Author archives

Catherine Morris, BA, JD, LLM, has more than three decades of engagement in the field of conflict studies and practice. She is the founding director of Peacemakers Trust, a Canadian non-profit organization for education and research in conflict resolution and peacebuilding. For more than two decades she has conducted research, education, and advocacy in the field of international human rights. She served as the UN representative in Geneva for Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) from 2011 to October 2022 and as LRWC’s transitional executive director from June 2020 to January 2022. She has conducted research and education for civil society organizations and post-secondary institutions on several continents, including the University of Victoria, Canada, and Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. Her research and writing have resulted in a number of publications on dispute resolution and international human rights.

The Disappeared: Indigenous Peoples and the international crime of enforced disappearance

Catherine Morris and Rebekah Smith of Peacemakers Trust Canada conducted extensive research on disproportionate violence against Indigenous persons in Canada that includes uncounted disappearances of Indigenous children, women, and men. Canada’s decades of failure to prevent and halt disappearances forms part of a long litany of grave international human rights violations against Indigenous Peoples. Continued reports of officially hushed-up violence lead to increasingly clarion allegations of genocide. The authors’ work on documenting enforced disappearance, failure to investigate and prosecute crimes against indigenous people has parallel application to the habitual failure of U.S. authorities to address crimes perpetrated against Native Americans.

Subjects: Civil Liberties, Comparative/Foreign Law, Human Rights, International Legal Research, KM, Legal Research

Going Grey and Facing Age Discrimination: Moving Towards an International Treaty on the Rights of Older Persons

For more than two decades attorney Catherine Morris has conducted research, education, and advocacy in the field of international human rights. Her article illuminates an issue that impacts vast numbers of people regardless of nationality. Concerns for the well being of older persons are rarely framed as human rights issues entrenched in age discrimination. This may now be changing after the shocking revelations of maltreatment and excess deaths of older persons in Canadian care homes in 2020. In the United States, the CDC continues to report that 90% percentage of COVID-19 deaths compromise those 65 and older. In both Canada and the U.S. the epicenter of the mortality burden of Covid is among those referred to as “elderly.” Morris states the abuses exposed in 2020 were predictable consequences of Canada’s longstanding neglect of older persons’ fundamental rights. Decades of efforts by Canadian civil society organizations (CSOs) along with international CSOs, and UN human rights bodies may now be gaining traction in a drive for a United Nations (UN) treaty to spell out and guarantee the fundamental human rights of older persons around the world. But efforts may continue to stall until leaders in Canada and other countries come to grips with the root cause of the abuses – endemic ageism.

Subjects: Civil Liberties, Elder Law, Government Resources, Healthcare, Legal Research