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About Rene Kimmett

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So far Rene Kimmett has created 8 blog entries.

Letter to the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Implementation of the Resolution on Police Violence and Structural Racism

August 3, 2020

Letter: 144 families of victims of police violence and over 360 civil society organizations wrote to the UN High Commissioner with recommendations to ensure the effective implementation of Human Rights Council resolution (A/HRC/43/L.50) on the promotion and protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Africans and of people of African descent against excessive use of force and other human rights violations by law enforcement officers. Effective implementation will require a transparent and inclusive process for producing the report that maximizes meaningful participation and engagement from directly impacted communities and other relevant stakeholders.

By |August 6th, 2020|Sign-on Letters|

OCDC Put On Legal Notice By Indigenous Prisoners

July 30, 2020

Legal Notice: “Counsel for the Criminalization and Punishment Education Project (CPEP) delivered a legal notice to the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre (OCDC) demanding the jail respects its legal responsibilities to accommodate the spiritual and cultural needs of incarcerated Indigenous persons within two weeks. The legal notice is endorsed by more than 70 civil society organizations including the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples and 6 prominent advocates for Indigenous justice. It comes only a few days after prisoners ended the second prisoner hunger strike at the provincial jail in as many months.”

By |July 30th, 2020|Sign-on Letters|

Letter to Canadian Government: Decriminalize Simple Drug Possession Immediately

May 13, 2020 | Updated June 25, 2020

Letter: The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Pivot Legal Society and the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, joined by more than 160 organizations, call 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.

By |July 24th, 2020|Sign-on Letters|

Request for a UNHRC Special Session on Police Violence in the United States

June 8, 2020

Coalition Letter: endorsed by the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, and Philando Castile and over 600 rights groups led by the American Civil Liberties Union and U.S. Human Rights Network, demanded the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) swiftly convene a special session to investigate the escalating situation of police violence and repression of protests in the United States.

Subsequently, the UNHRC held an Urgent Debate on “the current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and the violence against peaceful protests” on June 17, 2020, which resulted in this Resolution.

By |June 27th, 2020|Sign-on Letters|

Call on Governments, Businesses, and Investors to Respond to Covid-19 Environmental and Human Rights Risks

May 14, 2020

Press Release by International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) and 30+ partner organizations. This release includes information on all three of their calls to action, which are also linked below:

Statement to Governments
Statement to the Business Community
Statement to the Investor Community

By |June 27th, 2020|Sign-on Letters|

Letter of Solidarity with the Xinka People of Guatemala

May 6, 2020

Letter: 40+ organizations call for Pan American Silver to respect the rights of the Xinka people and refrain from exerting influence over the people and government of Guatemala, despite having long-term members of its executive team serving the current administration.

By |June 26th, 2020|Sign-on Letters|

Call to Guarantee the Rights and Safety of Defenders, Social Leaders, and Communities in the Context of COVID-19 Pandemic

May 4, 2020

Letter: Earth Rights International and 100 other organizations urgently implore Daniel Andrés Palacios Martínez, Director of the Colombian National Protection Unit to guarantee human rights, environmental, and land defenders are protected in the context of the current social, economic, and health emergency.

By |June 26th, 2020|Sign-on Letters|

Webinar: Responses to Homelessness in the Time of COVID19

Tuesday, August 18, 2020 12PM EDT

Register on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_l5OIO1fuTAmSJvdI1nPyZg

Registration is Free. Recommended donation is $20.  

Please send donations to Jur-Ed Foundation ‌@ https://‌www.canadahelps.org/‌en/charities/‌jur-ed-foundation/ Donations will be applied toward legal education (including covering the costs of this webinar) and homelessness advocacy.

Lawyers who attend may use this webinar as one substantive hour towards their Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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Join Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights, Jur-Ed Foundation, and the Law Union of Ontario for a one hour webinar discussing the impact of COVID19 on homeless populations in Canada and what is being done to hold governments accountable for pandemic-related human rights violations.   

Leilani Farha, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing, will discuss the recently developed National Protocol for Homeless Encampments in Canada and its potential to encourage governments to move away from criminalization and forced evictions and towards meaningful engagement with encampment residents as rights holders.   

Sanctuary Ministries’ outreach worker, Greg Cook and Goldblatt Partners lawyer, Jessica Orkin will discuss the recent lawsuit filed against the City of Toronto by a coalition of public interest groups demanding appropriate distancing and sanitation standards in shelters and a swifter, broader plan to relocate residents to vacant hotels and alternative housing.

Together these speakers and moderator Jesse Gutman, host of Jur-Ed and CLAIHR Board member, will explain the disproportionate impact of COVID19 on already vulnerable homeless people and the need for stable, long-term, and affordable housing solutions moving forward.

See below for more information on our panelists and moderator.

Leilani Farha

Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing (June 2014 – April 2020)

Leilani brought a dynamic energy to the role of UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing; energy she will need to reach her goal of prompting and facilitating an international paradigm shift in how housing is approached.

During her time as Special Rapporteur, Leilani presented reports to the UN on homelessness, the connection between the right to housing and the right to life, and the financialization of housing. She has traveled on official missions to Serbia and Kosovo, India and most recently to Chile, amongst others, to investigate and comment on the state of the right to housing.

In addition to her requisite work, Leilani has used her platform to start The Shift, a global movement to reclaim and realize the right to housing, which calls for everyone to approach housing as a human right, not a commodity.

A lawyer by training, Leilani assumed the role of Special Rapporteur in 2014, but she has been tirelessly advocating for the realization of the right to housing throughout her career. She is the current executive director of the NGO Canada Without Poverty.

In her previous role as Executive Director of the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation, she was instrumental in launching a historic challenge to government inaction in the face of rising homelessness.

She has been a member of the Advisory Group on Forced Evictions for UN Habitat, and was a founding member of ESCR-Net, an international network of actors committed to economic, social and cultural rights.

Greg Cook

Outreach Worker, Sanctuary Ministries

Greg Cook is an Outreach Worker at Sanctuary Ministries in Toronto. Sanctuary is a healthy, welcoming community in which people who are poor and excluded are particularly valued. Sanctuary was the named plaintiff organization in the recent civil claim injunction against the City of Toronto to maintain proper social distancing in the Municipal shelter system.

Jessica Orkin

Partner, Goldblatt Partners

Jessica Orkin has a broad litigation practice including criminal, civil and administrative law matters, with an emphasis on constitutional, human rights, Aboriginal rights and access to information law matters.

Jessica appears at all levels of court, including the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada. She is also a frequent speaker at legal conferences and seminars. She has been named in Best Lawyers as a leading aboriginal law practitioner.

Jessica received her law degree from the University of Toronto. She also holds an M.Phil. degree in Development Studies from the University of Oxford, and a bachelor of arts and sciences from McMaster University. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 2006, after clerking at the Federal Court of Appeal.

Jesse Isaac Gutman

President, Jur-Ed Foundation and Board Member, CLAIHR

Jesse Gutman is a 2013 call Union-side Labour lawyer in Toronto, practicing in English and French. He is the President of the Jur-Ed Foundation and the host/producer of its podcast of the same name. Jesse was previously a high school teacher in Quebec and is a part-time Klezmer musician. He is passionate about human rights and international solidarity.

By |June 9th, 2020|Current Events|