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Canada Announces Funding For Human Rights Project In China


Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew and International Cooperation Minister Aileen Carroll today announced a $4.98 million-project addressing migrant labour rights in China. The funding will support training and technical-assistance activities. China will fund the implementation of policy reforms and programs based on these activities.

“Canada is concerned about the human rights situation in China, and we believe engagement rather than isolation represents the best means to achieve improvements over time,” said Minister Pettigrew. “This project will help ensure that male and female rural migrants, including minority nationalities, have access to the information they need to benefit from formal labour markets and non-discriminatory employment.”

“Canada has an important role to play in China in areas such as governance, the protection and promotion of human rights and the environment,“ said Minister Carroll. ”This project is a good example of how Canadian expertise can help China achieve measurable improvements in realizing the human rights of migrants.”

The project, which is being run in cooperation with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and China’s National Development and Reform Commission, will assist China in living up to its international labour rights commitments under the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the International Labour Organization’s Private Employment Agencies Convention and Recommendation.

The announcement came as senior officials of the governments of Canada and of the People’s Republic of China concluded their eighth annual bilateral dialogue on human rights, which took place in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto from October 31 to November 3, 2005.

The Canada-China Joint Committee on Human Rights, a major instrument in Canada’s bilateral human rights engagement with China, permits a constructive and open dialogue on a range of human rights issues. This year’s meeting of the Joint Committee focused on equality, non-discrimination, and police violence.

Funding for this initiative was provided for in the February 2005 federal budget and is therefore built into the existing fiscal framework.

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