Understanding your Human Rights in Canada.

In the light of the current controversy involving Sondos Alqattan, a social media blogger, makeup artist with over 2million followers, regarding her disagreement in the recent law in Kuwait allowing domestic helpers to have a weekly day off and allowing them to keep their passport. As a result, concerns arises regarding modern day slavery around the globe. According to antislavery.org, "today slavery is less about people literally owning other people – although that still exists – but more about being exploited and completely controlled by someone else, without being able to leave." They said that Someone is in slavery if they are:

  • forced to work – through coercion, or mental or physical threat.
  • owned or controlled by an ’employer’, through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse.
  • dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as ‘property’.
  • physically constrained or have restrictions placed on their freedom of movement.

According to antislavery.org, There are estimated 40.3 million people in modern slavery around the world.

  • 10 million children.
  • 24.9 million people in forced labour
  • 15.4 million people in forced marriage
  • 4.8 million people in forced sexual exploitation

Canada is one of the countries in the world that have a well enforced laws protecting human rights and did formally enact laws that aimed to stop any businesses and Canada government from sourcing of goods and services produced by force labour.

Below are except from the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

In Canada, human rights are protected by federal, provincial and territorial laws. Canada’s human rights laws stem from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1948, John Humphrey, a Canadian lawyer and scholar, played a significant role in writing the Declaration. When it was complete, the Declaration provided a list of 30 articles outlining everyone's universal human rights. The first two articles are about equality and freedom from discrimination, the foundation of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

  • The Canadian Human Rights Act of 1977 protects people in Canada from discrimination when they are employed by or receive services from the federal government, First Nations governments or private companies that are regulated by the federal government such as banks, trucking companies, broadcasters and telecommunications companies. People can turn to the Canadian Human Rights Act to protect themselves against harassment or discrimination when based on one or more grounds of discrimination such as race, age and sexual orientation.
  • The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms of 1982 is part of Canada’s Constitution. The Charter protects every Canadian’s right to be treated equally under the law. The Charter guarantees broad equality rights and other fundamental rights such as the freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion. It only applies to governments, and not to private individuals, businesses or other organizations. It also protects the rights of all Canadians from infringements by laws, policies or actions of governments, including authorities such as the police.

Reference: Human Rights in Canada | Canadian Human Rights Commission