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 elevate all persons in the Canadian Forces to a higher level of expectation and individual honour, and following from that professional growth we will be able to trust their judgment to allow them to select, via democratic preference-ranked confidential ballot, their own leadership within the Canadian Forces. Soldiers elect generals!

Grant Rigby
July 20 2017