The World Sikh Organization of Canada reaches out to protect Sikh interests in Canada and around the world:
- the WSO has been instrumental in the acceptance of the Sikh Religious Articles of Faith in many parts of the world
- the WSO provides legal assistance in a vast array of cases involving discrimination against Sikhs
- the WSO's Intervention and assistance has been crucial to landmark decisions in the judiciary
- the WSO supports educational and economic initiative by Sikhs around the world
- the WSO works with various partners in order to launch and develop community initiatives
- the WSO has provided humanitarian aid around the world and Punjab
- the WSO has worked tirelessly in promoting human rights for all, including providing information and reports to national and international governments and NGOs, promoting fact finding missions, and lobbying all levels of government
- the WSO promotes educational awareness through seminars, events, interfaith work and community outreach programs
On June 4, 1984, the Government of India launched a military assault (“Operation Blue Star”) on Sri Darbar Sahib (commonly known as the Golden Temple) in Amritsar India. This date was chosen at a time when thousands of Sikh pilgrims had gathered to commemorate the martyrdom of the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Sahib Ji. Thirty-eight other Sikh Gurdwaras across Punjab were also attacked. Thousands of innocent Sikhs – men, women, and children – were killed. The highest seat of Sikh temporal authority, Sri Akal Takhat Sahib, was reduced to rubble. The Sikh Reference Library, containing countless historical manuscripts and documents was left in ashes. A news blackout was issued and no media were permitted in or out of Punjab, India, where the majority of the Sikh population resides.
The World Sikh Organization was formed in 1984, following the above events, by like minded Sikhs around the world, to provide an effective, credible voice to represent Sikh interests on the world stage.
The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of Canadian Sikhs as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights for all individuals, irrespective of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and social and economic status.
Primary National Objectives
The WSO of Canada was registered with the Government of Canada as a non-profit organization, under the name World Sikh Organization of Canada, and has the following primary national objectives:
- to foster understanding and good will towards all nations, creeds, persuasions and faiths;
- to act as a representative body and spokes-body of the Sikhs of Canada and help resolve differences amongst members and member organizations;
- to liaise with government and non-government agencies and to apprise them of the interests of the Sikhs;
- to encourage, develop and maintain close relationships with similar and like-minded organizations throughout Canada;
- to do all such things not inconsistent with the doctrines and ethics of Sikhism and the law of the land as are conducive to the attainment of the objectives of the World Sikh Organization of Canada.
In Canada, the WSO has a National Assembly of 31 Executive Members representing five regions in Canada.