Friday, March 30, 2007

Annual Report of the Canadian Human Rights Commission

The Canadian Human Rights Commission published its 2006 Annual Report earlier this week.

Among the highlights for the past year are:
  • Dispute Resolution: The Dispute Resolution Branch continues to develop less formal approaches to resolving disputes. Forty percent of those who agreed to try to resolve their disputes without filing a complaint were able to reach a settlement in this way.
  • Combatting Hate on the Internet: Since 2002, the Commission has dealt with 55 allegations of hate messages on the Internet. In 2006, the Commission participated in all hearings before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal dealing with complaints of this nature.
  • Preventing Discrimination: The Commission signed several agreements with major employers, all aimed at preventing discrimination in the workplace. In total, these agreements affect 34,000 employees. In addition, the Commission established an Employer Advisory Council to provide a forum for raising, discussing and acting on issues related to preventing discrimination in workplaces and service centres across the country. The Commission also hosted a Discrimination Prevention Forum, focusing on accommodation issues affecting persons with disabilities.
  • Employment Equity: The Commission is streamlining its employment equity audit process for greater efficiency and effectiveness. It is also preparing for the five-year review being conducted by a Parliamentary Committee into the effectiveness of the Employment Equity Act.
  • Promoting Human Rights: Internationally, the Commission participated in meetings of the Ad Hoc Committee established to negotiate the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was adopted by the Plenary of the United Nations General Assembly in December 2006. The Commission also released an important new publication on how to ensure that built environments are accessible to everyone.
  • Aboriginal Peoples: Throughout 2006, the Commission continued to engage in dialogue with First Nations leaders and government officials to encourage implementation of the Commission’s recommendations regarding the repeal of section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Section 67 denies First Nations people access to the same human rights complaint redress system available to other people in Canada. The Government of Canada introduced legislation to repeal section 67 in December 2006.
  • Research on Emerging Human Rights Issues: During 2006, the Commission produced several reports delving into emerging issues, such as the field of national security and human rights, issues involved when employees return to work after an extended leave, and an examination of environmental sensitivities as they relate to human rights.

This week, the Commission also released its Report on Plans and Priorities for the 2007-2008 fiscal year.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:06 pm


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