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CIC National Capital (Ottawa): Human Rights in China: What Can Canada Do?

May 8, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm EDT

$15 – $35

In recent months, Canadians have been shocked by the detention in China of two Canadians, and the possible execution of a third. We are also hearing daily of the conditions of more than a million Uyghurs being held in Xinjiang for “re-education” to forsake their Muslim religion and swear loyalty to the Chinese government and Communist Party. This is being accompanied by increased facial recognition surveillance across the country and a new Social Credit System that assigns and detracts points for adherence to Party lines in personal WeChat discussions and behaviours in the community resulting in loss of privileges such as train and air travel as well as job and schooling opportunities. Abroad, China’s role in impacting academic freedom in the universities of other countries as well as influencing the Chinese diaspora is coming into question. These new practices all raise fundamental issues of individual human rights.

Join us for a timely discussion of human rights in China, and the constructive role that Canada can play. Our speaker for the evening will be Sophie Richardson, China Director for Human Rights Watch.

Our Discussant will be the Honourable David Kilgour, former Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific. CIC National Capital Branch Board Member Margaret McCuaig-Johnston will moderate the discussion.

Speaker Bios:

A graduate of the University of Virginia, the Hopkins-Nanjing Program, and Oberlin College, Dr. Sophie Richardson is the author of numerous articles on domestic Chinese political reform, democratization, and human rights in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Vietnam. She has testified before the European Parliament and the US Senate and House of Representatives. She has provided commentary to the BBC, CNN, the Far Eastern Economic Review, Foreign Policy, National Public Radio, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. Dr. Richardson is the author of China, Cambodia, and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, an in-depth examination of China’s foreign policy since 1954’s Geneva Conference, including rare interviews with policy makers.

David Kilgour is the former Secretary of State for Latin America and Africa (1997-2002) and Asia-Pacific (2002-2003) in the cabinet of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. He represented south-east Edmonton in the House of Commons from 1979 to 2006 during eight Parliaments. He studied economics at the University of Manitoba and graduated from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law. He later did doctoral studies in constitutional law at the Faculty of Law at the Sorbonne in Paris. Mr. Kilgour’s passion for multi-party democracy, human rights and justice for all began in community service. He stepped down as a Member of Parliament in 2006 to become an advocate for human dignity and good governance internationally. He and David Matas were nominated in 2010 for the Nobel Peace Prize for their book, Bloody Harvest, and campaign to end party-state-run organ abuse across China. He is a volunteer at the Ottawa Mission for homeless men and a member of its Foundation. He is co-chair of the NGO Canadian Friends of a Democratic Iran, a Senior Fellow of both the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights and the Macdonald Laurier Institute. He also sits on the boards of the Helsinki-based First Step Forum, Ethiopiaid Canada, the Educational Foundation of the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians, and the session of Westminster Church.

Margaret McCuaig-Johnston is Senior Fellow with the Institute of Science, Society and Policy at the University of Ottawa, Senior Fellow with the China Institute at the University of Alberta, Distinguished Fellow with the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, and Research Associate at Duke University in Kunshan, China. She had a 37 year career in the federal government, 13 years as an Assistant Deputy Minister. She has a Masters of International Relations focussed on China and an Honours BA in Political Economy.

6:30 pm: Registration, networking reception
7:00 pm: Presentation, discussion

Note new venue!

alt HOTEL, Rose-Fuchsia Room, 185 Slater Street, Ottawa, K1P 0C8

A public parking lot with $4 evening rate starting at 6pm is available across the street.

The deadline for registration and cancellation is Monday, May 6 at 10pm.


May 8, 2019
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm EDT
$15 – $35
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alt Hotel, Indigo Room
185 Slater Street
Ottawa, ON K1P 0C8 Canada
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CIC National Capital (Ottawa) Branch