Every voice counts: Anti-racist transformation from the inside out
Canadian Human Rights Commission’s Fall 2023 Update
The Commission's anti-racism journey
As Canada's National Human Rights Institution, the Commission has long acknowledged that systemic anti-Black racism is real in Canada. No organization is immune, and it is up to all of us to uncover and reject all forms of racism and discrimination whenever they arise. That is exactly what the Commission is doing and will continue to do.
We are committed to doing what is necessary to ensure that everyone in Canada can trust in the Commission to conduct its work with integrity and accountability.
The feedback we have received this past year from racialized communities, stakeholders and Commission employees — past and present — has broadened our perspective and motivated us to do better.
We are committed to providing Commission employees with a psychologically healthy, safe and respectful environment to do their important work providing people in Canada with a clear path to human rights justice.
The 370 people who work at the Commission are a diverse group of individuals, many of whom have lived experience with the very kinds of discrimination that the Canadian Human Rights Act exists to protect. We are all dedicated to uncovering and dismantling systemic racism across the organization and across Canada.
We are fostering an internal culture of inclusion and belonging.
We are putting measures in place so that every employee can thrive.
We are transforming the way we handle complaints from people in Canada who allege that they have experienced racial discrimination.
We are ensuring that anti-racism work is embedded across all our work — in our complaints system, in our public guidance, in our advice to Parliament, in our policy research, in the cases we litigate, in our public statements, in our human resources and procurement, in all that we are and all that we do. Through new guidance, we are also promoting how anti-racism work might be implemented by federal departments, agencies and other institutions across Canada.
Here is a closer look at who we are and what we have been doing.
A look at our diversity and representation
As of September 2023:
- 370 people work at the Commission.
- 325Footnote 1 filled out the voluntary Employment Equity form on their human resources page (MyGCHR).
- 45 employees did not fill out the self-identification form in their MyGCHR portal.
- 87 employees have self-identified but did not give the Commission permission to view their information or use it for reporting purposes.
This leaves 238 employees who gave the Commission permission to use their information for reporting purposes:
Text version of graph 1 - Self-identifying
This image illustrates that of the 238 employees who both self-identified and gave us permission to use their data:
- 25.2% self-identify as racialized;
- 4.2% self-identify as Indigenous;
- 76.8% self-identify as women;
- and 16.3% self-identify as having a disability.
It also shows that of the 25.2% who self-identify as racialized, 8.8% self identify as Black; 4.2% self-identify as Latin American; 3.8% self-identify as Mixed Origin; 2.5% self-identify as South Asian/East Indian and 5.9% self-identify as West Asian, North African, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Southeast Asian or other. End of text version of imgage
While the Commission's representation figures are a strong indicator of progress, there are still gaps in Indigenous recruitment and retention that need addressing. The Commission will continue to make efforts to exceed representation targets established by the Employment Equity Act.
The annual figures reported publicly by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) show a steady increase in the proportion of Commission staff who self-identify as racialized and who also grant permission to have their data published:
- 2018: 16.1% of self-identifying Commission staff identify as racialized
- 2019: 17.9% of self-identifying Commission staff identify as racialized
- 2020: 20.6% of self-identifying Commission staff identify as racialized
- 2021: 20.6% of self-identifying Commission staff identify as racialized
- 2022: 22.9% of self-identifying Commission staff identify as racialized
- As of September 2023: 25.2% of self-identifying Commission staff identify as racialized
As encouraging as the data is, we are working hard at fostering a culture in which more and more racializedFootnote 2 people feel comfortable self-identifying. We are also mindful of how our data collection is a snapshot at a point in time that is constantly fluctuating as employees leave and join the Commission.
In recent years, the Commission received new responsibilities under the Pay Equity Act, Accessible Canada Act and the National Housing Strategy Act. As a result, the number of staff at the Commission has been steadily growing since 2019.
The most complete count of the Commission's 2023 representation will be available in spring 2024 when published by TBS on its Core public administration (CPA) employment trends and demographics online portal. For now, the latest numbers it provides are for 2022.
A look at our leadership
- As of September 12, 2023, 36.8% of the Commission's 22-member executive team self-identifyFootnote 3 as Indigenous, Black, or racialized:
- Indigenous 15.8%
- Black 10.5%
- Racialized 10.5%
- The representation of employees at the Commission's executive level who self-identified as Black moved from 6% in 2020 to 14% in 2022, to 10% in 2023.
