Come to DOXA: ‘The Cleaners’

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 12.56.22 PMIn 1998, Vancouver gained DOXA, a non-profit society dedicated to presenting innovative documentaries to local audiences. The Vancouver branch of the UN Association in Canada (UNAC_V) is proud to have sponsored films for the Justice Forum category of this festival since 2012.

This year, UNAC-V has chosen, “The Cleaners” to support. A film about social media and its hidden secrets, it is especially relevant to global issues when considering recent news about the impact of disinformation and subsequent national, even international events. The film will be screened Wednesday, May 9th at 6pm. The location is 149 West Hastings Street in the SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. Please visit representatives of UNAC-V at their table located on the 3rd floor near the entrance of theatre! We would love to see you there. We are always looking for supporters to join which would assist us financially in supporting important local events such as DOXA.

Social media breathes life into democracy; Arab Spring and #BlackLivesMatter comes to mind. Unfortunately, more sinister forces are cultivated using social media, sometimes consciously and often inadvertently,  but seemingly unabated. A United Nations report has blamed social media for genocide in Myanmar, with concern about “high levels of hate speech…particularly on social media”. Facebook has declared it has clear rules against hate speech and the incitement of violence, and that efforts have been improved to keep it off the platform. It’s what makes up these efforts at cleaning up Facebook that is the subject of this DOXA film, “The Cleaners”.

This year, 2018, is the 70th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights. In honour of this most important international document let us consider the ways that human rights are breached, and then support the UN in prevention and eradication efforts of these breaches. By supporting and joining the UN Association in Canada, you would be contributing to this important process of education and action. (Tip: Use the Google Chrome browser to see the online form.)



Call for Web Writers (Volunteer) to Publish with UNAC-V

The Vancouver Branch of the United Nations Association in Canada (UNAC-V) is currently seeking volunteers to contribute content to our website on issues of a global matter, in keeping with the purview of the United Nations and its mandate. Scroll through the UNAC-V posts in order to get an idea of the kinds of content we publish. The mandate of UNAC-V is to engage the Canadian public and build awareness of the work of the United Nations.

Ideal candidates would:

  • Be able to commit to the position for at least 1 year.
  • Be able to contribute a minimum of one post per two months, approximately
  • Have time to attend some UNAC-V events for the purposes of creating summary posts

Those interested should email unacvancouver (at) with one personally-written post relevant to our criteria above, ready for posting, with “Website Writer Applicant” in the subject line.  Your work can include historical accounts, a current event synopsis, an overview of a UN program or something along these lines, no more than approximately 500 words.  Alternatively, if you have written an article that covers similar issues you may send us a link to that post.

Applicants should also include a resume and explain their interest in global issues, a few ideas you have for posts and why you would be interested in working for UNAC-V.

We look forward to hearing from you! The deadline is until the positions are filled but no later then May 31, 2018.

Communications Coordinator (volunteer) position with UNAC-V

The Vancouver Branch of the United Nations Association in Canada (UNAC-V) is currently seeking a volunteer Communications Coordinator.

We need someone who has experience in graphic design and editing, social media and blog posting and volunteer management. This volunteer position comes with a $500 stipend paid over a 12-month term. Please see the PDF attached for more details on the position and how to apply. This call will remain open until May 14th.

The mandate of UNAC-V is to engage the Canadian public and build awareness of the work of the United Nations.



UNAC-V Sponsors DOXA Film: The Cleaners

THE_CLEANERS_photoUNA-Vancouver is pleased to be sponsoring the May 9th screening of The Cleaners, a documentary film about the unseen impact of outsourcing the ethics of social media on workers, democracy and the role of technology in our lives. The Wednesday, May 9th screening is part of the Justice Forum Series and will include a post-film discussion with a selected voice from the field.

Directed by Hans Block (Germany) and Mortiz Riesewieck (Brazil), their work starts with investigations and end up as striking, complex narrations. In The Cleaners, they have revealed the dark underbelly of our globalized social media culture and the people employed to determine what is unacceptable.

Tickets are on sale now: Buy Tickets.

Venues for screenings of this documentary include: Screen Shot 2018-04-19 at 1.42.52 PM




To see other films included in DOXA’s 2018 program: See Festival Schedule. DOXA runs from May 3rd to May 13th. Watch the trailer below, and join us on May 9th.

Invitation to AGM 2018


AGM_poster_3The Vancouver Branch of the UN Association in Canada (UNAC-V) welcomes all members of the local branch to attend the Annual General Meeting taking place Monday, April 9th from 7pm until 8pm with refreshments at 7pm. The meeting will convene at the Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSBC) building located at 2610 Victoria Drive in Vancouver near the Broadway Skytrain Station.

We believe that the work of UNAC-V is very important: ensuring Canadians understand and support the goals and ideals of the United Nations. Please continue to support our work in sharing UN goals and achievements with Canadians of all ages.

2018 Dr. Richard B. Splane Lecture in Social Policy

The Dr. Richard Splane Lecture on Social Policy is an annual free public lecture in celebration of the noted accomplishments of Dick Splane, former Director of the School of Social Work at UBC and UNA-Canada patron.

This year’s guest lecturer, Dr. David Piachaud, will speak on the topic of “Poverty, Basic Income, and Social Policy.” The talk will take place on Thursday, 15 March from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM at The Asian Centre, 1871 West Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2, located between the C.K. Choi building and Nitobe Gardens, a short walk from the Liu Institute. Please find a map here.

