Humanists for Social Justice and Environmental Action supports Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice, Environmental Activism and Planetary Ethics in North America & Globally, with particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights UN treaties and conventions listed above.


Populism is eroding human rights across the world, says Amnesty International | News | DW | 22.02.2018

Populism is eroding human rights across the world, says Amnesty International | News | DW | 22.02.2018
Human rights watchdog Amnesty International published its annual report, warning of increased violations across the globe.
Amnesty International's David Griffiths told DW that they made a conscious choice to release the report in Washington, given "how President (Donald) Trump's hate-filled rhetoric has translated into reality." "There are complex links between human rights abuses and social inequality," Griffiths added. "But one of the ways we see them connected is how many leaders have exploited people's fears about economic fragility in order to promote hatred and fear."
But the United States isn't the only place to witness a dangerous erosion of human rights due to populist leaders. Across the globe, Amnesty said, political leaders have used divisive rhetoric to shore up support for their causes, including in Turkey, Hungary and Myanmar.
The report said that at least 312 human rights activists were killed in 2017 because of their work. Journalists and media workers are increasingly being targeted by state actors, it noted. Griffiths said the number of human rights defenders killed in 2017 marked an "increase on the previous year."
"But it is not just killing; it is also intimidation and smears and harassment, making life very difficult for those who choose to stand up for human rights," he said. "And those threats are coming from lots of different places, whether it is governments or armed groups or companies or others."
The report called on Germany to do more at the international level to defend human rights, especially for the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told DW that the human rights situation is "getting alarmingly worse in many places" across the globe.
"It seems people are forgetting it now, and that's very worrying because then you risk a repeat of many of the awful things that have happened in not-so-distant history," Colville said.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, backed by 48 of the 58 UN member states in 1948, was created in response to the atrocities committed during World War II.
"The anniversary this year is a critical opportunity to try and reclaim those values that are articulated so beautifully in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - the idea of the fundamental dignity and equality of every member of the human family,"


Oppose Ford's Plan to Cut Access to Safe Drinking Water

Oppose Ford's Plan to Cut Access to Safe Drinking Water
The media is reporting that Ford is proposing changes to allow businesses to bypass environmental regulations, including the Ontario Clean Water Act which keeps our drinking water safe.
These rules were brought in after six people died and thousands were poisoned in the Walkerton ecoli outbreak.
Doug Ford is putting people's lives at risk in order to help his big business friends make more money. He's putting our lives and the environment at risk just so businesses can make generate bigger profits. We must not let this happen.
Email Doug Ford, the Minister of the Environment and your Conservative MPP to tell them not to cut safe drinking water protections. 


Ten Good News Stories for Kids in 2018 | Human Rights Watch

Ten Good News Stories for Kids in 2018 | Human Rights Watch:

A couple of years ago, a friend following me on Twitter said he found my feed really depressing. “Doesn’t anything good ever happen for children?” he asked.   Spreading doom and gloom sometimes seems an occupational hazard of human rights work. But I’ve taken my friend’s words to heart and now, as we approach the end of the year, here are 10 good news stories for kids:

1.  A number of armed forces and armed groups released child soldiers from their ranks in 2018, including more than 900 in South Sudan, 833 in Nigeria, and 75 in Myanmar.

2. Twenty-one US states now ban sentences of life without parole for crimes committed by children, up from only five in 2012.

3. The number of children detained in adult prisons in the US has dropped by more than 80 percent in the past 20 years.

4. The number of children and adolescents who are out of school has dropped by 110 million since 2000.

5.In 1979, only one country prohibited all corporal punishment of children: Sweden. Today, 54 do. 6. AIDS-related deaths are expected to decline by 57 percent among children under 14 by 2030.

6. Child marriage is on the decline. In the past decade, rates have dropped by 15 percent globally, and by one-third in South Asia.

7. Rates of female genital mutilation have also fallen dramatically among girls in Africa since 1990. A 2018 fatwa in Somaliland forbids the practice.

8. Eleven countries endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration in 2018, bringing to 82 the number of countries that have pledged to protect students, teachers, and schools during war.

9. The UN reports that military use of schools has dropped by one-third since 2014.

10. Since 2000, the number of children in child labor globally fell by 94 million, a drop of more than one-third.

To be sure, millions of children continue to experience exploitation and abuse on a daily basis. But these successes show progress is possible. As we celebrate them, let’s also renew our commitment to advance the rights of children in 2019.