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Human Rights in Canada and Saudi Lav Deal

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Human Rights in Canada and Saudi LAV Deal  

Justin Cuddihey


November 28, 2016

Human Rights, International Relations, Constructivism, Realism

Faculty of Social Sciences

University of Ottawa

Table of Contents:                                                                 


Preamble----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page. 2-3

Canada-Saudi Overview

  1. Formation of the Deal----------------------------------------------------------------Page. 4-5
  2. Canada-Saudi Relationship----------------------------------------------------------Page. 5-6
  3. Middle Eastern Turmoil--------------------------------------------------------------Page.6-7
  4. Global Perspective--------------------------------------------------------------------Page.7

Critical Analysis of the Arms-Deal

  1. Constructivists Approach----------------------------------------------------------------Page. 7-8
  2. Realism and the Green-Light------------------------------------------------------------Page. 8-9
  3. The Underlying truth----------------------------------------------------------------------Page. 9


  1. Final Remarks------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page. 10-11


      xi)       Works Cited--------------------------------------------------------------------------Page. 12-13


                This research analysis will examine the arms agreement between the Canadian and Saudi Arabian governments. The deal entails the manufacturing of Light Armored Vehicles (LAV) by Ontario’s General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS). Examining the varying positions on the deal will further the understanding of the conflict in the Middle East, and show the implications this deal will have on the Canadian economy. Through a constructivist lens, there will be an analysis on the various positions held under the basis of this deal that will show how realism challenges this notion through commerce. Comparably, the expected findings of this research analysis will expose whether Canada has violated the United Nations international human rights laws and obligations.

Keywords: human rights, humanitarian, laws, weapons.












             Throughout this research paper, I will analyze a trade agreement established between Canada and Saudi Arabia. This agreement, established by the former Conservative Canadian government, has endowed a $15 billion trade agreement for LAV to the Saudi Arabian government. Notably, Saudi Arabia is governed by a dominant Sunni Islamic government. The Canadian government has become well informed of the severity of the threat Iran and the Houthi movements in Yemen pose on the Middle East. Furthermore, the previous Conservative government had endowed the export of LAVs and training to the Saudi military forces. In relation, this research proposal will examine whether Canada’s involvement in this arms deal has violated international human rights and humanitarian law obligations, as defined by the United Nations. Through a Constructivist lens, I will analyze the current research on the arms deal and view how a realistic approach would contest it. I will establish the context as to how this arms deal was developed, through the examination of the Saudi Arabian conflict in Yemen. Through a contextual understanding, I will establish various positions surrounding this arms deal including those by non-governmental organizations, distinguished publicists and the Canadian Government. The examination of this deal carries many underlying arguments and justifications from both positive and negative positions. While Canada is not directly involved in the conflict in Yemen, there have been concerns over how the LAVs could be used by the Saudis to oppress the Shiat community. Conversely, the Canadian Government sees this is an opportunity for Canadians, as it would create more than 3000 new jobs in London, Ontario. This increase in jobs will ultimately boost the Canadian economy. A prominent opinion brought forth by the current Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, is neither for nor against this deal. He believes “[w]e inherited the contract…with Saudi Arabia, …  Going forward, we will make sure that we are much more rigorous and transparent about living up to Canadians’ expectations. But, at the same time, we can’t turn around and cancel a contract like that without putting in jeopardy Canada’s business relationships with countries around the world.” (Blackwell, 2016) This evidence will go on to further answer whether or not Canada has violated international human rights.

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