Event registration is required. Register here

About the talk:

Professor Piachaud’s lecture will review the causes, extent and evolution of poverty in advanced economies and the benefits and limitations of social security responses and, the growing interest in a basic income approach. Basic Income will then be described, as will confusions about its name, its objectives, its level, and its relation to other social services. Other consideration of basic income will include the justice of conditionality; individualized simplicity; redistributive efficiency; and, political feasibility. Finally, Professor Piachaud will conclude his lecture with consideration of the broader consequences of poverty and inequality for health, education and social stability – and the implications of these consequences for Basic Income and social policy generally.


David Piachaud taught at the London School of Economics from 1970 to 2016 and was Professor of Social Policy 1988 to 2016. He is now Emeritus Professor of Social Policy and an Associate of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion and of the Indian Observatory. He was Social Policy Advisor in the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit (1974-79) and has been Consultant to the European Commission, the ILO, the OECD and the Chinese Government. He has lectured in 20 countries. He has written papers and books on children, poverty, social security, social exclusion and social policy. Publications include: Causes of Poverty, HMSO, 1978 (with Richard Layard and Mark Stewart); Understanding Social Exclusion. Oxford University Press, 2002, (editor with John Hills and Julian LeGrand); Poverty in Britain: The Impact of Government Policy since 1997, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2003 (with Holly Sutherland and Tom Sefton); One Hundred Years of Poverty and Policy. Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2004 (with Howard Glennerster, John Hills and Jo Webb)’ Making Social Policy Work Policy Press, 2007 (editor with John Hills and Julian Le Grand); Colonialism and Welfare, Edward Elgar, 2011, and Social Protection, Economic Growth and Social Change: Goals, Issues and Trajectories in China, India, Brazil and South Africa, Edward Elgar, 2013, (editor with James Midgley).


This event is co-hosted by the UBC School of Social Work, the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the United Nations Association of Greater Vancouver.

This event is now sold out. To be added to the waitlist, please email your name and any guest name(s) to

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#MeToo – Empowering Women in Vancouver and Beyond

By Julianna Driedger

In 2017, there was remarkable progress made to enhance women’s empowerment; one particular movement of which has continued to have a voice into the new year. The familiar hashtag #metoo, went viral in October across social media platforms providing a channel that would connect survivors of sexual harassment and draw attention to the magnitude of those affected. While this hashtag has been popularized recently, the #metoo movement was originally created by Tarana Burke in 2006. Burke meant to give a voice to the victims of sexual violence with her idea of “empowerment through empathy,” where sexual violence survivors could share their experiences with others who have similar stories and find they are not alone. #Metoo is meant to start conversations about sexual violence and help survivors find healing. The spread of the hashtag highlights the sheer number of people affected which in turn helps to de-stigmatize the survivors, and seeks to prevent future sexual violence.


While the movement started as a way of giving a voice to those who have experienced sexual violence, it has since expanded to the stories of those who have been affected by sexual assault or harassment. The movement gained momentum after sexual misconduct allegations were made against Harvey Weinstein when Alyssa Milano took to Twitter to encourage survivors of sexual harassment and assault to post #metoo as a status update. According to a CBS News stat, the hashtag was retweeted just under a million times in 48 hours, and on Facebook had more than 12 million posts, reactions and comments in less than 24 hours by 4.7 million users around the world (2). The article continues that in “the U.S., Facebook said 45 percent of users have had friends who posted ‘me too.’” These staggering numbers show survivors that they truly are not alone, while also revealing to the public the extent of the problem and the shocking amount of people who have experienced sexual harassment and violence.

Vancouver citizens have joined in the #metoo movement not only by participating in the social media hashtags but by holding a MeToo Rally that took place on November 4, 2017. In Vancouver, there are many survivors of various forms of sexual misconduct. The movement and rally have brought attention to the importance of the conversation around this topic, and in order to move that conversation forward, the focus must be around ending discrimination and violence against women in society. In Vancouver, the city has provided some notable ways in which to do this.

For example, a significant legislation was passed on April 16, 2017, that required all British Columbia post-secondary institutions to establish and implement a sexual misconduct policy by May 18, 2017. The University of British Columbia has responded to this policy by implementing a Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office that receives disclosures of sexual misconduct, provides information and referrals to different counselling and aid centres, helps act as a liaison with investigations of allegations, and leads an educational program to counter sexual misconduct (5). Other BC Universities have followed in implementing programs designed to prevent and protect their students and staff from sexual misconduct.

UBC has also made a point to address and educate their students on what is considered sexual misconduct, and what is considered consent. These keywords, “sexual misconduct” and “consent,” are crucial for the public to understand so that they can recognize what appropriate boundaries and behaviour looks like. By being able to recognize and respect appropriate behaviour and boundaries, it is easier for people to spot when it is being transgressed and get help.

In 2018, women’s empowerment must continue to push new boundaries. Vancouver citizens should be able to feel safe to express sexual misconduct complaints and be taken seriously without fear of retaliation. These affected citizens are vital voices to be heard as the pain and anger from their experiences will help others understand the importance of this issue. Post-secondary institutions are now required to have sexual misconduct policies, and workplaces should too. Society cannot remain indifferent to acts of sexual harassment. The government needs to step in with active ways to prevent sexual misconduct in all levels of communities, provide aid to those affected, and alleviate survivors from feeling blamed or ignored but empowered in voicing their stories so they don’t face fear of stigmatization.

If the #metoo movement continues to be empowered with honest and impassioned voices, it will push the United Nations goal to achieve gender equality and empower all women into a closer reality. The UN seeks to see accomplishments made in favour of advancing women’s rights throughout the world, which can be seen in the UN Women’s Year in Review link:

If you are affected by a sexual misconduct crisis or know someone who is, there are resource groups established to help like WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre, Vancouver Rape Relief, and The Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of B.C. who are easy to get in touch with. And remember, if you see something, say something.