Canada is actively engaged in promoting human rights in the Americas and the Caribbean and supporting security and stability for people in the region.
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today concluded her participation in the 47th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) and announced initiatives totalling more than $6.3 million to be implemented by the OAS. These initiatives will focus on human rights and foster security in communities in the region.
At the general assembly, the Minister reiterated Canada’s unequivocal calls for the Government of Venezuela to restore the rule of law and respect the Venezuelan people’s democratic and human rights.
The Minister met with several of her counterparts from OAS member states to discuss human rights, peace and security priorities in the Americas and the Caribbean.
“Cooperation through this multilateral organization has been a significant part of the region’s progress, and ultimately, of its success. Canada is committed to the OAS and to building a positive, prosperous and peaceful future for all people in the hemisphere.”
– Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs
“Human rights belong to everyone—regardless of gender. This is why Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy is focusing on supporting efforts that will improve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls everywhere.”
– Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie
- Since becoming a full member of the OAS in 1990 after 28 years as an observer, Canada has contributed to some of the organization’s most important collective achievements, such as the establishment of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, the elaboration of the Declaration on Security in the Americas and the adoption of the Social Charter of the Americas.
- The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is an independent organ of the OAS with a mandate to promote human rights and protect everyone on the continent. The IACHR monitors the human rights situation in all 35 OAS member states and is uniquely placed to implement initiatives as the only regional organization that receives, processes, and produces findings and recommendations on human rights complaints presented by individuals or groups in the region.
- On August 26, 2016, the Government of Canada announced the launch of Global Affairs Canada’s new Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs). For the 2016 to 2019 period, the program has a budget of $450 million. Through PSOPs, Canada is working with allies and partners to stop violent conflicts, provide security and create space for dialogue and conflict resolution. Since its inception, PSOPs has started projects in the Americas worth more than $28 million.
- In 2016 to 2017, the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program dedicated $13.9 million to projects in the Americas that tackled issues related to illicit drugs, corruption, human trafficking, migrant smuggling, crime prevention (including cybersecurity), security sector reform and the proceeds of crime (including money laundering).