A Canada for everyone: 45 calls for inclusion

December 10, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

To mark International Human Rights Day, Charlotte Anne Malischewski, Interim Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, issues the following statement:

International Human Rights Day is an opportunity to celebrate our accomplishments and reaffirm our commitment to equality, dignity and respect for everyone. Human rights are universal and the foundation of our free and democratic society.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights united the world in a common cause and acknowledged that everyone is born free and equal. But the truth is that in Canada, not everyone lives free and equal. Some people continue to be denied their fundamental human rights — from clean drinking water, to safe and adequate housing, to access to healthcare, to living without fear.

The rights and freedoms that we enjoy in Canada come with responsibility. We all have an obligation to ensure that everyone in Canada can enjoy their rights and live with equality, dignity, and respect.

And so, as we celebrate human rights day, it is important to acknowledge that it is a celebration of everyone's rights, not just our own.

On this important day, I encourage everyone to think beyond their own rights, and ask themselves, what more can be done to include those still living in vulnerable circumstances? What more can we do?

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has asked these very questions to mark the 45th anniversary of the Canadian Human Rights Act. We have compiled 45 Calls for Inclusion that highlight 45 distinct calls for urgent action on 45 human rights issues in Canada.

None of these can be solved with half measures. They will take a committed, concerted effort from all elements of Canadian society — Canadian governments, organizations and people across Canada. There is much work to do, but we are confident that Canada is up to the challenge. Together, we can build a more inclusive society for all. A Canada for everyone.


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