Why are women's economic rights important?


When women lack economic autonomy they face an increased risk of violence and limitations to their life choices. Having an independent income is key for women to exercise more control over their own lives. Having an independent income is key for women to exercise more control over their own lives. Engaging in paid work not only does provide women with income but is also an opportunity to expand their social circle and gain skills and knowledge as well as confidence. 


​While paid work is critically important, there are other aspects of women’s economic rights that go beyond it. For example, the right to an adequate standard of living, which includes the right to food and the right to housing. Other critical rights are the right to health, to education and to social protection as enshrined in the International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights, ratified by 164 states.


​We are calling for structural changes to our economies to ensure women’s rights are realised for all. Our new position paper on women's economic rights sets out our understanding of women’s economic rights as we seek to work in partnership with women’s rights organisations and movements to support the full realisation of women’s rights. 


​Women’s rights to an adequate standard of living, to health and housing are often not met even when they work for pay. Indeed, women’s cheap labour represents a growth strategy for many countries while their unpaid care work remains invisible in economic policies. Climate change exacerbates the challenges faced by the women who have done the least to cause it. 

We are calling for structural changes to our economies to ensure women’s rights are realised for all through decent work, curbing tax dodging and tax evasion, investing in the social infrastructure, holding transnational corporations to account and making sure the transition towards a low carbon world is gender just. These changes are highly feasible and women’s rights organisation are leading the way in demanding, as well as practising, change.


It’s not enough to tackle the effects of violence and discrimination against women, we must attack the root causes too. That’s why we work to shape laws and policies that affect women nationally and internationally. Our approach is evidence-based, drawing on the experience and expertise of our partners as well as our own. We produce leading research, briefings, and resources, lobby decision-makers, and campaign for change.

We empower young people aged 35 and under to influence and inform the decisions that affect their lives. We support young people to get involved in their communities and democracy locally, nationally and internationally, making a difference as volunteers, campaigners, decision-makers and leaders.


The key to our success in campaigning is the combination of activities and platforms we provide: we do not simply appoint young ambassadors, we also make sure their views are taken directly to MPs, local councillors and other decision makers to have a lasting impact on policy. Join us to campaign on the issues that matter most to thousands and millions of young people across the country. Together we will lobby parliament to take action, and continue to press those whose decisions affect young people to listen to our concerns.

Ministering for the Wrongfully Convicted: “Help Free the Innocent”

Hundreds and thousands of people have spent time in prison for crimes they did not commit. Each miscarriage of justice, however, deals a blow to a society's confidence in the legal and justice system, experts say. "Wrongful convictions undermine the two prongs of the criminal justice system's legitimacy," states a 1992 report prepared by the Library of Parliament. "If someone is wrongfully convicted, that person is punished for an offence he or she did not commit and the actual perpetrator of the crime goes free."

Our ministry works to provide free legal services to the wrongfully convicted and work to improve justice systems by:

Providing legal services to low income persons in Canada for the purposes of establishing that a wrongful conviction has occurred and exonerating that wrongly convicted person. Raising public awareness of the criminal law and the judicial process Providing financial assistance to low-income wrongly convicted clients for the necessities of life Supporting educational initiatives that help to address the causes of wrongful convictions.


The unearthing of wrongly convicted offenders has been arguably the dominant legal development in Canada over the past half-century. We work to build a nationwide network of lawyers, journalists and legal organizations in order to pursue cases of potential wrongful conviction, battling in the courts and lobbying in public to win the release of offenders who have, in some cases, spent decades behind bars innocently; and to advocate for adequate compensation.

To make it worse, advocates say many who were ultimately exonerated watched their applications stall for years in the federal review board process. In 2000, federal Justice Minister Anne McLellan announced plans to try to prevent such cases from happening again. The changes, since enacted in the Criminal Code of Canada, enable the justice minister to use his or her discretion to respond to persons who believe they have been wrongfully convicted.

