Canadian Forces Human Rights Oath

Let's change the oath required of persons enrolling in the Canadian Forces,

from swearing/affirming mere allegiance to the Queen,

to instead swear/affirm "to protect human rights in accordance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to defend Canadians and Canada as directed by the lawful democratic Government of Canada."

It is during military action, when unpredicted and difficult ethical situations may occur, when leadership may be dead or wrongly informed or corrupted, that we want all persons in the Canadian Forces to exercise their best judgment in the particular situation they are in, to best achieve these broad principles. We also want them to be assured that if these objectives require not following a misguided or erroneous order, that they have strong legal defense based upon the oath.

Potential enemy forces would be less likely to identify Canadian Forces as being their enemy, upon awareness that all persons in the Canadian Forces are by oath required to protect human rights of all persons everywhere.

Every weapon used by Canadian Forces or supplied by Canada to other countries, should also bear the inscription: "This weapon is to be used only for the defense or advancement of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights." A gun lost on the battlefield would reveal to the enemy or civilians the noble intention to which Canadian Forces strive. Some might ask for the same high calling for their profession as Canada leads.

This new oath would broaden the professional growth of all in the Canadian Forces, aspiring to serve humanity in the highest honour.

Grant Rigby
July 20 2017

To: Minister of Defense Harjat Sajjan
Dept Defense Minister Jody Thomas
Louise Arbour, lead of an external review into sexual harassment and misconduct in the Canadian military.

Sexual assault is not a violation of the current oath swearing/affirming mere allegiance to the Queen.

Sexual assault, of anyone, would be violation of an oath to protect human rights, and compel dishonourable discharge.
Changing the oath would change the culture.

Grant Rigby     May 2, 2021