Noon Lecture: "Canada and the International Protection of Human Rights: Still a Leader?" - SOLD OUT

Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 12:30 PM
CIGI, 57 Erb Street West, Waterloo, Canada
Dec 10
At one time Canada was regarded as an “honest broker” committed to human rights and mediating squabbles between other countries. Many immigrants chose this vast land as a favoured destination because of Canada's commitment to human rights. But, what now? Today, Canada stalls efforts to get a child soldier out of Guantanamo Bay. Efforts to ensure Canadian troops are not complicit in torture in Afghanistan are met with secrecy and obstruction. Canada opposes a UN initiative on Indigenous rights. Canadian residents are incarcerated without charge or any chance of seeing “evidence” concerning their behaviour. And because of Canadian complicity, a number of Canadian citizens have been unjustly imprisoned in such countries as Syria, Egypt and Sudan. Hence, when it comes to human rights, is Canada still a leader? On the 61st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights he will reflect upon the state of Canada’s global human rights leadership. This event is co-sponsored by CIGI and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. About the speaker: Alex Neve has been Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada since January 2000. He has been a member of Amnesty for over twenty years, having joined when he was a student at Dalhousie University. He has worked for the organization nationally and internationally in a number of different roles, including research missions to Chad, Tanzania, Guinea, Mexico, Burundi, Colombia, Honduras, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana. He has appeared before various UN human rights bodies, Canadian parliamentary committees and has represented Amnesty International at numerous international meetings. He speaks and writes regularly in the national media on a range of human rights topics. Alex is a lawyer, with a Master’s Degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex in the United Kingdom, and undergraduate commerce and law degrees from Dalhousie. He has practiced law in Toronto, privately and in a community legal aid clinic, primarily in the areas of refugee and immigration law. He has taught international human rights and refugee law at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto and has been affiliated with the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University. Prior to taking up his current position he served as a Member of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board. In 2007 Alex was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.