NEWS RELEASE - Number of people contacting CHRC to complain at all-time high

April 17, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

In its 2018 Annual Report released today, the Canadian Human Rights Commission says more people contacted the Commission to ask for help than any other year in its history.

In addition, the Commission accepted its highest number of complaints in over ten years, at 1,129. The number of accepted complaints citing disability, national or ethnic origin, race, colour, religion, and sex were each the highest in a decade. Disability remained the most commonly cited ground of discrimination, representing 52% of the complaints.

While these numbers do not represent overall discrimination trends in Canada, they show that more people are feeling emboldened to speak out against discrimination, and find it easier to ask the Commission for help. This is in large part due to new initiatives the Commission has put in place to improve access to its services, including an online complaint platform that uses simple language.

“I am encouraged that more people than ever feel empowered to speak out about discrimination,” said Chief Commissioner Marie-Claude Landry. “But not everyone living with discrimination is able or willing to ask for help. Speaking out against intolerance and discrimination is a responsibility we all share.”

The Commission’s 2018 Annual Report, titled Speak Out, also features the stories of real individuals in Canada who are speaking out, speaking up, and fighting for justice and equality, each in their own ways, in their own lives. The CHRC’s 2018 Annual Report to Parliament is now available on the CHRC’s website.

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Quick Facts

  • 25,000 people contacted the Commission to complain in 2018, surpassing any other year. 19,500 of them did so through the Commission’s new online platform.
  • The number of complaints the Commission accepted in 2018 is the highest in over a decade, at 1,129.
  • The number of accepted complaints citing discrimination on the ground of disability, national or ethnic origin, race, colour, religion, and sex were highest in a decade:
    • Race: up by 118%;
    • National or ethnic origin: up by 98%;
    • Religion: up by 73%;
    • Colour: up by 68%;
    • Sex: up by 41%;
    • Disability: up by 33%.
  • Disability was the most commonly cited ground of discrimination, at 52% of accepted complaints. Over half of all disability complaints were related to mental health. This represents 27% of all complaints accepted by the Commission in 2018.
  • 43% of complaints accepted in 2018 were intersectional, which means they cited more than one ground of discrimination.
  • Of the accepted complaints related to the workplace, 1 in 5 of them involved harassment.

 

Quotes

“I am encouraged that more people than ever feel empowered to speak out about discrimination. But not everyone living with discrimination is able or willing to ask for help. Speaking out against intolerance and discrimination is a responsibility we all share.”

—Marie-Claude Landry, Ad. E., Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission

 

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613-943-9118
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