July E-News - How much do you know about the arms trade?

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A statue given to the United Nations in New York by the government of Luxembourg. Photo cc-by Jim Capaldi

How much do you know about the arms trade?

Canada’s arms industry is opaque, as are the criteria for approving arms sales. Canada has stated it will at last join the Arms Trade Treaty, which is very encouraging. But did you know that more than half of Canada’s arms exports go to the US, and these are exempt from Canadian government controls and reporting? This is a major loophole! The Arms Trade Treaty is meant to apply to all countries yet Canada appears ready to ignore this fact.

There are also instances, like arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Israel, where Canadian arms may be used in direct violation of international law and of the Arms Trade Treaty. We are deeply concerned about this issue and know that our government can and must do better. Find out more in our open letter: https://quakerservice.ca/ArmsTradeTreaty

New fact sheets explain Indigenous rights issues

We’re pleased to launch a new series of fact sheets developed with our partners in the Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples! The three fact sheets are brief but full of important and timely information.

Myths and Misrepresentations: The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples & Bill C-262 explores key myths circulating, such as that the UN Declaration creates special rights for Indigenous Peoples that other people don’t have, and that Bill C-262 (to make Canada’s laws consistent with the UN Declaration) would create chaos. Interpreting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples highlights and corrects mistakes we see all the time that lead to misinterpretations of the Declaration. Finally, Free, Prior and Informed Consent answers common questions you might have, like, “What is free, prior and informed consent? Where does it come from? When does it apply? Who has the right to grant or withhold it? Is it the same thing as a veto?” https://quakerservice.ca/factsheets

Separating children from parents

Many of us have seen chilling images from the US of refugee children who are terrified and extremely distressed after being forcefully separated from their parents. A new blog post by CFSC notes that this highlights the importance of Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Every child has a right not to be separated from parents without consent, unless it is in the best interests of the child, and then as a last resort and for the shortest time possible. However in Canada children are routinely separated from their parents against their best interests. Find out more at: https://quakerservice.ca/separatingchildrenfromparents

Joint statement from the UN in Geneva

We were once again present as the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples met at the United Nations in Geneva. This year we join with many partners on a shared statement and recommendations on free, prior, and informed consent. The joint statement clarifies attempts to weaken what consent means and how governments are to engage with Indigenous peoples. https://quakerservice.ca/EMRIP2018

Lynn Salvo (in the bike t-shirt) with Winnipeg Friends

Cross-Canada bike ride for peace continues

Lynn Salvo continues her attempt to set the record for oldest female to cycle across Canada. When she made it to Calgary, CBC Alberta interviewed Lynn about her ride (starting at minute 25 of the show): http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1268951619511

In Winnipeg Lynn attended Quaker Meeting for Worship and spoke about her ride for peace. Here is Lynn’s blog post on meeting Winnipeg Friends and visiting the Human Rights Museum: https://lifeislikeabike.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/making-peace/ You can track Lynn’s latest progress on that same blog.

The Windsor Star also wrote an article on Lynn's cross-Canada trek: https://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/theres-just-no-stopping-68-year-old-on-cross-canada-cycling-trek/wcm/11eef332-81ad-4e9b-b325-2dbcea484fb9

Lynn is raising funds to support CFSC and our sister Quaker service agency AFSC. If you’d like to donate in support of her ride please visit: https://quakerservice.ca/support

Quaker study tour in Europe announced

The Quaker Council for European Affairs is organising a Study Tour from the 26th to 31st of March, 2019 – the same week as the likely “Brexit Day,” which will make it a particularly interesting and powerful moment for this tour. What does Brexit mean for the UK, the rest of Europe and the world? How do European Union institutions work and where are they headed? Find out more and sign up via http://www.qcea.org/home/events/study-tours/

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