Reflections From the Front LinesBook - 2009
Maxwell Yalden began his career in the Department of External Affairs; he was posted to Moscow and Paris, and later as ambassador to Belguim. As Canada's Language Commissioner from 1977-1984, he worked to reinforce the Official Languages Act, and language equality, encouraging Canadians to become more inclusive in their attitudes towards both official languages. Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission from 1987-1996, he also served for eight years as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee. Transforming Rights draws on Yalden's extensive experience in rights work to provide a personal assessment of how issues of human rights and language rights have evolved over the past forty years, both within Canada and internationally.
Transforming Rights contends that Canadian rights principles reflect a unique history and character and examines the interplay of historical and contemporary Canadian standards with comparable international norms. Yalden argues that Canada's rights achievements demonstrate that though it may not be possible to change beliefs and attitudes through policy and legislation, it is certainly possible to change behaviour - facilitating the expansion of rights. Authoritative and anecdotal, Yalden offers an informed insider's opinion on continuously evolving human rights norms and the impact they have had on the way that people live their lives.