Compensating The Wrongly Convicted

Despite their proven innocence, the difficulty of reentering society is profound for the wrongfully convicted; the failure to compensate them adds insult to injury. Society has an obligation to promptly provide compassionate assistance to the wrongfully convicted. By guaranteeing compensation to the wrongfully convicted, a nation can take an important step towards ensuring the integrity of its criminal justice system. Conceding that no system is perfect, the government recognition of the harm inflicted upon a wrongfully convicted person helps to foster his healing process, while assuring  that the government is willing to take ownership of its wrongs or errors.

Victims
The injuries that crime victims and survivors experience can be significant. Crime disrupts lives. What's more, many victims feel re-victimized by the criminal justice system, especially when it excludes them from much of the process. Restorative justice promotes the need for harmed parties to be consistently considered throughout the criminal justice process. Although crime’s impact often leaves damage that can never be fully restored, harmed parties have legal rights that should be enforced.  Some legal rights are unqualified and available without any contingencies. Other legal rights are qualified. That is, they are limited only as necessary to protect the victim from harm or to protect the due process rights of the responsible party. Crime survivors may need help regaining a sense of safety over their lives, and assistance with the material and other damages they suffer. Our criminal justice system should not be hindering the fulfillment of these needs.

Recognize poverty as a human rights issue, and specifically the right to an adequate standard of living
Since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948, the right to an adequate standard of living, including food, clothing and housing, has been recognized as a fundamental human right. When it ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) in 1976, Canada committed to recognize these rights and take appropriate steps to realize them, to the maximum of its available resources, including through legislation (Articles 2, 11). 


It is essential that the local, provincial and federal governments acknowledge the full human rights context of poverty and income security. This includes Ontario’s own human rights legislation, and ICESCR, the international document that sets out government obligations relating to economic and social rights and an adequate standard of living. The Roadmap’s Guiding Principles rightly cite international documents relating to the rights of Indigenous and racialized persons, people with disabilities, and children. However, the Ministry’s final Plan should also refer to the Code and ICESCR, as both are central to a rights-based approach to income security reform.​​


​The Roadmap is appropriately robust in its discussion of some groups identified by Code grounds that disproportionately experience poverty, such as Indigenous and racialized people, people with disabilities, children, and single adults. However, the final Plan would also benefit from a gender analysis, and discussion of the particular impact of poverty on women.



Minorities under international law

What are the biggest socio-economic issues facing young people?

What one person sees when it comes to art is not what someone else might see. That is the beauty of art and perception. It’s what makes us all different and the same at once. Being able to enjoy art together and separately, is one of the many ways in which it enriches our lives, and at the same time making a significant humanitarian contribution towards a better world. We are glad to share our perspective on art and community with those that we care about as well as our community through generous donors and sponsors. Through generous donations and the work of the artists, we can develop an expo that is second to none in terms of diversity and artistic expression, environmentalism, and humanitarianism.


​The FAAVM Art for Humanity Project mission is to bridge economic, cultural, social, and humanitarian gaps by providing under-resourced artists with the keys to self- sufficiency through art fair and promotion, and the opportunity to network with successful artists. Art is something that everything revolves around and that everyone can appreciate at a different level. What one person sees when it comes to art is not what someone else might see.

International human rights instruments are treaties and other international documents relevant to international human rights law and the protection of human rights in general. They can be classified into two categories: declarations, adopted by bodies such as the United Nations General Assembly, which are not legally binding although they may be politically so as soft law; and conventions, which are legally binding instruments concluded under international law. International treaties and even declarations can, over time, obtain the status of customary international law.


The protection of the rights of minorities is provided for under article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and article 30 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities is the document which sets essential standards and offers guidance to States in adopting appropriate legislative and other measures to secure  the rights of persons belonging to minorities.  Overall, States through their commitments under treaty law, and minorities themselves, or their representatives can influence the human rights monitoring and implementation procedures and work toward securing effective participation and inclusion. 

The rule of law primarily refers to the influence and authority of law within society, especially as a constraint upon behavior, including behavior of government officials. The phrase can be traced back to the 16th century, and it was popularized in the 19th century by British jurist A. V. Dicey. The concept was familiar to ancient philosophers such as Aristotle, who wrote "Law should govern". Rule of law implies that every citizen is subject to the law. It stands in contrast to the idea that the ruler is above the law, for example by divine right.

