.08
7=Mauritius0.10
7=Uruguay0.10
9Costa Rica0.13
10=USA0.13
10=Argentina0.13
12Hong Kong0.14
The Americas Avg0.25
World Avg0.65
q=167.
Canada comes 2nd-best in the world, after Japan, regarding eliminating modern slavery.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory20. 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' friends21. 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 life22. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves23.

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 slavery24. 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 dignity25. 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.26. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi27, Eritrea27, Indonesia28) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery29.

For more, see:

"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"13.

3. Gender Equality

Canada is notable for its equality between the sexes.

See:

3.1. Gender Inequality

#gender #gender_equality #human_rights #misogyny #women

Gender Inequality
Lower is better
7
Pos.20157
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
...
15Spain0.08
16Italy0.08
17Portugal0.09
18Canada0.10
19France0.10
20Israel0.10
21Japan0.12
22Cyprus0.12
The Americas Avg0.39
World Avg0.36
q=159.
(the lowest in The Americas)With regard to opposing gender inequality, Canada comes 18th-best in the world.

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 patriarchalism 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.

For more, see:

3.2. Gender Biases

#gender #gender_equality #prejudice #women

Gender Biases
Lower is better
4
Pos.2022
%4
1Sweden31.830
2New Zealand34.431
3Australia37.031
4Germany40.231
5Canada41.131
6Norway42.132
7Andorra43.131
8Netherlands44.230
9USA50.731
10Finland52.532
11Spain53.530
12Switzerland56.932
The Americas Avg82.90
World Avg83.93
q=88.
Regarding the rate of gender bias (from 7 indicators), Canada is 5th-best in the world.

The Gender Social Norms Index (GSNI) looks at gender biases across seven criteria; the % given here is for the total people who are biased across any of those criteria. By subtracting the value from 100%, you can see that those who do well on this index, you are seeing a count of those who do not appear to be biased against women in any of the criteria, and so, doing well on this index is a very positive sign for any country.

The data was included in UN (2022) with full results in Annex table AS6.7.1; their data stems for ranges between 2005 and 2022, depending on the country in question.

3.3. Year Women Can Vote

#christianity #gender_equality #human_rights #politics #women

Year Women Can Vote
Lower is better
Pos.0
Year
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
17=Luxembourg1919
17=Czechia1919
17=Poland1919
20Canada1920
21=USA1920
21=Albania1920
23Lithuania1921
24=Sweden1921
The Americas Avg1947
World Avg1930
q=189.
In terms of the year from which women could participate in democracy, Canada is 20th in the world.

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.

For more, see:

4. Prejudice

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
Lower is better
6
Pos.2014
%6
1Laos0
2Philippines3
3Sweden4
...
9Tanzania12
10=Thailand13
10=Czechia13
12Canada14
13=New Zealand14
13=Australia14
15Norway15
16=Ghana15
The Americas Avg29.7
World Avg36.8
q=101.
(amongst the best in The Americas)Regarding its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice, Canada is positioned 13rd-best in the world.

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 Jews33,34,35,36. 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 East37, which are undergoing their own Dark Age. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Indonesia, Pakistan and Turkey see the most oppressive and violent actions towards Jews38,39. Jews in Muslim countries face a host of restrictions and "ceaseless humiliation and regular pogroms"40. 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 males41.

For more, see:

4.2. LGBT Equality

#equality #homosexuality #human_rights #ICCPR #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)13

LGBT Equality
Higher is better
8
Pos.2017
Score8
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
...
17=Andorra63
17=New Zealand63
17=Portugal63
20Canada62
21Colombia58
22Finland57
23Austria56
24Ireland53
The Americas Avg26.1
World Avg12.6
q=196.
When it comes to LGBT equality, Canada comes 20th in the world.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence42. 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 laws43. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries42. 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.

For more, see:

4.3. Freedom of Thought

#europe #freedom_of_belief #freethought #human_rights #netherlands #religion #religious_tolerance #secularism #the_enlightenment

Freedom of Thought
Lower is better
12
Pos.202112
1=Belgium1.0
1=Netherlands1.0
1=Taiwan1.0
...
84Argentina2.8
85=Slovakia2.8
85=Venezuela2.8
85=Canada2.8
88Switzerland3.0
89=Belize3.0
89=Lesotho3.0
89=Laos3.0
The Americas Avg2.7
World Avg3.0
q=196.
Canada ranks 65th in the world in terms of freethought.

Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Belief are upheld in Article 18 the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights44. It affirms that it is a basic human right that all people are free to change their beliefs and religion as they wish45. No countries voted against this (although eight abstained). This right was first recognized clearly in the policies of religious toleration of the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe in the post-enlightenment era46 of the 19th century. In democratic countries, freedom of belief and religion is now taken for granted47. In 2016 a study found that over 180 countries in the world had come to guarantee freedom of religion and belief48. The best countries at doing so are Taiwan, Belgium and The Netherlands12,49 and the worst: Afghanistan, N. Korea, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia12,50.

Long-term studies have shown that religious violence and persecution both decrease in cultures where religious freedom is guaranteed51. Despite this, there still are many who are strongly against freedom of belief45, including entire cultures and many individual communities of religious believers. Their alternative is that you are not free to believe what you want and they often state that you cannot change religion without being punished (often including the death penalty): this is bemoaned as one of the most dangerous elements of religion52 and "the denial of religious freedoms is inevitably intertwined with the denial of other freedoms"53 and the solution is, everywhere, to allow religious freedom and the freedom of belief.

For more, see: