Saturday, April 09, 2005

"The real issue is not regulation or State action in and of itself: but rather, what is being regulated, and in the interests of whom: the market, national elites, the aggregate interest of the majority, or the disadvantaged and the vulnerable. Poverty and exclusion is too readily accepted by majorities as regrettably accidental, or natural or inevitable, rather than the outcome of conscious policy choices. All underlying agendas and preferences must be brought to the surface if these debates are to lead to policy decisions that produce just outcomes. . .

The possibility for people themselves to claim their human rights entitlements through legal processes is essential so that human rights have meaning for those most at the margins, a vindication of their equal worth and human agency. There will always be a place for charity, but charitable responses are not an effective, principled or sustainable substitute for enforceable human rights guarantees. The debate in Canada on these issues can be certain to continue. However those fearing or objecting to the vision of human rights that I've outlined would do well to bring the true nature of their misgivings into the open, out from the shadows of straw men and calculated obfuscation. . ." (LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium 2005 Lecture | Louise Arbour)


:: note :: . . . a professional development component this year has been the activation of the 'spiritual' dimension . . . april staff meeting offered a session on poverty . . .