Issues

10 NGOs in Ottawa Advocating for Human Rights

Amnesty International Canada

Amnesty International is a world-known human rights NGO working in more than 150 countries to promote and protect human rights. Amnesty has a vision of ‘’a world in which every person enjoys all the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments’’.

To contribute to their common vision, Amnesty’s Canadian branch conducts research and generates action to put an end to grave human rights violation and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated. Amnesty International has been providing the world with accurate and reliable information about human rights violations as well as international human rights law and standards for over 50 years.

Peace Bridges International Canada

At the heart of the Peace Bridges International’s work is providing protection support and recognition to local human rights defenders who are working in areas of conflict and repression. Ever since its establishment in 1981, they have been working with human rights defenders in more than 14 countries worldwide.

Peace Bridges has a life-saving presence in areas of conflict and repression, as well a powerful global advocacy network protecting human rights defenders on the ground. They employ an integrated approach by combining a network of international support and on the ground presence together with human rights defenders. This approach proved to be effective since Peace Bridges International operates on the basis of non-interference in the work of people it accompanies.

Human Rights Internet

Since their establishment in 1976, Human Rights Internet has been working on sharing information, education, advocacy and dialogue on human rights while providing an online platform through human rights information and resources to Canadians and beyond.

Human Rights Internet implements various types of projects, including publications, events and documentation projects. Moreover, they have a worldwide reach by supporting the exchange of information within the human rights community. During the years, they have worked with many governmental and intergovernmental institutions and NGOs to collect and disseminate human rights information, while currently they are working on providing an online space for both individuals and organizations where they can access present information on human rights.

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights is a progressive NGO working to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights in Canada and worldwide with a vision where ‘’all people everywhere have full control over, and are able to decide freely upon, all matters related to their sexuality, reproduction, and gender, including their reproductive and sexual health.’’

They work in Canada and globally to promote rights related to reproduction and sexuality by providing support, referrals and information to those who need it the most. They also partner up with groups and other organizations on a range of campaigns and collaborate with decision-makers to advance policies on access to abortion, stigma-free healthcare, gender equality, LGBTIQ rights, and inclusive sex education.

Plan International Canada

As a member of global Plan International, the Canadian branch of the organization follows the mission and dedication of fighting for equality for girls and advancing children’s rights-from their birth to their adulthood.

Plan International Canada works with children, young people and other actors to throw over the barriers faced by girls and young children and prepares them to respond to crises and adversity. They drive change in practice and policy at all levels using their reach, experience and knowledge. In 2011, with the support of the Canadian government, they successfully led the call for the UN to adopt an International Day of the Girl, with the world having an opportunity to celebrate its first official International Day of the Girl Child on October 11, 2012.

Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA)

FAFIA was established as an alliance of organizations ‘’committed to making international agreements on women’s human rights a reality in women’s everyday lives in Canada’’. Today, they provide space for women across Canada and Quebec to collaborate together to ensure a better quality of live for all women.

They implement several activities and projects to achieve their goals, which include providing training and resources on women’s human rights instruments as well as helping women to directly participate in using those instruments to address inequalities they encounter in their lives. They also provide training and resources on gender budgeting while supporting women in engaging with budget planning processes at the national and regional level, all while advocating for the full implementation on women’s human rights instruments to which Canada is signatory.

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (Inuits are United in Canada) is Ottawa based NGO that serves as a national voice protecting and advancing the rights and interests of Inuit indigenous people in Canada. They work with the four Inuit regions in the country to present their unified priorities in Ottawa.

The organization conducts research, advocacy, public outreach and education activities related to issues affecting the Inuit population. They advocate for rights of Inuit’s through their relationship with the Crown and for ensuring that this group is consulted where indigenous and other treaty rights are to be affected by Crown decisions. They also oversee and conduct research on laws and policies affecting the Inuit population and cooperate closely with lawmakers and other actors on the effectiveness of these policies.

Canada Without Poverty

Canada Without Poverty is an NGO working with a mission to ‘’eradicate poverty in Canada for the benefit of all by educating Canadians about the human and financial cost of poverty, and by identifying public policy solutions’’.

The organization believes that human rights education is crucial for eradicating poverty in Canada. They see poverty as a deprivation of basic human rights, such as the right to housing, food and an adequate standard of living. In 2019, they launched a new education program to make learning about human rights accessible to everyone and to achieve their goals they closely cooperate with governments, businesses and other civil society organizations to ensure that Canada has a strong social foundation so that all people are given an opportunity to live in dignity.

Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW-ICREF)

CRIAW-ICREF was founded in 1976 to research and document the economic and social status of women in Canada. Since then, they have conducted a variety women centered research and they provide tools and information to assist organizations to take action to achieve social justice, women’s rights and equality for all women.

The organization works with a vision of ‘’creating a world in which individuals of all genders, races, cultures, languages, incomes, abilities, sexualities, religions, identities, ages and experiences fully partake of, and contribute to, a just violence-free, balanced and joyful society that respects the human dignity of all’’. To achieve this, CRIAW-ICEF creates spaces for development of women’s knowledge and provides communication links between researchers and organizations actively working to advocate for equality of all women.

Children First Canada

Children First Canada is a non-profit alliance of Canadian children’s NGOs and other actors that see children’s rights as universal. The organization has a vision of making Canada the best place in the world for children to grow up.

They work to raise awareness by publishing research on the state of children and their rights in Canada and empowers children by listening to them and building their knowledge and skills to advocate for themselves. They meet up with policymakers to assist them to act in the best interest in children as well as to develop practical policies and solutions to make is as easy as possible for the government to act. Children First Canada celebrates what benefits children and challenges what does not and creates a sense of urgency to make changes happen.

About the author

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Ada Hasanagic

Ada Hasanagić is a human rights professional currently working as a researcher at the Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Previously, Ada graduated with honors from the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology and the University of Buckingham in the fields of Political Science and International Relations. Also, she earned a master’s degree in Democracy and Human Rights from the University of Sarajevo and University of Bologna.