Effective security measures and human rights are compatible

November 20, 2015 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission issues the following statement:

“The events in Paris and other recent tragedies are unspeakable. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. Canada must work with its partners to ensure that those responsible for creating so much misery are held accountable. The security of all citizens should be of paramount concern to all governments.

“As Canadians, we have an obligation to do our part to help people who are genuinely in need of protection.

“Millions of innocent people are suffering tremendously in many countries in the Middle East. They are desperate for help from the international community. They want to live in a society where human rights are respected and where violence is not accepted. They long for safety, stability and the ability to make for themselves the lives they are able and wish to have.

“The Canadian Human Rights Commission believes that effective security measures and respect for human rights are perfectly compatible. We should be resolute in our efforts and shared goal to eradicate terrorism and we should be equally resolute in our respect for all human rights, now more than ever. We have to hold the terrorists responsible for their actions and not the ethnic and religious groups to which they are perceived to belong.

“I am very troubled to hear of reports of Muslims being targeted this week in different parts of Canada. We have also heard of great acts of kindness. The people of Peterborough, Ontario joined together to fight against hate after a local mosque was set on fire and raised more than enough money for repairs. Let’s follow their lead. Canadians are known for their generosity of heart, for their inclusiveness and empathy. We should never abandon those qualities which define us throughout the world.”

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