Human Rights in Canada

Use Evelyn Kallen’s Ethnicity and Human Rights in Canada. In addition, for several assignments you will be required to read journal, and news articles relevant to the chosen topic. Supplementary readings will also be provided, should you wish to read further on the subject or incorporate them into your assignment answer.Discussion Questions

Located at the end of each assignment, there is a set of three discussion questions, of which you will choose TWO to answer. The questions are designed to allow you to analyze, evaluate, and engage with what you have read. Each chosen question is to be answered fully and to the best of your ability. In order to fully answer the discussion questions, the length of each answer should be within the 5-7 page range. You are required to demonstrate your knowledge of the subject matter and your ability to analyze and evaluate the topics at hand. As such, while it is unnecessary to provide 15 page responses, the discussion questions cannot be answered in a mere 2-3 pages.

In answering the discussion questions please make use of the course text and readings, but be careful not to plagiarize from the texts. You are able to borrow ideas and concepts from the texts, but unless you are giving a direct quotation, paraphrase in your own words. In addition, assignments must include proper citation and referencing, as would be included in any academic paper.

Choose two of the three given questions. Answer all parts of the chosen questions. The first assignment is as follows:

Required Readings:

Kallen, Introduction
Kallen, Chapter 1

Supplementary Readings:

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, December 10th, 1948

Dominique Clement, Canada’s Rights Revolution: Social Movements and Social Change, 1937-82. (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2008) Chapter One: "Canada’s Rights Revolution" 17-34.

Will Kymlicka, “Categorizing Groups, Categorizing States: Theorizing Minority Rights in a World of Deep Diversity” 2009 Ethics and International Affairs 23(4) 371-388.

Susan Okin, “Feminism, Women’s Human Rights, and Cultural Differences” Spring 1998 Hypatia 13(2) 32-52.

Supplementary Media Clips:

Human Rights Action Center, "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" October 2008

CBC Ideas, “Human Rights and Multiculturalism: An Evening with Irshad Manji” September 1, 2011 Online:


1. Discuss the origins of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. What was its’ purpose, what key principles are contained within the UDHR? Are these rights absolute? Explain.
Although universality remains a fundamental tenet of current human rights instruments, they also continue to be the focus of political and scholarly controversy. Explore the key debates surrounding the “universality” of international human rights instruments.

2. How has the UDHR and other international human rights instruments influenced the development of human rights legislation in Canada? What is the legal framework of human rights protection in Canada? Outline the different rights claims available to Canadians whose human rights have been violated.

3. How does the author define race, ethnicity, and culture? Historically, how has race informed the way we think about human rights? Has this perception changed? How is the relationship between race and human rights conceptualized in modern society?

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