Informed Digest: Living & Poverty Wages, Torture Crisis, Peacekeeping…

Keeping up & in the know…

Behind the Numbers: A Paycheque Is Not a Lifestyle Choice

Ontario's Gender Pay Gap, via the CCPA

“Hoping that another economic depression lowers men’s wages enough to close the gap doesn’t seem like a great idea. Pro-active monitoring and enforcement mechanisms are essential to ensuring that economic growth benefits women and men equally. Without that intervention, equality starts to look more like a race to the bottom.”

-Kate McInturff

Clean Clothes Campaign: Stitched Up—Poverty Wages for Garment Workers in Eastern Europe & Turkey

“While many people are aware of the terrible working conditions and poverty wages garment workers in Asia receive, a new report highlights that poverty wages and shocking working conditions are endemic in the global garment industry.

Far from being a problem confined to garment workers in Asia, Stitched Up has found that the idea that ‘Made in Europe’ means better conditions for workers is a myth.

[…]

It is important that we put an end to the myths that paying more for clothes or sourcing from Europe guarantees decent working conditions.”

Globe & Mail: When Canada Used Hunger to Clear the West

“A key aspect of preparing the land was the subjugation and forced removal of indigenous communities from their traditional territories, essentially clearing the plains of aboriginal people to make way for railway construction and settlement. Despite guarantees of food aid in times of famine in Treaty No. 6, Canadian officials used food, or rather denied food, as a means to ethnically cleanse a vast region from Regina to the Alberta border as the Canadian Pacific Railway took shape.

For years, government officials withheld food from aboriginal people until they moved to their appointed reserves, forcing them to trade freedom for rations. Once on reserves, food placed in ration houses was withheld for so long that much of it rotted while the people it was intended to feed fell into a decades-long cycle of malnutrition, suppressed immunity, and sickness from tuberculosis and other diseases.

[…]

Within a generation, aboriginal bison hunters went from being the ‘tallest in the world,’ due to the quality of their nutrition, to a population so sick, they were believed to be racially more susceptible to disease. With this belief that aboriginal people were inherently unwell, their marginalization from mainstream Canada was, in a sense, complete.”

-James Daschuk

Amnesty International Canada: Global Torture Crisis Exposed by New Worldwide Campaign

“Since 1984, 155 states have ratified the UN Convention Against Torture, 142 of which are researched by Amnesty International. Amnesty International observed at least 79 of these still torturing in 2014—more than half the states party to the Convention that the organization reports on. A further 40 UN Member States haven’t adopted the Convention, although the global legal ban on torture binds them to.

Amnesty International has reported on torture and other forms of ill-treatment in at least 141 countries from every region of the world over the past five years—virtually every country on which it works. The secretive nature of torture means the true number of countries that torture is likely to be higher still.”

Ceasefire: Peacekeeping Is Our Responsibility, Says Dallaire

“In May, Senator Dallaire announced he was leaving the Red Chamber to focus on his humanitarian activities.

In his last remarks to the Senate, Dallaire revealed his concern over the similarities between the Rwanda genocide and the war in the Central African Republic (CAR).

He chided the government for abandoning international peacekeeping missions, for hiding behind lofty rhetoric, and for its failure to demonstrate a ‘principled foreign policy’ for countries in crisis like CAR.

[…]

Canadians continue to identify themselves as peacekeepers. But, sadly, Canada’s present ranking among military contributors to UN peacekeeping operations is 69th.”

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