Thursday, October 11, 2012Every four years, each UN Member State stands for a review of its human rights record at a Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Canada is up for its next review in 2013. The process works similar to a peer review. Countries are able to stand up and provide their feedback on each other’s rights records, with input from organizations working within the country. In collaboration with the Centre for Law and Democracy, the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA), Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), and PEN Canada, CJFE has contributed to a submission that summarizes Canada’s record on free expression – one of our fundamental human rights, protected under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Although Canada has generally maintained a strong human rights record, there are some serious weaknesses that need to be considered, specifically in relation to free expression and access to information: • Protecting confidential sources • Mistreatment of journalists • Defamation • The right to information • Whistleblower protection • Access to the internet • Restrictions on freedom of assembly Over the coming months, we will continue to follow all of these issues. So stay tuned to the website as we head towards Canada’s next UPR (April 22 - May 3 2013). We will be looking for your feedback to help contribute to the discussion in the spring.
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