Hearing from Commission employees
Creating more opportunities for employees to speak their minds
We are in active discussions about the most effective and efficient ways we can hear directly from Commission staff about their employee experiences.
- We are looking at ways to proactively solicit feedback from Commission staff, including racialized staff, to better understand their employee experience — including an internal feedback mechanism that will protect the identity of employees looking to submit comments, questions or concerns.
- We have enhanced our Memorandum of Understanding with the Ombuds for Small Departments and Agencies to give Commission employees the chance to provide confidential feedback. This includes insights into their reasons for staying with or departing from the Commission. These voluntary and private stay and exit interviews serve as a temporary solution, while we work towards a long term solution.
Working with an advisory committee of racialized employees
The Commission has an internal committee of Indigenous, Black and racialized employees that has grown over the past two years and now comprises over 20 employees. The Decolonization and Anti-Racism Consultation Committee (DACC) continues to reflect on how to make the most meaningful impact across the Commission.
Teams and branches across the Commission regularly engage with DACC to discuss and seek feedback on products and initiatives such as:
- The development of our various workplace policies and directives, including but not limited to: guidelines on the duty to accommodate, mandatory learning and training, and second language training
- Our Employment Systems Review and 2023–26 Employment Equity Action Plan
- Our Accessibility Action Plan and our Official Languages Action Plan
- The development of our onboarding and training programs
- Our approach to public messaging around National Indigenous History Month, the marking of Canada Day, as well as our statement for International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
What we learned from the 2022–23 employee survey
This year, the Commission was encouraged by the results of the 2022-2023 Public Service Employee Survey. It is a survey that goes out to public service employees, and is administered by Statistics Canada, the Office of the Chief Human Resources Commissioner, and the Treasury Board Secretariat. The survey is voluntary and confidential and is open to indeterminate employees, as well as term, seasonal and casual employees, student employees, and Governor in Council appointees.
The Hill Times uses the survey results to rank federal departments and agencies based on the index that was developed by Jake Cole (a former federal public servant), who was inspired by Gallup Organization's “ Great Places to Work.”
This year, the Canadian Human Rights Commission was ranked first out of 68 federal departments and agencies.
Five award years - Text version
This image illustrates 5 years of how the Commission ranked in the Public Service Employee Survey results. In 2017–18, the Commission was ranked in 12th place. In 2018–19, the Commission was ranked in 5th place. In 2019–20, the Commission was ranked in 7th place. In 2020–21, the Commission was ranked in 4th place. And most recently, in 2022–23, the Commission was ranked number one! End of text version of imgage
Note: There was no Public Service Employee Survey conducted in 2021–22.
The survey provides us with new data that can be used to assess the progress we've made and where we need to focus our efforts. We have examined the disaggregatedFootnote 4 data to understand how well the survey results reflect the workplace experiences of Indigenous, Black and racialized staff.
Following a meticulous examination of the survey results, we confirmed that 205 Commission employees participated in the survey, with 68 individuals self-identifying as racialized. This means that almost all Indigenous, Black, and racialized individuals working at the Commission at the time of the survey participated in it. (See Figures 1 and 2 for disaggregated data of the survey results.)
The employee survey was conducted between November 2022 and February 2023:
288 employees worked at the Commission at the time of the survey.
205 employees participated in the survey. (This represents 69% Commission participation rate. The participation rate across the Public Service was 53%.)
68 Commission participants self-identified in the survey as racialized.
When asked (Survey Question 23) if they feel safe about their career when discussing racism:
- 89% of Commission-wide respondents answered yes.
- 77% of racialized Commission respondents answered yes.
- Public Service
- 77% of public-service-wide respondents answered yes.
- 69% of racialized public-service respondents answered yes.
When asked (Survey Question 48) if their department or agency promotes workplace anti-racism:
- 88% of Commission-wide respondents answered yes.
- 71% of racialized Commission respondents answered yes.
- Public Service
- 69% of public-service-wide respondents answered yes.
- 66% of racialized public-service respondents answered yes.
When asked (Survey Question 47) if their department or agency supports workforce diversity:
- 90% of Commission-wide respondents answered yes.
- 82% of racialized Commission respondents answered yes.
- Public Service
- 79% of public-service-wide respondents answered yes.
- 78% of racialized public-service respondents answered yes.
