Advocacy

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Our Ongoing Work

The WSO works in cooperation with Sikh societies and organizations within Canada to advocate on behalf of Sikh interests in Canada. These interests include religious, social, and legal.

The WSO has been actively involved in addressing major social issues in Canada since 1984. As part of this involvement, and with the view to fostering better understanding and accommodation of all peoples, the WSO has:

  • prepared submissions to governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations;
  • presented at and hosted conferences with and for community groups, police boards, politicians, inter-faith organizations, schools, universities, and various other non-profit entities;
  • conducted training and educational workshops in communities throughout Canada.

The WSO has been invited to make submissions, presentations, and act in a consultative capacity to national and international government and legislative committees, tribunals, and non-governmental entities, on constitutional and human rights issues, as well as other matters.

For example, the WSO has done the following:

  • Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council;
  • Presentation to the World Conference Against Racism;
  • Consultations with the Refugee Review Tribunals of Australia, United States and the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board;
  • Presentation to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, on Bill C-36, Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Legislation;
  • Presentations to Canadian Senate and House Committees on Bills C-16/C-18 (Citizenship and Immigration);
  • Consultations and Submissions to the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs on issues of foreign policy, including Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties;
  • Consultations with the Canadian Department of Employment and Immigration on immigration policy development;
  • Consultations with the Ministry of Multiculturalism; and
  • Consultations with Committee reviewing Canada Customs and Revenue/Solicitor General policies on non-for profit and charitable status for cultural organizations.

The WSO has had consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council; made presentations to the Canadian Senate and Parliamentary House Committees; and had consultations with Refugee Review Tribunals of Australia, United States and Canada. WSO has also in the past worked with the Attorney General, Department of Justice, Transport Canada, Correctional Services Canada ,Immigration and Refugee Board, Immigration and Citizenship Canada, Heritage Canada, Environment Canada, Foreign Affairs Department, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Health Canada, Industry Canada, and more than a dozen Federal government Agencies such as the CRTC, CIDA, EDC, Passport Agency, CCRA, RCMP, CSIS, CBC, Via Rail, Canada Post, etc.

The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) acts in a consultative capacity to national and international government and legislative committees, tribunals and non-governmental entities on constitutional and human rights issues as well as other matters.

The WSO continues to work with numerous provincial, municipal, and private organizations, as well as religous and charitable organizations such as the Red Cross, Cancer Societies, Canadian blood services, disaster relief services.


Khalra Centre for Human Rights Defenders

The Centre was established by the WSO and the Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) in 2011 to serve as a legal resource for human rights defenders who find themselves in danger or who are attacked and also to undertake research into human rights issues. The Khalra Centre for Human Rights Defenders is based out of New Delhi. 

The Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) and the World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) announced the inauguration of the Khalra Centre for Human Rights Defenders in New Delhi during a conference held in collaboration with other human rights groups from across India on November 19th and 20th. The National Consultation on Human Rights Defenders which was organized by HRLN and WSO in collaboration with several other Indian human rights groups was held in memory of human rights activst S. Jaswant Singh Khalra. The conference focused on current challenges faced by human rights activists in India in states such as Assam, Kashmir, Nagaland, Chhattisgarh, Punjab and was attended by Dr. Binayak Sen, Kavita Srivastav, Himanshu Kumar, Henry Tiphagne, Iftikhar Gilani, Prashant Bhushan, Teesta Setalvad, Mallika Sarabai, Sanjiv Bhatt, Advocate H.S. Phoolka, RS Bains, Navkiran Singh and many other human rights defenders.

For more information on the current work being done by the Khalra Centre, please visit the dedicated website at http://khalracentre.org/.


Annual Parliamentary Dinner

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Each year sees the WSO host the Annual Parliamentary Dinner, at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario. Every year, a different political party sponsors the dinner, where we discuss issues important to Sikhs and Canadians. It is the perfect opportunity to work with politicians, leaders and ministers of all three major parties in an effort to promote human right concerns both locally and globally. 


Annual Human Rights Seminars

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In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the 1984 attack on Sri Darbar Sahib, The WSO launched the WSO Annual Human Rights Seminar, inviting panelist from various background to discuss topics on a different theme each year. The inaugural seminar was held at Sheridan College in Brampton, Ontario. 2014's theme was on the "Quest for Peace and Justice", and included the follow speakers:Dr. Cynthia K. Mahmood (author of Fighting for Faith & Nation- Dialogues With Sikh Militants), Dr. Colin Gonsalves (HRLN, Indian human rights activist and lawyer), Dr. Gerald Filson (Baha'i Community), and Rev. Andrew Wesley (Aboriginal Community, and survivor of the residential schools system).

Keep posted for 2015's seminar and panel!