FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 16 2012 – WALKING THE TALK ON HUMAN RIGHTS – TAKE TWO & TAKING ACTION
The importance of taking action on violations of human rights & the environment
OTTAWA – Peter Julian MP (Burnaby-New Westminster) and National Caucus Chair and Official Opposition Finance Critic for the Federal NDP is hosting the second annual Walking the Talk on Human Rights Abroad conference in Center Block, Parliament.
“This is an important opportunity to have a renewed discussion about the type of legislation that will make a real positive impact on Canada’s international reputation, particularly in the wake of the defeat of Bill C-300 last year. I am happy to host this second conference, work with human right activists and help offer an opportunity for them to meet with interested members of parliament on key issues” said Julian.
This international conference will provide an update on existing jurisprudence and examine how Julian’s private members Bill C-323 would provide a legal recourse that is increasingly relevant to international human rights issues today.
Bill C-323 “An n Act to amend the Federal Courts Act (international promotion and protection of human rights)” would create a new civil cause of action allowing Canadian Federal Courts to hear and decide claims for violations of international law that occur outside Canada.
Over 100 activists are expected to attend the conference which features a number of presentations dealing with different issues affecting human rights and the environment.
“The defeat of Bill C-300 has not reduced the importance of issues of human rights violations abroad by Canadian companies” said Julian. “There is a very real sense that people are ready to get to work to push for structural changes that will improve Canada’s reputation abroad.”
Though many Canadian companies operate abroad in a socially responsible way a number of recent cases have had a negative impact on Canada’s reputation. These cases of human rights violations tied to the operations of these companies abroad are on this year’s conference agenda.
“Human rights activists in Canada are reengaging now. Though it may take a number of years before we can put in place the protections that so many around the world are seeking, there is no doubt that there is a real appetite for Canada to walk the talk abroad”, said Julian. “We cannot have Canadians companies observe fundamental laws in Canada and break the law when they go abroad. Most companies understand this, some do not. That is why we must continue our efforts to provide a Canadian window for victims to seek justice”, said Julian.
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*For more information on Bill C-323, Conference, please visit: http://peterjulian.ndp.ca/walking-the-talk-human-rights-abroad-joindre-le-geste-a-la-parole-les-droits-de-la-personne