Despite wide use by politicians, judges and academics, the rule of law has been described as "an exceedingly elusive notion" giving rise to a "rampant divergence of understandings everyone is for it but have contrasting convictions about what it is." At least two principal conceptions of the rule of law can be identified: a formalist or "thin" definition, and a substantive or definition. Formalist definitions of the rule of law do not make a judgment about the "justness" of law itself, but define specific procedural attributes that a legal framework must have in order to be in compliance with the rule of law. Substantive conceptions of the rule of law go beyond this and include certain substantive rights that are said to be based on, or derived from, the rule of law.

International law is the set of rules generally regarded and accepted as binding in relations between states and between nations. It serves as a framework for the practice of stable and organized international relations. International law differs from state-based legal systems in that it is primarily applicable to countries rather than to private citizens. National law may become international law when treaties delegate national jurisdiction to supranational tribunals such as the European Court of Human Rights or the International Criminal Court. 

​Treaties such as the Geneva Conventions may require national law to conform.
Customary international law are those aspects of international law that derive from custom. Along with general principles of law and treaties, custom is considered by the International Court of Justice, jurists, the United Nations, and its member states to be among the primary sources of international law. The vast majority of the world's governments accept in principle the existence of customary international law, although there are many differing opinions as to what rules are contained in it.

The FAAVM Framework for the Protection of National Minorities provides a monitoring, reporting and complaint system to evaluate how Human Rights are implemented and observed. It results in recommendations to improve Human Rights protection and mechanisms . The Framework is responsible for providing a detailed analysis on Human Rights legislation and practice through an Advisory Committee. It is a committee of experts which is responsible for adopting country-specific opinions and policies. These opinions are meant to advise the FAAVM Committee of Ministers in the preparation of its Resolutions and the formulation of standards, which set out the structure to be followed. The broad aims of the FAAVM Framework are to ensure that the signatory states respect the rights set forth, undertaking to combat discrimination, promote equality, preserve and develop the culture and identity of national minorities, guarantee certain freedoms in relation to access to the media, minority languages and education and encourage the participation of national minorities in public life; "whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world."

The FAAVM Art for Humanity Project strives to cultivate social justice by fusing art and enterprise in the context of respect, responsibility, and meaningful relationships. By involving artists in the community and connecting artists with business, FAAVM Art for Humanity Project hopes to foster artistic development and growth and change overall perceptions and understanding. ​Art is something that everything revolves around at a different level. 

The protection of the rights of minorities is provided for under article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and article 30 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities is the document which sets essential standards and offers guidance to States in adopting appropriate legislative and other measures to secure  the rights of persons belonging to minorities.  Overall, States through their commitments under treaty law, and minorities themselves, or their representatives can influence the human rights monitoring and implementation procedures and work toward securing effective participation and inclusion.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the issues and challenges of young people:


  • Technology,
  • Social media
  • Abuse
  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Poverty
  • Academic success
  • Personal health
  • Education and unemployment 
  • Planning for their future.

All of these are important issues in their lives, and mean different things in different communities. We're excited to engage with each group and young leaders to bring solutions to these issues moving forward.

Ministry Activities
The moment ex-prisoners step off the bus in your community, a daunting challenge stares them smack in the face where to find a safe place to sleep that night. Very few prisoners have a loving family waiting for them to come home. Instead, family members may have died, moved away, or made it clear the ex-offender is not welcome. Sometimes there are legal reasons the ex-prisoner cannot go home. As a result, many newly-released prisoners end up in homeless shelters. While these shelters are far better than sleeping outdoors, the beds are often available only at night. During the day, shelter residents are forced onto the streets carrying their few belongings with them. This time to “roam” is not good for former inmates who are used to having every minute of their day structured.

Who Experiences Homelessness?


Canada’s homeless population is incredibly diverse. The individuals we see on the streets represent less than 20% of the homeless population. As many as 50,000 people make up the “hidden” homeless – individuals who temporarily stay with family or friends because they have nowhere else to go.


Families with children are the fastest growing homeless demographic. That number is only expected to grow, as over 10% of Canadian families currently live below the low income cut-off—unable to meet even the most basic needs.