When asked (Survey Question 50) if they feel that racism in their department or agency has had an adverse or negative impact on their mental health:
- 9% of Commission-wide respondents answered yes.
- 15% of racialized Commission respondents answered yes.
- Public Service
- 10% of public-service-wide respondents answered yes.
- 24% of racialized public-service respondents answered yes.
The Commission is using input from Indigenous, Black and racialized employees to develop and finalize our Mental Health Action Plan and other mental health supports for employees. As part of this process, we will be exploring how the psychological safety of racialized staff is affected at work. And we will design responses such as hosting dialogue sessions, pursuing leadership training and tools for managers and supervisors, and exploring other forums to address these concerns.
2023 update on policy grievance against the Commission
Those who follow the Commission and its work may know that in March 2023, the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO) rendered its decisions related to policy grievances filed in 2020 against the Commission. The grievances were filed by the unions representing the group of employees: the Association of Justice Counsel, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, and the Canadian Association of Professional Employees.
The ruling found: “...the CHRC has breached the “No Discrimination” clauses of each of the PA, LP, and EC collective agreements. I find that there was no violation of the other clauses invoked by the bargaining agent.” It also stated:
“Notwithstanding this finding, I note that the CHRC has already taken proactive steps to address these matters. Senior management at CHRC has indicated their interest to engage with the bargaining agent and employees in finding a resolution to the issues raised in the grievance. Further, the issues raised are of a nature that they will require time to resolve.”
The Commission accepted the findings and committed to participating in mediation with the unions, and publicly apologized for any instances in which we fell short of our obligations, both as an employer or service provider. The Commission has also expressed a willingness to undergo an independent third-party workplace assessment. Most recently, mediators were identified and we are pleased to be in the preliminary stages of a mediation and to be working towards a resolution.
We mindfully acknowledge the personal experiences of any individual employees, past or present, who express that the Commission has not been a psychologically safe environment for them. As previously mentioned, we are making it a priority to examine how the psychological safety of racialized staff is affected at work, and will design responses such as hosting dialogue sessions, pursuing leadership training and tools for managers and supervisors, and exploring other forums to address these concerns.
In the weeks that followed the OCHRO ruling, we found the Commission to be frequently misrepresented in the media, with many false assertions made about the TBS decisions, about who works at the Commission, about how the Commission carries out its responsibilities screening human rights complaints, and about the Commission's workplace culture.
We have been communicating openly and regularly with staff through regular division meetings, town-halls, staff messages and other opportunities, to hear their concerns, to provide context, clarify misinformation, and provide support. And as previously mentioned, we are looking at developing an internal feedback mechanism that will protect the identity of employees looking to submit comments, questions or concerns.
Putting people first: Improving workplace culture
The health and well-being of Commission employees matters most. This past year we have undergone both systems changes and workplace culture changes to help foster a deeper sense of belonging and inclusion for every single employee.
In 2022–23, 147 growth opportunities were offered to Commission employees. 25 individuals who voluntarily self-identified as Indigenous, Black and racialized, and who agreed to allow us to publish their data were offered growth opportunities above their substantive level within the Commission.
Currently — like all government departments and agencies — our representation data is incomplete. Employment equity data is unavailable for 132 of the 370 Commission employees. Therefore, if any of these people received a growth opportunity this past year, they are not reflected in the numbers we are reporting.
We are committed to building trust among staff so that more employees self-identify and give the Commission permission to include their data so that we can improve measurement and accountability.
Increasing diversity and nurturing careers
We are taking many steps to encourage diversity and nurture the careers of Indigenous, Black and racialized employees. Here are the highlights:
- We are leveraging non-advertised appointments — including acting appointments — to increase representation of the four groups designated under the Employment Equity Act.
- We have updated our guidelines on official language training so that, through a triage approach, we prioritize second language training for Indigenous, Black and racialized employees who are seeking career growth.
- In our participation in Treasury Board's Mosaic Program, we currently have one successful candidate, of intersectional identity. As part of this program, we will be providing a meaningful, experimental assignment in an executive position that focuses on the employee's areas of growth. The Mosaic Program is designed to develop equity-seeking employees at the EX minus 1 level to support their entry into the executive cadre. The program is highly competitive, with cohorts limited to 50 people from across the federal government. So we are very pleased to currently have a successful candidate.
