Budgets profoundly affect human rights says international report

December 8, 2008

(Ottawa)—On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights a new international report concludes that budgets profoundly impact the attainment of human rights, and the attainment of human rights impacts the quality of our lives.

This conclusion flows from dozens of case studies from around the world, available today with the Canadian launch of the 2008 edition of the annual international Social Watch report.

“We are heading into the most severe economic crisis facing Canada and the global economy in decades. What and who we choose to protect in our budgets can make or break lives,” said Armine Yalnizyan, senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and co-author of the Canada chapter of this year’s report.

“The Government of Canada must ensure that the poorest and most vulnerable citizens don’t lose their right to shelter, food, health and education in order to balance the books,” said Nancy Baroni, Gender Budget Coordinator with the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action.

The 2008 Report “Rights is the answer” begins by addressing human rights in a time of crisis by network coordinator Roberto Bissio, and is followed by 59 country-specific profiles.

The Canadian chapter of the report outlines the crisis of income inequality facing Canadians. The Canadian chapter illustrates how this gap can be addressed through budgetary measures.

Social Watch is an international alliance of national coalitions in more than sixty countries. Canada’s participation in Social Watch is coordinated by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), the Feminist Alliance for International Affairs (FAFIA) and the North-South Institute (NSI-INS).


The Canadian chapter of the Social Watch report is available from the CCPA website: http:///www.policyalternatives.ca. The entire report is available at http://www.socialwatch.org/en/informeImpreso/tablaDeContenidos2008.htm

For further information, please contact Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Communications Officer, at 613-563-1341 x306.