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|Title:||"The Best of a Bad Job": Canadian Participation in the Development of the International Bill of Rights, 1945-1976|
|Keywords:||Human Rights Canada;International Human Rights;United Nations;Universal Declaration of Human Rights;Foreign Policy|
|Abstract:||This thesis provides a historical study of the Canadian government's changing foreign policy toward the development of an international bill of rights at the United Nations from the 1940s to the 1970s. Canada was initially reluctant to support international human rights instruments because the concept of 'universal human rights' articulated at the UN challenged customary understandings of civil liberties in Canada, and federal policy makers felt an international bill of rights would have a negative impact on domestic policy. By the 1970s, however, the Canadian government was pushing for the ratification of the International Covenants on Human Rights and working to present Canada as an advocate for the UN's human rights regime. This study considers this change in policy by examining the domestic and global factors that influenced the government's approach to international human rights. Within Canada, rights activism led to increased public awareness of human rights issues, and transformed Canadian understandings of rights and of the role of government in promoting these rights. This led to pressure on the Canadian government to support human rights initiatives at the United Nations. In this same period, the geopolitics of the Cold War and the rise of anti-colonialism shaped debates at the UN over human rights. As global support for the UN's human rights instruments grew, Canada became the subject of criticism from other states. Concerned about the negative implications, at home and within the international community, of appearing to stand in opposition to the principles of human rights, Ottawa changed its policy. Despite the government’s new rhetoric of support for the international bill of rights, however, federal policy makers continued to question the benefit of these instruments for Canada. This lack of commitment accounts, at least in part, for Canada’s continued failure to fully implement its international human rights obligations.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|Tunnicliffe_Sept2014.pdf||Full dissertation||2.83 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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