- After consultations with bargaining agents and our internal Decolonization and Anti-Racism Consultation Committee, we have completed our 2023–26 Employment Equity Action Plan (EEAP) and have shared it with staff. It reflects our priorities for promoting human rights, anti-racism and accessibility, and it incorporates findings and recommendations from our 2021 and 2022 independent employment equity reviews. This is an evergreen document and will be reviewed annually to address new opportunities and challenges.
- We are at the final stages of developing a Mentorship Plus Program to increase representation of equity-impacted groups in leadership positions. The program will help remove barriers for high-potential employees from equity-impacted groups, and ensure more equity-impacted groups are supported in achieving their career goals.
- Understanding that advocating for employees is as important as mentorship, we are developing a Sponsorship Pilot Program that will target Indigenous, Black and racialized employees. With an intended launch in 2024–25, the pilot will provide key insights and serve as an implementation model for future programs.
- We are committed to using other existing programs within the federal government — including conducting outreach to various federal employee networks — to support Commission staffing objectives.
- Once employment opportunities are posted on the Public Service Resourcing System, they are shared internally with Commission employees. The Commission is identifying mechanisms that can be leveraged in order to share employment opportunities with federal public service employee networks comprising diverse employees.
Making sure employees are heard and supported
- We publicly apologized to Commission staff for any instances in which we fell short of our obligations, whether as an employer or service provider. We stressed that racism of any kind has no place in our workplace, and that we are committed to providing all employees with a psychologically healthy, safe and respectful environment in which to do their important work.
- We have been communicating openly and regularly with staff through regular division meetings, town-halls, staff messages and other opportunities, to hear their concerns, provide context, clarify misinformation, and provide support.
- We regularly remind employees that they are not alone and that various supports are available to them: through the Employee Assistance Program; through the independent Office of Ombuds for Small Departments and Agencies; through the LifeSpeak Web-based service; and through support from supervisors, managers, directors and fellow colleagues.
- We strengthened support for Commission employees through the Employee Assistance Program by ensuring employees can specify their preferred racial or other background of the counsellor assigned to them.
- We convened our Mental Health Network in 2022 and are working on developing the Commission's Mental Health Action Plan 2024-2025. The process incorporates the outcomes from employee consultations on the 13 Factors of Psychological Health and Safety, and includes a review of the Action Plan from a racial trauma and psychological safety perspective.
- As previously mentioned, we are exploring several options for employees to provide input directly to Commission management on issues of racism and discrimination. These options currently include, but are not limited to: exit and stay interviews, periodic pulse-checks with Commission staff, and a confidential feedback mechanism.
Building internal anti-racism leadership and expertise
- In August 2023, we appointed a Director of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Anti-Racism (IDEA-AR), reporting directly to the Chief Commissioner and the Executive Director. She is responsible for providing leadership and the implementation of the Commission's Accessibility Action Plan and Anti-Racism Action Plan.
- Every executive at the Commission must account for their team's progress in implementing the Commission's Anti-Racism Action Plan, which is assessed in their yearly performance evaluations. We are looking into ways to measure the impact that our anti-racism work is having on the programs and services we deliver so that performance indicators are meaningful and linked to tangible progress.
- The Commission continues to engage the ongoing services of an external consultant — Charles C. Smith, an expert in anti-racist organizational change — to provide advice and guidance in our work. He meets with Commission staff, including management, to guide progress in implementing the plan, with a focus on measuring results and identifying further gaps.
- Through the Canada School of Public Service, we have updated the Commission's Mandatory Learning and Training Guidelines that will come into force later in the fall of 2023. We now have a Commission-wide training roadmap for Commission staff. Through this mandatory training for existing and new staff at the Commission, employees will gain a deeper understanding of anti-racism, anti-ableism, anti-discrimination, inclusion and allyship. In addition, Governor in Council appointees are encouraged to complete this same training.
Prioritizing anti-racism across our work
Improving how we handle race-based discrimination complaints
The Commission serves as a federal screening body. We screen and help people in Canada who contact us each year so they find the right avenue to seek human rights justice. If they have the basis to file a human rights complaint at the federal level, we help them file their complaint with us and we offer mediation services.
- We have developed a Complaints Accountability Framework. Its purpose is to ensure we continue to dismantle barriers in our complaints process, and that we include various stages of review by our legal division, our policy division, and particularly employees with different lived experiences and diverse backgrounds.
