Statement on International Human Rights Day

December 10, 2017 | Statement

Vancouver - The Following is a statement from Irene Lanzinger, president of the BC Federation of Labour, on the UN International Human Rights Day:

“The BC Federation of Labour is proud to celebrate International Human Rights Day. We commend the NDP government in BC on committing to reinstate the BC Human Rights Commission, after fifteen years of not having one in the province. We are committed to working with the Commission on the many human rights issues facing British Columbians.

This year there are many issues happening both locally and globally that the Federation would like to highlight. The persecution and torture of LGBTQ2* people have been in the headlines in recent months. The imprisonment of Dr. Saibaba, an Indigenous rights Activist in India who is living with a physical disability, has gained attention globally. The plight of stateless Muslim minorities in Bangladesh, Rohingya, has been on Human Rights Watch’s radar for many months now.

Rainbow Refugee - Vancouver
Rainbow Refugee is a Vancouver based community group that supports people seeking refugee protection in Canada because of persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression (SOGIE) or HIV status. They also do an incredible amount of advocacy work on issues impacting refugees in Canada. Find more info about Rainbow Refugee here:

Free Saibaba – India
Dr. Saibaba is an indigenous rights activist who is currently imprisoned for being a leading voice defending the rights of adivasis (tribals), dalits (formerly called untouchables), and religious minorities in India. He is a person living with a physical disability and his living conditions in prison are of international concern. Sign the petition here:

Rohingya – Bangladesh
The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim minority in Myanmar's Rakhine State, thought to number about 1 million people. Myanmar regards them as illegal immigrants, a view rooted in their heritage in East Bengal, now called Bangladesh. According to Human Rights Watch, laws discriminate against the Rohingya, infringing on their freedom of movement, education and employment. They are denied land and property rights and ownership, and the land on which they live can be taken away at any given time. Learn more here:

We encourage British Columbians to take time today to learn about these, or other issues that mean something to you, and take action, whether it be signing a petition, talking to neighbors and friends, or taking to the streets to show support for a cause. Together we can make our province, our country, and our world a much more just place to live."