A background in Labour Studies is excellent preparation for human rights work because advancing, protecting and educating about Human Rights so closely reflects the same passions brings people into the Labour Studies field. An example is the fact that over half of the complaints brought to the Human Rights Commission are workplace related.
Labour Studies has a long-standing relationship with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, where we have placed a number of students over many years in field placements. Our students have completed a number of research projects at Human Rights, all of which have been integrated into their permanent archive, presented at conferences, or used to improve their program design and delivery.
David Camfield's human rights-related interests include workers' rights as human rights and racism, sexism and heterosexism. He is especially interested in how rights come to be recognized in law and administration and in the relationship between rights and efforts to dismantle oppression in society. He developed and teaches a Labour Studies course in Racism and Work.
Julie Guard's human-rights related research recovers the history of progressive social movements and inclusive, democratic unions. Her courses on labour and community organizing, public policy, and grassroots movements examine working people’s struggles and the power relations that underpin collective struggles for social justice. She serves on the board of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, helping to publish and promote progressive research that supports and strengthens struggles for social justice, and is active in the women’s and peace movements and the struggle for justice in Israel/Palestine, as well as in her union.