- For all discrimination complaints alleging racism in Canada we are:
- applying an intersectional lens during the analysis of the complaint
- ensuring that criteria for the assessment of raced based complaints is consistently applied
- handling the complaints with a trauma-informed approach that prevents complainants from having to re-tell their difficult story multiple times
- ensuring that Indigenous, Black and racialized employees with lived experience are involved in shaping the complaints process
- We continue to provide comprehensive training on how to handle race-based complaints for all new employees in our Complaints Branch and for those who want to redo the training. This training was designed by anti-racism scholar and expert, Mark Hart, who we have been working with since 2019. He developed a report for us, entitled, Strengthening the Commission's handling of Race-based Cases, which he used to create a training module for our complaints staff. This training is used regularly to instruct our complaints staff on how to apply a trauma-informed approach to their work, how to be more inclusive and informed allies, and how to identify the “subtle scent” of racism in cases that come before us.
- We are also developing an interactive, online Onboarding and Training Program for Complaints Services employees. It will be supplementary to the Commission-wide training, and will include foundational courses on anti-racism, anti-ableism, anti-discrimination, inclusion and allyship, to ensure that every employee within our Complaints Services Branch has a strong understanding of these principles and how to apply them in their roles.
- As a key action in our commitment to gather more meaningful, disaggregated data we have launched an integrated data collection strategy where we send an automated invitation to complainants to participate in a survey seven days after they have submitted their complaint through our website. This is helping us learn more about who is using our complaint process. Participation in this survey does not affect the participant's complaint, nor any decision made by the Commission with respect to their complaint. The Commission keeps the data from these surveys separate from the complaint files.
- As shown below, our complaints data tells us that among the discrimination complaints people in Canada have filed between 2018–2022 that cite the grounds of race, colour, or national or ethnic origin:
- There has been a significant increase in the number we are referring to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (from 6% in 2018, to 21% in 2022).
- There has also been a significant decrease in the complaints we dismiss after assessing them for evidence (from 26% in 2018, to 9% in 2022).
- The five most cited key words in these complaints are: the word Black (29%), the word Indigenous (28%), the word Brown (11%), the word Iranian (7%), and the word Arab (6%).
Top 5 Cited Keywords - text version
This image shows that among the key-words cited in race-based complaints received by the Commission between 2018 and 2023, the top five cited key-words are:
- The word Black, as in colour (29%);
- the word Indigenous (28%);
- the word Brown, as in colour (11%);
- the word Iranian (7%);
- and the word Arab (6%).
End of text version of imgage
Top 5 Cited Keywords 2018-2023
This graphic shows the statistical improvement in how the Commission handled race-based complaints in 2022 compared to 2018.
- We dismissed (* an explanatory note follows.) 26% of the race-based complaints we looked at.
- We referred 6% of race-based cases onward to the Tribunal for a hearing.
* Explanatory note: The Commission only ever formally dismisses a case after reviewing all the evidence.
- We dismissed 9% of race-based cases in 2022.
- We referred 21% of race-based cases to the Tribunal in 2022.
Our complete 2023 numbers will be available in our 2023 Annual Report to Parliament (to be published in spring 2024).
End of text version of imgage
Prioritizing our role in race-based discrimination cases
The Commission serves as litigator, mediator, and representative of the public interest in human rights cases brought under the Canadian Human Rights Act. We detect systemic issues in human rights cases and address them so that individuals do not have to do it on their own. We help both parties in a human rights dispute mediate the issues and arrive at a settlement, often without needing a hearing. When a hearing is warranted, we refer the case to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, at which time we decide to what extent we participate on behalf of the public interest, which means, we are there to defend the human rights of the people of Canada.
Pie-graphs - text verion
This graphic shows two pie-graphs. The first pie-graph illustrates how over the last year, race-based complaints represented 31% of the litigation caseload the Commission chose to take on. The second pie-graph illustrates how the Commission presents evidence in 93% of the race-based complaints it sends to the Tribunal.
End of text version of imgage
As of September 2023, there are currently over 580 active human rights cases with the Commission that allege racism across various federally regulated organizations in Canada. These cases are at various stages within the complaints system.
Due to confidentiality, the Commission is prevented from speaking publicly about a case until it is settled in a manner that allows for public disclosure, or it is referred to the Tribunal.
Over the past year, the following cases were settled and included remedies to address systemic racism.
