June 24th, 2024

Global body reviewing Canada’s human-rights credentials over discrimination complaint

By The Canadian Press on June 11, 2024.

Bernadeth Betchi, CHRC employee and representative plaintiff, listens as Nicholas Marcus Thompson, executive director of the Black Class Action Secretariat, speaks at a news conference on the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions' "Special Review" of the accreditation of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Monday, June 10, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA – A global human-rights alliance affiliated with the United Nations says it is reviewing the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s compliance with international principles.

The Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions says it is deciding whether the Canadian agency still deserves an “A” rating, which allows it to participate in bodies such as the UN Human Rights Council.

The accreditation review comes after a coalition of human-rights organizations submitted a complaint about anti-Black discrimination within the commission.

Nicholas Marcus Thompson, the executive director of the Black Class Action Secretariat, says Canada is now on notice.

He says the country cannot claim to be a global leader on human rights while “discriminating against its own right here at home.”

A report last December from the Senate human-rights committee detailed a “crisis of confidence” at the institution and questioned its ability to handle complaints in a fair way.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2024.

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