CHRR - The Centre for Human Rights Research
Right to Die: April 30

right to_die

Canadians are currently debating the concept of the “right to die” and euthanasia. Where the Charter of Rights and Freedoms stands on physician assisted death will soon be considered by the Supreme Court of Canada. Join us for a discussion of this polarizing topic that will highlight both the legal and ethical arguments.


Featured speakers:

Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov, Canada Research Chair in Palliative Care, Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Mary Shariff, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law
Dr. Arthur Schafer, Director, Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics, Faculty of Arts

Wednesday April 30, 2014

6:30 - 7 p.m. Reception
7 - 8:30 p.m. Panel discussion

Robert B. Schultz Theatre, 92 Dysart Road
St. John's College, Fort Garry Campus
(Please see the Fort Garry Campus Parking map for directions on where to park)

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising commemoration: April 28

UJPO/Sholem Aleichem Community Yom HaShoah Program

Date: Monday, April 28, 2014
Time: 7:30pm
Location: Congregation Etz Chayim, 123 Matheson Avenue East

At this event, Dr. Catherine Chatterley (U of M) will give a lecture on The Museum of the History of Polish Jews, a new museum built on the grounds of the former Warsaw ghetto.

Human rights conference at UM: April 1


University of Manitoba – University of Trier – University of Greifswald: Biennial Partnership Conference
Human Rights, Human Wrongs: Vulnerability in Comparative Perspective
Proposal Deadline: April 1, 2014
Conference Dates: September 25-26, 2014
Location: University of Manitoba, Canada
Human rights in Western nations in general and in Canada in particular have become a central part of the political, economic, and cultural agenda, affecting nearly every issue and topic confronting individual, societal and political relationships. While on the surface this discourse appears to represent a single voice or perspective, the reality is that there are multiple discourses operating on different sets of beliefs and assumptions. 
In an attempt to address this, sociologist Bryan S. Turner has argued that by studying our shared vulnerabilities we will become better able understand the nature of human rights as well as the need for their defense. “There is a foundation to human rights—namely our common vulnerability. Human beings experience pain and humiliation because they are vulnerable. While humans may not share a common culture, they are bound together by the risks and perturbations that arise from their vulnerability.” For Turner, our common need for “ontological security,” along with the difficulty of individually obtaining it, accounts for the universality of human rights, and also our need for social and legal support in rights struggles. And yet the institutional and other protections offered us by society are themselves precarious, and our freedoms remain correspondingly fragile. What then can and should be done to ensure a flourishing human rights culture, one capable of actually protecting all people in need?
This international, comparative and inter-disciplinary conference seeks to generate a conversation about human rights across disciplines and cultures centering on questions of vulnerability. What exactly is vulnerability? To what are we as human beings most vulnerable? When, where, and why is this so? How (in what forms) does vulnerability manifest itself, and what can be done when it does? Are there distinct “cultures” of vulnerability? If so, how are they organized and what do they suggest about human universals? What modes of representing vulnerability—of depicting and understanding it in different disciplines, media, and artistic genres—are best suited to this enormously important work? 
This conference brings together internationally distinguished scholars from the social sciences, environmental studies, education, philosophy, politics, native studies, security studies, Canadian and German literature, linguistics and film studies to consider the place of vulnerability in our understanding of human dignity and rights. The conference, to be held at the University of Manitoba, is in partnership with the Universities of Trier and Greifswald. In addition to the conference, it is hoped that a tour of the newly-opening Canadian Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg can be arranged for all the participants.
Paper, and/or panel proposals, including a short one page c.v. should be sent to either Dr. James Fergusson ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) no later than April 1, 2014. It is expected that funding will be available for accommodations and local costs.


Evacuation of Aboriginal communities: April 10

Riddell Faculty Seminar Series

Asking for a Disaster: The Concept of "Risk" in the Emergency Evacuation of Northern Aboriginal Communities

Date: Thursday, April 10, 2014

Time: 2:00 − 3:00 PM

Location: Klaus Hochheim Theatre (5th floor, Wallace Building) 

James B. Waldram, PhD, Professor, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology (joint with Psychology)

Discussants: Dr. Myrle Ballard and Asfia Kamal

Dr. Chris Johnson


Dr. Johnson is a professor of English, film, and theatre at the University of Manitoba. The bulk of his work concerns the plays of leading Canadian playwright George F. Walker. 

Walker, often noted for championing human rights, gives a "voice to the voiceless" by writing plays about people who often aren't feautured in plays. For example, his recent television series, This Is Wonderland, and play Heaven, show how race and the myth of multiculturalism can act to keep people at society's margins.

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