Holocaust Memorial Berlin

Undoing Human Wrongs

Set-up on Saturday, June 2, 2007, this site has been established to address human rights issues. I have always been disturbed, concerned, and saddened by humanity's preoccupation with fearing difference. Ethnic conflict, criminalizing sexuality, exclusionary processes, political and religious frameworks guaranteeing division; these are ever-present topics taking place in all parts of the world. On the other hand I have always been inspired by communities and states that have moved forward in a quest to guarantee universal rights for all, creating laws which include rather than exclude certain groups. I have also been inspired by individuals who challenge others to think about prejudice, racism- discrimination at all levels. My challenge to friends, family, and the bloggers reading this is to become aware of new places with human rights abuses, learn about inspirational people, send stories, and make people aware. You can send messages out through your own sites, in emails to friends, or to the comments section of my blog. If you have links, videos, literature, etc, that you would like added send me a note (email in my full profile below). Terry

Monday, October 31, 2011

MOVING Video for Global LGBT Equality: Going All Out

All Out

For those of you who are in the "human rights for all" mindset, check out ALL OUT. This is a great site where opinions can be voiced, petitions can be signed, and people can become proactive in the fight against discrimination. I've also added a more recent posting with a video about the organization...




Monday, June 20, 2011

Failed or Failing States

In a recent article of Foreign Policy Magazine, a series of photos were taken with captions which listed a number of countries (63 I believe) that are on the verge of, or on the road to failing. What does this mean exactly? Much of what is listed deals with issues of poverty related to war, human rights, corruption, distribution of wealth, and health and education.

These states that are failing aren't doing so due only to internal problems, but also because of the external factors which are influencing their growth and development. The developed world is part of the problem: we use resources, manipulate markets, ignore policies, occupy territories, restructure social programs, and cast a shadow of blame when countries cannot get out of the debt loads they carry.

As sad as some of the stories are, there are also some success stories interwoven. It is a fascinating look at our world.


UN Resolution Passes


Monday, May 23, 2011

The Right Way to Do Things

We are in a very interesting yet disturbing period in history. Life is leaning to the right, pivoting on the side of economic growth, religious fundamentalism, and conservative social policy. Globally, we are more concerned with trade deficits than with human development; more in touch with an irrational interest in the evils of those people who fall outside of the norms, than in the creation of human connection and the acceptance of diversity.

Globally, there is much to be concerned about. Certain African nations are becoming more concerned with the targeting of sexual minorities, women, and children, in an effort to superstitiously rid themselves of poverty, corruption, disease, and famine. Education, healthcare and science have taken a back seat to witchcraft and scapegoating.

Europe is becoming increasingly Xenophobic, paying lip service to a more unified community, while reducing immigration and excluding those who are undesirable; tougher policies are ensuring that the European Community is not at risk of progressive multiculturalism.

In our own backyard, a new era of conservatism is upon us. Canada has never really known (from what I know) a government so right on the scale that we can actually hear our voices being taken away from us. This country has long shown itself to be a progressive entity even in times of hardline world trends. But alas, we have succumbed to the pressures of a new world order, forged years ago by G. Bush as a way to make certain that fear and paranoia prevail.

Stephen Harper will create a new Canada, made up of a Science Minister who does not believe in evolution, a Health Minister who will privatize healthcare and profit from the illness of others, and an Education Minister who will opt to put a balanced budget ahead of literacy and an enlightened future generation. Mr Harper has already done away with development funding , and is monitoring our speech online, and although won't admit it, is planning to deny women sexual/reproductive rights, reserve marriage for "traditional" partnerships, and put more and more funding into Draconian law enforcement measures and bigger prisons.

We are in a changing world, one which has forgotten the mistakes of the past, and is downplaying our mutual responsibilities to one another...humans have the capacity for great developments and progress, but as history shows, we also have the capacity for great destruction. Although I would like to have faith in the former, I realistically predict the latter.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Welcome to the Dark Ages Uganda!!!

As ridiculous as it seems, some countries are regressing. Rest In Peace Mr. David Kato, may your death be a catalyst for change.

Please cut and past the link, it speaks for itself:


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

UN Restores Sexual Orientation Reference To Violence Measure

The United States has successfully persuaded the United Nations to include "sexual orientation" as a category of vulnerable populations whose targeted killings the world body condemns.

Controversy broke out after African and Arab states successfully stripped the resolution of a reference to killings for reasons of "sexual orientation," which was included along with killings for racial, national, ethnic, religious, or linguistic reasons, and killings of refugees, indigenous people, and other groups.

It is reassuring to see the UN stepping-up and acknowledging the rights of minority groups, no matter how controversial the subject matter. There has been a polarization in the past few years when it comes to "sexual orientation" rights. While some countries, such as those in Latin America are passing same sex marriage and civil unions, other countries are condemning their gay citizens through lengthy prison sentences and execution.

