The pattern revealed is one of deliberate ambiguity. On some issues and in some forums, Canada has acted vigorously to promote human rights internationally, as in the United Nations Human Rights Commission, the United Nations Committee on Human Rights, and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. Canada has been much less forceful about human rights in dealings with the International Labour Organization and has almost completely ignored this issue as it relates to international financial institutions. Canada has been outspoken about the violation of rights in countries ruled by communist regimes, while hesitation and ambiguity are a feature of Canadian policies toward South Africa and Central America, as well as in lending policies to international financial institutions, Canadian development assistance, and Canadian arms sales. Each of these areas is examined in Human Rights in Canadian Foreign Policy. Canada is most vigorous on issues of human rights when the rights in question are civil and political rather than economic and social, and when the offending regime is under Soviet rather than American influence.
The contributors include: Frances Arbour, Victoria Berry, John W. Foster, Rhoda E. Howard, Kalmen Kaplansky, T.A. Keenleyside, Allen McChesney, Ronald Manzer, Robert O. Matthews, Stefania Szlek Miller, Cathal J. Nolan, Kim Richard Nossal, Cranford Pratt, Renate Pratt, Ernie Regehr, and H. Gordon Skilling.