Canada prides itself on being a beacon for the rights of women and children at the UN General Assembly, having made various recommendations to states on these issues through the UPR process over the years. However, this reputation belies a dark underbelly, where Canada shows scant regard for the rights of indigenous women and children living in Central America and Mexico. Canadian mining companies have been implicated in human rights violations against indigenous populations, as well as against the human rights defenders who work for their rights, while enjoying protection by the Canadian government at home.
Human rights defenders working throughout Latin America have complained that Canadian companies which would be subjected to rigorous checking in their own country are allowed free reign in Latin America, meaning that they build mega-development projects without prior consultation of the affected communities. When human rights defenders organise the communities in opposition, they are targeted, using death threats, stigmatisation, criminalisation and even killings. Indeed, at home, human rights defenders of the First Nations complain of judicial harassment when demanding equal rights and historic justice for the indigenous people of the nation.
In recent years, the Canadian government, in pursuit of greater resource exploitation at home, has targeted environmental civil society organizations, through a policy of bureaucratic and administrative harassment.