Canada’s transportation security agency amends controversial policy on headgear following outcry from the Sikh community
- The change rolls back the Canadian Air Transport Security Agency’s April implementation of a new policy that targeted religious headgear for mandatory additional screening at airports.
- Because travelers wearing non-religious headgear were not subject to the same protocol because the headgear could be removed, the World Sikh Organization released a statement condemning the de facto discriminatory policy on behalf of Sikhs who had identified themselves as targets.
- The organization met with CATSA, who admitted the policy had been established by the government’s transportation department without consulting faith groups.
“I am being considered a security threat every time I travel for work, even (though) I’m a NEXUS cardholder. CATSA’s policy goes above and beyond what the Transportation Security Administration does in the U.S., and I believe it’s targeting religious minorities such as turbaned Sikhs.”
Read the full story at thestar.com.
(Image Credit: Nicholas Keung/Toronto Star)
As German state expands its Holocaust education programs, the inclusion of Muslim Germans stokes debate
- Bavaria has proposed that all 8th and 9th graders visit a former Nazi concentration camp or the Munich center on Nazi war crimes.
- One lawmaker from the Christian Social Union, the conservative party in power in the state, has suggested that some Muslim students would need to be exempt from the requirement.
- Muslim leaders and academics in Germany have indicated that Holocaust education is increasingly accepted in Muslim German communities, with most contentious debates centered instead on how to address discussion and education of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“You notice among the students that they say, ‘We stand for talking about Jewish history, and the crimes that were committed, but why don’t we talk about the Palestinians? Where is the justice here?’”
More on this story at The New York Times.
Bulgaria’s highly administered border with Turkey provides stark contrast to Mediterranean migration situation
- The country has spent €300 million fortifying the border over the last 8 years, including the construction of a razor-wire fence along its 270-km (165-mi) length.
- Bulgaria has one of the highest rates of asylum-granting in the EU, having granted more than 5,000 of 11,000 applicants refugee status.
- Conditions in refugee camps have improved in the last couple of years, but Bulgaria faces pressures from both European governments and human rights organizations to at once tighten and ease its policing and intelligence practices at the border.
“Don’t link those fleeing terror with those who would like to create it. …States can protect refugees, and address security concerns too, by screening and registering them early on.”
More on this story at BBC.
(Image Credit: BBC)
Although same-sex marriage is not recognized in Northern Ireland, the Belfast City Council votes in support of changing the law.
- Councillors vote 38-13 in favor of legalization.
- Though the vote doesn’t have any legal effects, supporters hope it will help spur the Northern Ireland Assembly to become the last country in the British Isles to legalize the union.
- Homosexuality was decriminalized in Northern Ireland in 1982, a decade before the Republic of Ireland, where same-sex marriage is now legal.
More on this story at Belfast Telegraph.
Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission finds government committed “cultural genocide” against Canadian indigenous peoples for more than a century.
- Report finds 3,201 died while in the schools–often because of mistreatment or neglect–though some research suggests more.
- The Commission offers 94 recommendations, including the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, child welfare system reform and amendment of Canada’s oath of citizenship.
- Canadian aboriginals still face structural inequality, being disproportionately incarcerated and present in child welfare caseloads.
More on this story at The New York Times.
Image Source: Library and Archive of Canada, via The New York Times
Slovak NGOs push for legal partnership recognition for same-sex and unmarried heterosexual couples.
- Initiative Inakost is coordinating efforts to get “Life Partnership” status recognized by government, bestowing rights and protections upon same-sex and unmarried heterosexual couples.
- Slovakian Ombudswoman Dubovcová supports the creation of the status.
- The initative is also pushing for same-sex couple adoption rights.
More on this story at The Slovak Spectator.
Image Source: SME