WSO Welcomes New Office of Human Rights, Freedoms & Inclusion

Ottawa (May 17, 2016):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada welcomes the Government of Canada's launch of the Office of Human Rights, Freedoms and Inclusion (OHRFI).  OHRFI is the successor to the Office of Religious Freedoms. 

It was announced today that OHRFI will encompass Human Rights and Indigenous Affairs, Inclusion and Religious Freedom, and Democracy.

In a statement today, WSO President Mukhbir Singh said,

"We welcome the launch of the Office of Human Rights Freedoms and Inclusion.  We believe that Canada must play an important role in advocating for human rights across the world and that a comprehensive approach to human rights, which includes a focus on religious freedom, is necessary.

One of the key strengths of the Office of Religious Freedom was its outreach to religious minority communities in Canada and developing relationships with them so that they could bring issues to the Office's attention.  We hope this outreach will continue with the new Office.   

We also expect that OHRFI will play a critical role in advancing international human rights as Canada continues negotiations on free trade agreements in Latin America, India and other developing countries with serious human rights challenges.  In order to be effective, the Office will need to highlight human rights issues during these negotiations and ensure Canada takes a principled approach when dealing with countries with contentious human rights records."

The World Sikh Organization of Canada 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.

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