Human Rights

The BC Humanist Association fully supports the protection and promotion of human rights, codified in documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These rights transcend individual religious and cultural traditions and represent our shared humanity. We believe that human rights are the best tool to promote human dignity.

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We support the Trans Equality Now pledge to expand human rights legislation to protect individuals from discrimination based on gender identity and expression.

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Latest news


A Just Recovery is a Humanist Recovery

The BC Humanist Association is joining over 150 Canadian organizations in the launch today of six principles for a Just Recovery for All. The BCHA has also signed onto the Vancouver Just Recovery's joint statement. The movements for a just recovery are calling on governments to ensure that recovery efforts support...

Humanists join call to decriminalize simple drug possession immediately

The BC Humanist Association is joining over 50 human rights, health and drug policy organizations in calling on key ministers in the federal government to immediately decriminalize the possession of illicit drugs in response to the twin crises of opioid overdoses and the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter was started by the Canadian...

The first step to decolonizing Humanism

We acknowledge that this event takes place on the traditional and unceded shared territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skxwú7mesh (Squamish) & səlil̓wətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Attend nearly any event in Vancouver in the past few years, particularly ones held by progressive organizations, and you are likely to hear some variation on...

Respecting one another's pronouns

Last year, over 2600 scientists signed a statement that underlined the reality that gender cannot be defined along a strict binary. The relationship between sex chromosomes, genitalia, and gender identity is complex, and not fully understood. There are no genetic tests that can unambiguously determine gender, or even sex. Furthermore, even if...

Bill proposes banning conversion therapy in BC

BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver introduced Bill M218 this afternoon, which would ban conversion therapy in the province. Conversion therapy is the discredited notion that one's sexual orientation or gender identity can be changed.

Beyond TWU: The legal conflict between equality rights and freedom of religion

By Bethany Hastie, University of British Columbia and Margot Young, University of British Columbia From conflicts over wedding cakes to university admissions to religious schools, the tension between equality rights and religious freedom is often in the news in Canada, the United States and beyond. Public recognition of diverse family...

Bowen Island human rights complaint affirms atheism is a protected class

Amid the numerous stories we worked on last week, the BC Human Rights Tribunal released a 90-page decision following a complaint against a Bowen Island Montessori School (BIMS). When I wrote about the complaint when it was filed over two years ago, I said: The Montessori’s efforts to single out one...

BC Humanist Association endorses $10aDay Child Care Plan

At its most recent board meeting, the BC Humanist Association unanimously agreed to join hundreds of organizations in endorsing the $10aDay Child Care Plan. The plan is an initiative of the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC. By making quality child care affordable and accessible, the plan sets a...

It's time Canada outlaws physical violence against children

By Valerie Michaelson, Queen's University, Ontario Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a policy statement recommending that parents not spank, hit or slap their children. The announcement created a flurry of media attention around the world with headlines such as “Spanking is Still Really Common, and Still Really...

Chilliwack MLA protests passage of Human Rights Commission

On Thursday, Members of the Legislative Assembly of BC voted unanimously at third reading restore the province's Human Rights Commission. One MLA, however, abstained to protest a government he claims is trying to protect the rights of the nonreligious at the expense of "the right of Christians to follow the...

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