A case against the National Film Board of Canada
In 2023, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) reached an agreement to settle a human rights complaint before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal about systemic discrimination in the workplace. The case began with Mr. Stephen Puskas (who agreed to be named). He is a young Inuk man who had worked at the NFB as an associate producer intern in 2017–2018. He worked on multiple projects, including Hothouse 12 and Ingenia, the NFB's Indigenous Cinema webpage, and helped to promote the NFB and their work in Indigenous communities (i.e. the Wide Awake Tour in Labrador and Kuujjuaq).
Because of his courage and resilience, and with the support of the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations, Mr. Puskas helped bring about powerful changes within the NFB. Read the public statement: National Film Board of Canada commits to being more inclusive of Inuit culture
A case against the RCMP Training Academy
In 2023, the Commission helped the parties in a complaint involving the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) reach a human rights settlement aimed at addressing and preventing systemic discrimination at the RCMP Training Academy at Depot Division, in Regina. The case began with a complaint to the Commission from an RCMP cadet, who identified as a Black Canadian, and who attended the RCMP Training Academy.
Thanks to his courage, changes are being made right now to address any barriers that underrepresented groups may face when trying to successfully complete their training curriculum at the RCMP Training Academy. Read the public statement: RCMP commits to addressing and preventing discrimination.
Working with the Network for Advancing Racial Equality
The Commission relies upon our close working relationship with a nation-wide community of human rights stakeholders to inform our work. The Commission's Network for Advancing Racial Equality comprises over 250 experts. Through consultation, the Network has contributed to the Commission's new guidance by Charles C. Smith: “Anti-Racism & Organizational Change: A Guide for Employers,” our anti-racism policies and our anti-racism advice to Parliamentarians. People are encouraged to join the Network for Advancing Racial Equality.
Prioritizing our anti-racism policy, research and guidance
As a centre of human rights knowledge and policy development, the Commission is called upon regularly to provide human rights expertise on proposed federal laws, initiatives and policies. Our positions on pressing and emerging human rights issues are informed through consultations with stakeholders and persons with lived experience, our complaints and case law, and in-depth research and analysis.
Over the past year, our policy and research work continues to be driven by the human rights issues facing marginalized groups. Key highlights include:
- New guidance developed by anti-racism expert Charles C. Smith, and Brigit Rohde, entitled: “Anti-Racism & Organizational Change: A Guide for Employers.” The guide and its accompanying video promote how anti-racism work might be implemented by federal departments, agencies and other institutions across Canada.
- Written submission to Parliament on facial recognition technology use in policing. We reiterate our human rights concerns over the use of facial recognition technology in policing and its harmful impacts, given the RCMP's history of systemic racism, over-surveillance and over-policing of Indigenous, Black and racialized communities.
- Commission Discussion Paper on Systemic Racism
- Commission Discussion Paper on Religious Intolerance
- Updated guidance for managers on the duty to accommodate and preventing workplace harassment.
Prioritizing anti-racism in our UN work
As Canada's national human rights institution, we are responsible for: holding the government to account on ensuring that it fulfills its international human rights obligations at home; monitoring how well Canada is abiding by United Nations human rights treaties; and speaking out where Canada is falling short. One of our official designations is as Canada's National Monitoring Mechanism responsible for monitoring the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). We also work with the international human rights community to promote human rights worldwide, and to help other national human rights institutions build their capacity to hold their own governments to account.
Our Submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council, as part of its review of Canada during the 4th cycle of the Universal Periodic Review
- In our submission to the UN Council, which garnered national media attention, we emphasized the rights of prisoners in Canada and anyone being deprived of their liberty.
- We called on Canada to ratify the United Nations' Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).
- We underscored the increasing number of reports of injurious and deadly interactions between police and Indigenous, Black and racialized individuals.
In our role as National Monitoring Mechanism of the UN CRPD
- We provided a submission to the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ahead of his country visit to Canada in which we highlighted a number of issues pertaining to Indigenous peoples with disabilities, including: intersecting forms of discrimination and unique barriers to accessing basic necessities, supports and services; the lack of accessible and affordable housing options; and concerns regarding the application of accessibility legislation in First Nations communities.
- Under that same role, in the fall of 2022, we hosted two virtual engagement sessions with disability rights holders, including Indigenous, Black and rationalized participants with disabilities, to discuss their experiences accessing their right to housing.