Double Standards

Double Standards

LETTER: Trudeau needs to recognize impact against children of all forms of oppression

Canada, while lamenting its recent past, now carries a double standard when concerned about international human rights and children.

Domestically, Trudeau has lamented the “children’s scoop” of the 1960s and following years, apologizing and offering a token financial compensation. Earlier, he had made the same lament before the UN General Assembly, admitting Canada’s failure and need to do better with indigenous rights.

Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their parents’ homes, deprived of their language, culture, and family associations. While it has been very good to see this recognized within Canada, it highlights a double standard when children of other countries, of other indigenous populations are concerned.

The children of Palestine suffer a similar fate although they do not have equal rights before the law and are criminalized at a very young age under the military rule of occupied Palestine. Should they transgress these ultra-judicial military rules, the consequences are frequently severe, as the family’s house can be demolished and the child with a criminal record (usually for throwing stones). The children are frequently subject to detention without being allowed family visits, coercive questioning accompanied by physical force, and once tried and found guilty (in 99% of the cases), they face extended jail time with no visitation rights or severely limited visitation rights.

The Palestinians and their children are the indigenous inhabitants of their land. They deserve to have the same human rights standards and the same rights of indigenous people as do the indigenous inhabitants of Canada vis a vis their colonial-settler immigrant populations.

Trudeau needs to recognize the impact against children of all forms of oppression whether it is the domestic case with the first nations populations, or any foreign government that impinges on the human rights of children.

Jim Miles, Vernon