Conducting & supporting research

Research is a key foundation of human rights progress. It strengthens our knowledge and it allows us to discover where we can and must do better.

Throughout 2020, the Commission worked closely with partner organizations to support their original research, as well as nurturing our own. Altogether, this new knowledge helps inform the advice we provide Parliament, the advice we provide employers, and our work in helping to promote a more inclusive Canada for all.

Trans PULSE Canada Project 2020

In 2019, Trans PULSE Canada launched the first communitybased survey on the lived experiences of trans and non binary people in Canada. The Commission has leant our expertise and outreach to the project, which surveyed almost 3000 trans and non-binary people in Canada about issues including, mental and physical health, violence and suicide, and access to things like housing, employment and healthcare.

Over the course of 2020, the first findings were released in a series of initial reports. Together, these reports examined the health, safety and well-being of trans and non-binary people in Canada, including the impact of COVID-19 on this population, issues around identity documents, and intersectional discrimination. The series of reports are available on the Trans PULSE Canada website.

The Commission served as contributing author to one of the reports in the series. The report is entitled, Trans PULSE Canada Report on the Health and Well-Being among racialized trans and non-binary people: Violence, discrimination, and mistrust in police, and here are just a few of the key findings.

Life for racialized trans and non-binary people in Canada

Overwhelmingly, they reported higher levels of discrimination, violence and assault, as well as anticipated and actual negative experiences with police and the legal system.

Physical violence, sexual harassment, and sexual assault were all significantly more common among this population when compared to the non-racialized trans and non-binary population.

11% are housing insecure, and 16% did not have enough to eat over the last year.

25% are living with a disability (compared to 18% of non-racialized trans and non-binary persons)

Over their lives, 45% had been harassed at work or school and 39% had been physically assaulted.

Over the last 5 years, 72% were verbally harassed, 41% were physically intimidated or threatened, 49% were sexually harassed, and 32% had been sexually assaulted.

33% avoided calling 911 for police services (compared to 21%) and 24% avoided calling 911 for emergency medical services (compared to 16%).

Only 1 in 5 would trust the police and courts systems if they were physically assaulted.

Supporting research to improve inclusion for transitioning employees

In 2020, after a year of meticulous and ground-breaking research led by Dr. Bretton Fossbrook, Pride at Work Canada and the Institute for Gender and the Economy released their final report, Transitioning Employers: A survey of policies and practices for trans inclusive workplaces. The report marks the first Canadian study of trans inclusion workplace policies among almost 70 employers. Overall, the report found that individual accommodations for transitioning employees are not enough and that improved practices are needed to ensure that trans and gender non-conforming individuals have safe and affirming workplaces.

In the foreword Chief Commissioner Landry provided for the report, she wrote: “Important steps such as issuing clear executive leadership support and putting in place ongoing training on gender identity and expression, and unconscious bias, can bring economic and human rights benefits to employees, businesses, the economy, and our nation.”

The research also provides insight and concrete ways businesses can implement two United Nations tools: the 2011 Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the 2017 Standards of Conduct to foster inclusion for members of the LGBTQ2SI community. Read the full report at: Transitioning Employers: A survey of policies and practices for trans inclusive workplaces