Thursday, August 06, 2009

Foreign fuzziification 

Alison alerts us that basic Canadian foreign policy is being secretly rewritten by the Con's political staffers:
Among the changes identified are the excising of the word "humanitarian" from each reference to "international humanitarian law," replacing the term "gender equality" with "equality of men and women", switching focus from justice for victims of sexual violence to prevention of sexual violence, and replacing the phrase "child soldiers" with "children in armed conflict."
For many observers of Canada's foreign policy, these are distressing language changes that water down many of the very international human rights obligations Canada once fought to have adopted in conventions at the United Nations. As one source said, in the international world of diplomacy—where officials often focus detailed discussions on the language included in documents and policies—wording makes a big difference.
Why are these changes happening? Well, as Alison notes:
Canada pioneered protection for child soldiers in international humanitarian law at the UN, but that was before we became the last government on planet Earth to offer our passive support to what goes on in Gitmo.

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