Sunday, November 08, 2009

What does the Face of Poverty look Like in Kanada

Stolen from some other journalist...cuz... I am to poor to even know on how I really want to respond to this.So are we even? they stolen the land from my people and I stole their article.
Is this why our relatives living on reserves where sent body bags instead of the anti-virus medicine for the H1N1 flu. It sound awfully familiar to the contaminated blankets that were handed out around the same time our land was stolen from us...hmmm...Canada's backsliding on indigenous rights has upset its chance for global leadership on poverty and human rights, says Amnesty International secretary general Irene Khan.

By refusing to sign the UN's declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples and failing to close the poverty gap between aboriginal communities and the rest of Canada, Khan said it will be difficult for the Harper government to gain a moral edge when it hosts the landmark G8 and G20 summits at Huntsville next year.

"Pulling back from the declaration sends the wrong message domestically and internationally," she said. "It makes it harder for Canada to press for change elsewhere in the world."

Although Canada is one of the wealthiest countries at the international table, living conditions for aboriginal people are as bad as those of some developing countries, a recent Amnesty report charged.

But Khan, in Toronto to promote her book The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights, stressed strategies that focus solely on enrichment rather than empowerment of the poor are doomed to fail.

The dire situation of Canada's indigenous people, she said, is an example of the complex relationship between human rights violations and destitution that can't be broken by aid or investment policies alone.

"Poverty is the world's worst human rights crisis," she said. "People are trapped in it, unless we shift the debate from economic growth to human rights."

In some poor countries, Khan said, governments receive huge sums of money for natural resources, while many live in conditions of virtual slavery.

In parts of Africa and Asia, she added, jobless people drift to urban shantytowns, to have their new lodgings destroyed by developers who work hand in hand with corrupt officials.

"If you're a landless peasant, investing in agriculture may increase your crop yield, but won't protect you from your landlord. If you build a school you have to ensure girls can get there on the same basis as boys. Those are the issues at the root of poverty."

Khan, who grew up in a well-to-do family in Bangladesh, said it took her years to understand the meaning of inequality and discrimination.

She said, poverty can be beaten if international human rights accords are enforced
, and countries and corporations that flout them are pressured to change.