Social Justice Connection is an independent organization providing education and advocacy about human rights, global poverty and inequality. Through its education program, the SJC offers unique and engaging educational tools and interactive workshops to schools, NGOs and community groups. In its advocacy, the SJC engages policy makers at the national and international levels to press for greater fairness and the recognition of human rights standards in global finance.
We are increasingly engaged with young people, working with them to expand their global awareness and knowledge so that they become informed, engaged and effective citizens of the world. In 2014, we took the first steps to build an ambitious program of human rights awareness and global citizenship in high schools and colleges.
As the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action stated, “Human rights education should include peace, democracy, development and social justice, as set forth in international and regional human rights instruments, in order to achieve common understanding and awareness with a view to strengthening universal commitment to human rights.” (1992, agreed by 171 countries.)
In our education work:
• We have developed a series of workshops that are presented more than 100 times a year in the Montreal region;
• Our resources for high school teachers and students are in high demand, and our education program is undergoing an ambitious expansion;
• We have trained hundreds of volunteers in popular education and advocacy techniques;
• Our magazine: The Upstream Journal, provides engaging articles on human rights and development at upstreamjournal.org.
Our work is based on an understanding that poverty is largely the result of inequality. We believe that both can be eliminated. We push for the full application of international laws on human rights along with ideals of social justice such as equality, non-discrimination and other conditions that contribute to a life of fulfillment.
We target the most powerful institutions on the globe to have the greatest impact on behalf of communities that face poverty, oppression and marginalization. We focus especially on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). The SJC is the most active NGO in Canada in pushing for greater accountability and transparency at these institutions.
Over the years, the SJC has successfully lead campaigns to:
• cancel debt of countries as the immediate cancellation of Honduras’ debt following Hurricane Mitch, and the rapid cancellation of much of Liberia’s debt following its long civil war;
• reverse Canada’s position on cancelling World Bank debt, from one of opposition to support;
• establish an independent agency to monitor the IMF and hold it accountable for its impacts in poor countries;
• ensure the inclusion of civil society voices in the IMF’s major policy reform discussions.
We have also worked effectively with other NGOs in pushing for greater democracy in Central America, and higher standards of corporate social responsibility for Canadian firms, especially mining companies, that operate overseas.
The financial audit
The audit of the most recent fiscal period is available here (in pdf): Audit 2014-15