No matter how much people want to focus on their immediate surroundings, responsible citizens need to pay attention to what's taking place far away, because it will have an impact on their lives.

"We are seeing a rise of liberal authoritarianism in some democracies in western Europe and Eastern Europe," said Kyle Matthews of Concordia University's Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies.

"We are seeing the role of China growing... we have Russia interfering in our elections."

That's one of the key points that will be brought up at the Rights City conference taking place in June in Montreal

Organized by several groups including Amnesty International Francophone Canada, the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, the Canadian International Council and the Centre for International Peace and Security Studies, the conference will bring together human rights leaders from around the world.

"We should be on guard," said Matthews. "We have to remain vigilant today because we're seeing across the world some of these rights are being taken away and our institutions need to be defended."

Watch the interview with Matthews for more information.

The Rights City conference takes place on June 3, 2019.