rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

B.C. needs a Human Rights Commission -- now

Photo: andres musta/flickr

Human rights are everyone's business. The social climate we live in affects us all. When people are subjected to prejudice and discrimination because they are Aboriginal or because of their gender or because of their sexual orientation or for some other reason, it creates a society that is more ugly, less safe and less human for all of us.

That is why we need a Human Rights Commission in B.C. Otherwise, prejudice and injustice fester, people's lives are harmed and destructive crises erupt.

A Human Rights Commission would help us work together to address issues such as violence against Aboriginal girls and women; prevalence of sexually degrading and threatening messages on social media that targets female school students; barriers that prevent people with disabilities from obtaining employment; the urgent need for schools to accept and support trans-gender students; the appalling absence of mental health services, particularly for children and particularly for people living in rural areas.

Our failure to address these and other human rights issues brings not only a high human cost, but also huge economic costs that come with a dysfunctional society, such as costs for emergency and chronic health services; policing, court and prison costs; the economic benefits that are lost when children face unjust disadvantages and are denied an equal chance to thrive and contribute to society.

That is why we need a Human Rights Commission in B.C. Now.

Kathleen Ruff is a former director of the BC Human Rights Commission, was director of the Court Challenges Program, is Senior Human Rights Adviser to the Rideau Institute, and is the founder and director of www.rightoncanada.ca. She is a research associate with the CCPA.

This blog post is part of a series on human rights, based on the new report Strengthening Human Rights: Why British Columbia Needs a Human Rights Commission. Find other blogs in the series here.

Photo: andres musta/flickr

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.