In 2015, the Canadian Human Rights Commission met with over 65 organizations and hundreds of individuals that advocate for the rights of people in Canada. These meetings included Cabinet Ministers, Agents of Parliament, academics, NGOs, law societies, First Nations community leaders, advocacy groups, employers, provincial and territorial human rights commissions, and several community organizations that work directly with people living in vulnerable circumstances.

The goal was to find out what people expect from their national human rights institution. The breadth and scope of the feedback was profound, yet several common themes emerged.

The Commission is committed to being a national voice that is clearly independent from government, that represents people in vulnerable circumstances, and that speaks out on all human rights issues in Canada.

Following these discussions, the Commission developed a three-year plan to change the way it works so that it puts people at the centre of everything it does. The Commission is committed to being a national voice that is clearly independent from government, that represents people in vulnerable circumstances, and that speaks out on all human rights issues in Canada. The Commission will continue to collaborate with organizations and individuals from across the country to promote and protect human rights.

The Commission is grateful to everyone who offered their ideas and insight.  

  • 1

    Becoming the national voice

    What we heard

    The Commission must be more vocal and must be the national voice on all human rights issues in Canada

  • 2

    Affirming our independence

    What we heard

    The Commission must be truly independent from government, and more importantly, must be perceived as such. 

  • 3

    Closing the gap

    What we heard

    The Commission must play a key role in building a new era for Indigenous rights

  • 4

    Ensuring human rights for all

    What we heard

    People in vulnerable circumstances do not have the same access to justice as everyone else.

  • 5

    Engaging Canada’s youth

    What we heard

    The Commission must inspire young people in Canada to become human rights leaders in their communities.

We Thank You

  • Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg
  • African Canadian Legal Clinic
  • Afrikan Canadian Prisoner Advocacy Coalition
  • Alberta Human Rights Commission
  • Amnesty International Canada
  • Ashanti Leadership and Professional Development Services
  • Assembly of First Nations
  • Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies
  • Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs
  • Bell Canada
  • British Columbia Civil Liberties Association
  • British Columbia Law Institute
  • Canada Border Services Agency
  • Canada Post
  • Canadian Association for Community Living
  • Canadian Association of Retired Persons
  • Canadian Bankers Association 
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Carers Canada
  • Canadian Civil Liberties Association
  • Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness
  • Canadian Armed Forces
  • Canadian Labour Congress
  • Canadian Museum of Human Rights
  • Canadian Muslim Leadership Institute 
  • Canadian Pacific
  • Canadian Race Relations Foundation
  • Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
  • Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations
  • Comité d’adaptation de la main-d’œuvre pour personnes handicapées
  • Community Justice Society (NS)
  • Conference Board of Canada
  • Council of Canadians with Disabilities
  • Council of Yukon First Nations
  • Council on African Canadian Education
  • Dalhousie Legal Aid Service
  • Egale Canada Human Rights Trust 
  • Elizabeth Fry Society Yukon
  • Federally Regulated Employers – Transportation and Communication
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society Yukon
  • First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada
  • Global Afrikan Congress (Nova Scotia Chapter)
  • Health Association of African Canadians
  • HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario
  • Islamic Social Services Association
  • John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights
  • Manitoba Human Rights Commission
  • Mohawk Council of Akwesasne 
  • National Bank of Canada
  • National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
  • Native Women’s Association of Canada
  • Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission
  • Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
  • Ontario Human Rights Commission
  • Public Interest Law Centre
  • Public Service Alliance of Canada
  • Purolator
  • Regroupement des activistes pour l’inclusion au Québec  
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Solidarity Halifax
  • Ujamaa
  • Unifor
  • University of Ottawa, Human Rights Research and Education Centre
  • University of Toronto, International Human Rights Program
  • Vanier Institute of the Family
  • West Coast Prison Justice Society
  • WestJet
  • Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council
  • Yukon Human Rights Commission