This is a full weekend conference, at UofT, Ryerson, and other venues. Here are some selected sessions on Human Rights at the downtown UofT campus: SCHEDULE
See the whole schedule: HERE
Building the Movement for Women’s Rights (SUN 9:15 - 10:45AM) Engineering Building Room 103
Panelists: Lysa John, Campaigns Coordinator, Global Campaign Against Poverty; Linda Ross, President/CEO Provincial Advisory Council on Status of Women, Newfoundland; Kate McInturff, Executive Director, Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA); Jessica Yee, Executive Director, Native Youth Sexual Health Network
This panel will explore strategies to build the movement for women’s rights in Canada and link this to global struggles and opportunities to make change. How can we create diverse and inclusive spaces for change, strengthen the leadership role of young women and engage young men?
Creating Health for All - From the Ground Up (SUN 10AM - Noon) SCC room G
Despite Canada's perceived 'universal' health care system, thousands of people residing in Canada are actively excluded from health care access on the basis of 'immigration status'. This interactive participatory workshop facilitated by the local migrant justice group Health For All explores the causes of forced migration and discusses the systemic denial of healthcare access to migrants in Canada. The workshop will highlight how local community based campaigns, such as Access Without Fear, are fighting back to create health for all from the ground up.
Empowering Women Activists in Liberation Movements (SUN 3 - 4PM) VIC 202
Facilitator: Dr. Erin Skinner
This workshop examines how we can help foster the growth of women to become strong and empowered activists. Participants will look at how sexism and sexual violence within and outside of liberation movements dis-empowers women and divides our movements. We will then look at how we can create empowering spaces for women and why this will strengthen the fight for liberation for all.
Education is a right: Fighting Trade Liberalisation and Current Issues in Post Secondary Education (SAT 4:40 - 5:40PM) VIC 200
Sandy Hudson, Chairperson of Canadian Federation of Students –Ontario
The future of post-secondary education will be discussed and the global push for institutional reform that will change the goal of the academy from the pursuit of knowledge to providing human resources to advance the capitalist, global economic system. Such reforms are already being implemented under the moniker of the "Bologna Process" in Europe, and have served to increase tuition fees and erode the democratic structure and academic freedoms of European institutions to student and faculty outcry. Similar reforms are being touted for institutions all over the world, including Canada, and this workshop will highlight for participants the problems with such reforms and what activists across the world are doing to fight them.
Feminism: The Other F Word? (SUN 1 - 2:50PM) SCC Room G
Amethyst Women’s Centre
Facilitated by Dianne Rogers and Jane Wood
As employees of a feminist agency we know that feminism is a concept that has all but disappeared from public dialogue. We have struggled with the understanding that feminism means different things to different people, and therefore, it is often a difficult and murky area from which to offer service to women from diverse backgrounds. As a result, we have embarked on a process of community discussions about feminism, the other “f” word, in an attempt to tease out meanings, discomforts, misunderstandings and relevency in contemporary settings.
Human Rights and Gun Control (SUN 10AM - Noon) VIC 204
Coalition for Gun Control, Montreal and International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) London
Facilitated by Wendy Cukier
World-wide, women represent a very small proportion of gun owners, but are a disproportionate number of gun violence victims. This imbalance has been one of the arguments advanced for positioning the debate on gun control in the context of human rights and equity. While rights for legitimate national security, self-determination, and national sovereignty have been reaffirmed several times, there is no evidence of a general right to unrestricted civilian access to arms under any international human rights instrument. The United Nations has issued a working paper on small arms which reinforces the responsibility of states under international human rights law to address the problems associated with misuse of firearms by civilians generally, as well as specifically from the perspective of the rights of women. It is argued that under international law, states have an obligation to protect their citizens from firearm violence and to regulate firearms appropriately. Participants to the workshop will receive tools to join the global movement to fight armed violence as well as to strengthen national gun laws.
Maternal Mortality and the MDGs: What do human rights have to do with it? (SAT 10AM - Noon) SCC room G
This workshop covers the relationship between a human rights framework and the effectiveness of the Millennium Development Goals, with a particular focus on maternal mortality (MDG 5). A case study of the human rights violations underlying maternal mortality will provide a concrete understanding of the human rights violations that increase the risk of maternal mortality and morbidity. A speaker from Amnesty International will also share A.I. campaigning experiences to end maternal mortality and the role that the international community must now play in this struggle.
Why NATO won't bring peace to Afghanistan (SAT 10AM - Noon) VIC 201
The Canadian Peace Alliance
This session will explore the history and politics of Afghanistan, and cut through the lies about Canada’s role in the war. It will address the crucial questions about the nature of the current Afghan government and the real motives for NATO’s involvement in Central Asia. We will hear from people of Afghan and Pakistani descent who are shut out of the debate about the region’s future. The session will provide an interactive look at the situation in Afghanistan and the implications military spending in Canada.
Women in Politics: A Must Have for Social, Environmental and Economic Justice (SUN 3 - 5PM) VIC 200
Facilitator: Tisha Kalmanovitch
At the end of this highly interactive, mulit-media delivered workshop, participants will have gained insight and understanding about: Why 50/50 gender parity in politics is critical to driving forward social, environmental and economic justice; and why we need to develop an ethical framework by which to guide the kind of policies and practices that will ensure such justice is realized