Statement by Hélène Laverdière, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic and Cheryl Hardcastle, NDP International Human Rights Critic
“December 9th and 10th mark the 70th anniversary of the Genocide Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today the NDP recognizes the crucial role that these documents have played in building support for international human rights, both in Canada and around the world.
These documents rose out of the ashes of World War II in the spirit of ensuring that the world would “never again” know the horrors of the Holocaust.
Despite the prohibitions codified in these documents, genocide, other mass atrocity crimes and human rights abuses continue to jeopardize both peace and justice globally. We remain horrified by the genocide of the Rohingya people and are closely monitoring the ICC’s preliminary investigation into their forced displacement to Bangladesh.
On this day, New Democrats also stand in solidarity with human rights defenders around the world who face daily threats to their safety as a result of their commitment to justice. We call on the Liberal government and the international community to do more to protect the safety and security of these brave individuals, including by continuing to pressure governments to release imprisoned human rights defenders such as Raif Badawi and Loujain Al-Hathloul in Saudi Arabia, and by allocating more funding to programs that aim to support human rights defenders.
We also call on the government to more actively support international justice efforts – including efforts at the International Criminal Court – to fight a prevailing culture of impunity, and to have a foreign policy that is truly based on international human rights, not just when it’s convenient.”