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Needs of Marginalized Groups Should Inform Government Response

Canada’s western province of British Columbia is once again reeling from devastation linked to climate change. Following this summer’s deadly heat and rampant wildfires, record rainfall this month has triggered massive flooding, displacing more than…
A woman and children in boat leaving behind car with floodwaters up to the roof in the background.
Report
Summary As the harmful effects of immigration detention become more widely known and the appropriateness of detaining migrants is increasingly questioned, governments are looking at alternatives to detention as more humane and rights-respecting…
News

National Campaign Urges Provinces to Cancel Contracts Enabling Abuses

(Ottawa) – Provincial governments should sever their contracts to hold immigration detainees in provincial jails, where many experience abusive conditions, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today in opening a joint national campaign, #…
Red and black illustration of people in detention
News

Failure to Protect Older People, People with Disabilities in British Columbia

(Ottawa) – Inadequate government support compounded risks for people with disabilities and older people during the recent extreme and foreseeable heatwave that killed hundreds of people in the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC), Human Rights…
A woman sits to take a rest as heat wave hits Western Canada on June 30, 2021 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. © 2021 Mert Alper Dervis/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
News

One of Many Countries Waking Up to the Dangers of Chlorpyrifos

Last week, the Canadian government quietly released a three-year plan to phase out use of the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos. As Human Rights Watch has reported, the health risks associated with exposure to chlorpyrifos are well-documented. These…
Works plant strawberries farming quebec
News

Conditions in Quebec Detention Facility Even More Dire Because of Covid-19

Desperate immigration detainees have undergone three separate hunger strikes in a Montreal-area detention facility since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to protest what they feel are life-threatening conditions. Last month, at least five detainees…
Entrance to the Canadian Border Security Agency's (CBSA) Laval Immigration Holding Centre in Quebec, Canada, showing a the entrance sign with the Canadian flag and the detention center in the background..
News

Neskantaga First Nation

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, I write to you today to express Human Rights Watch’s deep concern that Neskantaga First Nation is once more in a state of emergency due to its inadequate water infrastructure. Human Rights Watch conducted research in…
Roxanne Moonias, mother to an infant with a chronic illness, demonstrates one of the steps she takes to ensure her baby is not exposed to contaminants in the water.
Report
Summary Joseph Koostachin, 58, remembers when he and his wife Helen, 56, went out on the land to hunt and berry pick with their young children. In the summer, the forests and meadows were lush and the water in the rivers plentiful. The winters were…
News

Government Response Inadequate as Emissions Rise

Climate change is taking a growing toll on First Nations in Canada, depleting food sources and affecting health. Canada is contributing to the climate crisis, which acutely affects Indigenous peoples who live off the land. Canada should…
A man stands in a snowy landscape
News

Mercury Contamination Sickens, Kills Indigenous Community Members

June 27 marks three years since federal and provincial authorities in Ontario, Canada, promised to clean up decades-old mercury contamination. Affected Indigenous residents are still waiting. In the 1960s and early 1970s, a chemical plant dumped…
Sign entering Grassy Narrows First Nation, in northwestern Ontario, Canada.
News

Challenges Include Barriers to Healthcare, Adequate Housing and Resources

Across Canada, public health officials are expressing cautious optimism that efforts to contain Covid-19 are proving effective . But Canadians should recognize Indigenous communities are still at risk. Canada’s record in protecting the rights of…
Roxanne Moonias, mother to an infant with a chronic illness, demonstrates one of the steps she takes to ensure her baby is not exposed to contaminants in the water.
News

Some Released, Remainder Face Serious Risks from COVID-19

On April 1, Canadian authorities released several detainees from the Laval Immigration Holding Centre in Quebec. Some had gone on hunger strike to protest the lack of protection from COVID-19 in detention facilities. “We felt abandoned,” one man…
People wait in a temporary detention center in Blackpool, Quebec, August 5, 2017.
News
  What does the COVID-19 pandemic mean for the hundreds of immigration detainees across Canada? Fear. “Everyone is just scared,” a man in his 30s, detained in the Toronto Immigration Holding Centre, told Human Rights Watch. “People are…
People wait in a temporary detention center in Blackpool, Quebec, August 5, 2017.