Each of us is born with a unique set of identities: ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc., and as Hilary Clinton sums it up, "no one should be killed for who they are."

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sri Lankan Tamils

A boatload of around 490 Tamils arrived in Vancouver 2 weeks ago. Since that time, I've been reading editorials and "closed-minded" opinions about how "they" should be sent back. I'm really at a loss as to why so many people are against this group.

Is it because they are "terrorists"? I've seen that term overused. Lest we forget where that fear mongering attitude came from...I'll give you a hint, the president before Obama. Tamils do not equal Tamil Tigers. This brings back memories of post-911 which saw a backlash against all Arabs because of a similar call (and even Sikhs because some less educated segments of society didn't know the difference).

Is it because of the money that it will cost tax payers? That is ridiculous. We seem to have no problem with our government spending 100s of millions of dollars to buy new weapons of war, but when it comes to humanitarian spending, we forget that there are individuals involved.

Is it because we in Canada are scared of losing our "culture"? Well our culture has evolved continuously since the French and English decided to exploit local populations so that they could get the upper hand on the beaver trade. Canada has since that time, became a country of immigrants, refugees; people looking for a better life. Canada has redefined itself on a number of occasions and we seem to forget that.

The redefining I see at the moment is a Canada I do not want to live in. It is a place of intolerance, fear, petty worry over the economic bottom-line, no concern about others; a country being changed not by immigrants, but by apathy and complacency.

I spent 1.5 years in Sri Lanka during the war. Try putting yourself in the shoes of a Tamil who is constantly being targeted by the government because of your ethnicity. Try being a post-war Tamil who is still being targeted by that same government who has no concern for individual rights, who sees all Tamils as terrorists, and continues to detain people without due process. Lock them away, and throw away the key...wouldn't you be looking for a better life as well?

A request I have, is that before we begin labelling and judging people we know nothing about, we each need to make the effort to learn more, get informed, be open to another side. Statements such as "so called human rights abuses", or "these terrorists", do not bode well for a society that has been progressive and a world leader on issues related to humanitarianism. It makes me feel as though Canada has lost its way and would rather have a balanced budget than to remember its compassion.

Nigeria's Child Witches

Just when I thought there couldn't possibly be any more stories which define humans as "ludicrously-regressive", this article about Nigeria's witch hunt has appeared. Children are being targetted as witches, as evildoers, as scapegoats in order to advance the power of religion and superstition.

"The devil's children are "identified" by powerful religious leaders at extremist churches where Christianity and traditional beliefs have combined to produce a deep-rooted belief in, and fear of, witchcraft.The priests spread the message that child-witches bring destruction, disease and death to their families. And they say that, once possessed, children can cast spells and contaminate others. The religious leaders offer help to the families whose children are named as witches, but at a price. The churches run exorcism, or "deliverance", evenings where the pastors attempt to drive out the evil spirits. Only they have the power to cleanse the child of evil spirits, they say. The exorcism costs the families up to a year's income."


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pride in Vancouver

In only a few days Vancouver Pride Week begins. Many people have been asking why we still need Pride, the parade, etc, when the GLBT community has "equality" in Canada (including marriage). With the approach of the celebration, I challenge people to forget about petty politics, stop complaining about liquor prices, go beyond the parties and the glamour, and reflect and somehow get involved in "the meaning of Pride". Attend a social justice event, find a queer arts space, volunteer for something that you feel passionate about, and take a stand against homophobia.

Just because elements of "equality" are written into law does not mean that suddenly the communities across this country accept them, or respect the people for whom these legal entities are created. Some Canadians do not realize that this is not a completely peaceful, live-and-let-live country where everyone accepts and respects eachother regardless of the identities we each have (either visible or invisible). This is apparent from the recent increase in gay bashings in the westend, and Vancouver's recent distinction as one of the top cities in Canada for hate-crimes (based on religion, culture, race, and sexual orientation).

Relatively speaking, Canada may be progressively ahead of other countries, both in legal and societal terms, but we have to stop believing that the world of Canada is becoming more progressive, that social divides do not exist, and that our multicultural framework is alive and well. By sitting back and thinking things are and will always be good is just plain foolish.

The present minority conservative government keeps showing its true colours when it cuts funding to human rights groups (or any group that disagrees with its policies), when it takes the same-sex piece our of the immigration guide, and when it works behind the scenes guaranteeing privilege to certain organizations which have religious or "family values" mandates. Stand up, show the government that the GLBT community is not just a passing phase, show your community that your serious about your rights, and show those who try to make you feel less of yourself through their verbal or physical attacks that you are stronger than them...Take Pride!