Thomas v Halifax Regional Water Commission Complaint Dismissed

first_imgAn independent human rights board of inquiry into the matter of Mark Thomas v. Halifax Regional Water Commission (HRWC) has concluded with the dismissal of a complaint of discrimination. Mr. Thomas had alleged that he was discriminated against on the basis of his race and disability while employed by Halifax Regional Water Commission. His employment was terminated Oct. 31, 2008. In his decision, board chair Dennis James explained that Mr. Thomas did not file his complaint within the prescribed one-year window. “In absence of any evidence from the Complainant or the Human Rights Commission I find that there is no evidentiary basis to suggest discriminatory conduct by HRWC after October 31, 2008,” wrote Mr. James. “The implication of this finding is that if there was discriminatory conduct as alleged it had to have occurred before October 31, 2008, which means Mr. Thomas’ complaint had to be filed by October 31, 2009. Given these findings I find that the complaint filed by Mr. Thomas was not filed in the time limit prescribed by Section 29 (2) and must be dismissed.” To read the full decision in this matter and other human rights boards of inquiry, please visit read more

UN finds some women in Sri Lanka forced into sex to pay

“I have learned of cases of borrowers who tried to sell their kidneys to repay the loans. Some leave their villages, suffer domestic violence as a punishment for the “contract breach,” or have to work much harder and more hours to earn sufficient money to repay the debts. Suicides committed by borrowers have been associated to this abusive microcredit dynamic,” he said. As of today, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Japan, Korea, India and China’s project loans alone account for a total USD 19.3 billion or 48 percent of the total loans taken by the State. Therefore, he says he advised international financial partners to establish more robust frameworks to assess the human rights implications of the projects, covering both substantive and procedural rights. (Colombo Gazette) He noted that because these lenders do not follow any particular guideline to assess the credit risks of these loans, combined with usurious terms, a very high number of women in the country default on their debts and get trapped in an exploitative financial system.Meanwhile, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky also said that there were concerns there was no human right impact assessment of the major infrastructure projects carried out in Sri Lanka.Bohoslavsky noted that after the end of war in 2009, large-scale infrastructure projects have flourished over the country. The United Nations has found that some women in Sri Lanka are pressured by debt collectors to exchange sexual favours for installments.Speaking to reporters in Colombo today following the end of an official visit, the UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky said that women are at times exposed to psychological and physical violence by these collectors. However, he says the number, frequency and seriousness of the lenders’ abuses he has have found in the country call for an urgent State action.“I learned that while the universe of borrowers is broad, women in poor and war affected areas are specially targeted by microfinance financial institutions, which charge their loans with up to 220 per cent interest rate and apply compound interest,” he said. During his visit, he says, a number of concerns were expressed pertaining to whether and how the positive slipovers of these -and other- projects are capitalized by the country to boost inclusive development and address inequalities as well as to prevent their adverse consequences for human rights.He said that all international lenders and donors he met in Colombo expressed concerns for the environmental and human rights implications of the projects they finance.“However, none of them have in place a human rights impact assessment framework. Some mentioned “social” and “gender” impact evaluations conducted before taking the final decision on the projects but the legal standards against which the projects are assessed were not clear, and the result of these evaluations are not publicly available,” he said. Pablo Bohoslavsky said that microcredit has actually helped lift many people out of poverty by enabling borrowers their livelihoods. read more