​Canada is also witnessing a staggering rise in homeless youth. In the past 25 years, there has been a 450% increase in the number of youth shelter beds in Toronto. Many of these young people are fleeing dangerous situations, with 61% of homeless youth reporting being either physically or sexually abused by an adult at some point in their lives. Studies show that youth who stay on the street for two years or more are less likely to leave—making an intervention within the first two years key to solving the problem.


​Addressing homelessness is a challenge in all regions of Canada. The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) is a community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness by providing direct support and funding to 61 designated communities and to organizations that address Aboriginal homelessness across Canada.



Desiring to promote the realization of the principles contained in the Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as other relevant international instruments that have been adopted at the universal or regional level and those concluded between individual States Members of the United Nations.

Protection of minorities, also referred to as visible minorities, identified as national minorities, is a core issue for the FAAVM, and many activities are being undertaken in this field. These include the development of legally binding Canadian standards, drafting of national legislation, and the development of legally binding international standards, of which the FAAVM Charter for the Protection of Canadian Minorities is a prominent example, so as the FAAVM CHARTER for the Protection of Canadian Minorities inspired by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, and as such the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities being implemented domestically giving birth to the first legally binding national humanitarian instrument hereinafter the FAAVM CHARTER for the Protection of Minorities.

Many States have minorities within their borders. Although no firm statistics exist, estimates suggest that 10 to 20 per cent of the world's population belong to minorities. This means that between 600 million and 1.2 billion people are in need of special measures for the protection of their rights, given that minorities are often among the most disadvantaged groups in society, their members often subject to injustice and excluded from meaningful participation in public and political life.


​All countries in the world include persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, enriching the diversity of their societies. Although a great variety of minority situations exist, common to all is the fact that, too often, minorities face multiple forms of discrimination resulting in marginalisation and exclusion. Achieving effective participation of minorities and ending their exclusion requires that we embrace diversity through the promotion and implementation of international human rights standards.

Justice that Restores not Destroys
Building justice that restores is about recognizing and advancing the dignity of human life. It promotes accountability for the responsible party, prioritizes harmed party participation, and cultivates community engagement. Restorative justice requires the system to do more than warehouse people convicted of crimes. Restorative justice means holding these men and women accountable to accept responsibility for the harm they have caused to their victims and communities, and to take steps to make amends and rebuild trust with their communities


Why promote prison reform?
Central to the arguments to promote prison reforms is a human rights argument - the premise on which many UN standards and norms have been developed. However, this argument is often insufficient to encourage prison reform programmes in countries with scarce human and financial resources. The detrimental impact of imprisonment, not only on individuals but on families and communities, and economic factors also need to be taken into account when considering the need for prison reforms..

The FAAVM Art for Humanity Project mission is to bridge economic, cultural, social, and humanitarian gaps by providing under-resourced artists with the keys to self- sufficiency through art fair and promotion, and the opportunity to network with successful artists. Art is something that everything revolves around and that everyone can appreciate at a different level. What one person sees when it comes to art is not what someone else might see. That is the beauty of art and perception. It’s what makes us all different and the same at once. Being able to enjoy art together and separately, is one of the many ways in which it enriches our lives, and at the same time making a significant humanitarian contribution towards a better world. We are glad to share our perspective on art and community with those that we care about as well as our community through generous donors and sponsors. Through generous donations and the work of the artists, we can develop an expo that is second to none in terms of diversity and artistic expression and humanitarianism.

Our Approach
Our National Prison Ministry (NPM) seeks and works to restore those affected by crime and incarceration by introducing prisoners, victims, and their families to a new hope available through spiritual healing. We accomplish this by training and inspiring churches and communities inside and outside of prison to support the restoration of those affected by incarceration. We equip wardens, prison staff, and volunteers, including men and women serving time, to create safer, more rehabilitative prisons that prepare prisoners to return to their communities as good neighbors. We advocate for a justice system that upholds restorative values, so that communities are safer, victims are respected, and those who have caused harm are transformed.

As long as girls and women fear for their safety, they cannot realize their full potential. Securing their dignity rests upon eliminating the threat of gender-based violence and harmful practices everywhere.