Poverty and human rights

This special series, first published in The Philanthropist and guest-edited by Maytree’s president, Elizabeth McIsaac, brings together the voices of leading thinkers, activists and political leaders who are working on economic and social rights in Canada. It features articles on how social and economic rights have progressed in Canada; the importance of listening to and engaging people with lived experience in finding solutions to poverty; and how working on poverty and human rights fits under charity law.

Articles in the series

Article

Published on 15/08/2017

To put poverty behind us, we must support the best instincts of Canadians, harness our values of equality of opportunity and human dignity, and turn these values into actions.

Maytree and The Philanthropist started our series on Poverty and Human Rights in Canada a little more than a year ago. For us, it was an opportunity to explore ideas about solving poverty using a human rights approach, and to share them with other organizations working in this field. Human rights include civil, political, economic, and social rights. These […]

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Article

Published on 14/10/2016

Exploring benefits screening as an innovative step towards realizing the right to health in Canada by advancing health equity.

Despite universal healthcare coverage, there is ample evidence that health disparities exist across the country and disproportionately affect vulnerable groups, such as Indigenous people, visible minorities, and people with low incomes. First Nations citizens’ life expectancy is between five and seven years less than non-Indigenous Canadians (Assembly of First Nations, 2011). Immigrants from non-European countries, […]

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Article

Published on 19/09/2016

Canadian charity law is currently ill-equipped to apply the charity/politics distinction in the context of human rights advocacy.

Human rights and charity It is not surprising that charities generally, and relief of poverty charities specifically, often conceive of their charitable missions as human rights missions. Charity and human rights are fellow travellers in many obvious ways. Proponents of the two share, among other things, a belief in the intrinsic worth and dignity of […]

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Article

Published on 21/06/2016

Discussing the legislative progress forty years after Canada ratified two Covenants that codified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

i. The 40th Anniversary of Canada’s Binding Commitment to International Human Rights May 19, 2016 was the 40th anniversary of Canada’s ratification of the two covenants that codified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) – the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights […]

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Article

Published on 26/04/2016

Social activist Michael Creek shares his personal story of recovery from abject poverty and his current role as an agent of change.

My name is Michael Creek. I’m the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Working for Change. My work also includes being an anti-poverty advocate. I want to thank The Philanthropist for the opportunity to write this article and special thanks to Elizabeth McIsaac for her encouragement and support. My journey I grew up in poverty; like […]

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Article

Published on 21/04/2016

Exploring how the EndPoverty Edmonton strategy approaches the elimination of poverty as a human rights issue and has been significantly influenced by Aboriginal culture and wisdom.

When Elizabeth McIsaac, the President of Maytree, asked if I would like to interview Don Iveson, the Mayor of Edmonton and Bishop Jane Alexander on the EndPoverty Edmonton Strategy for a special series of The Philanthropist, my answer was an immediate and enthusiastic “yes!” As a participant on the EndPoverty Edmonton (EPE) task force and […]

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Article

Published on 21/04/2016

Providing an overview of the strategies and policies for rights-based poverty reduction in Canada beginning with the need for common language and goals.

The persistence of poverty in Canada continues to demand new responses and new thinking. More than 1.34 million children in Canada are living in poverty and starting their lives on an unequal playing field (Family Service Toronto, 2015). More than 200,000 people across the country experienced homelessness last year (Raise the Roof, 2016). One in […]

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