Engaging the public

The Commission is Canada's human rights watchdog. We are an independent, national voice for human rights in Canada. We rely on valued relationships within the human rights community and collaborative dialogue with advocacy organizations, Indigenous organizations, Canadian employers, youth advocates, law societies, academics, and other human rights advocates across Canada. We also engage with the broader Canadian public through our various multimedia platforms in order to raise awareness and encourage social change.

Now more than ever, it is vitally important that the Commission hear from stakeholders and those with lived experience. We continue to reach out and find ways to connect with people to better understand the needs of those in vulnerable circumstances living through this pandemic. In 2020, we remained engaged with our partners and other Canadians through a number of actions and virtual events, including:

  • Standing up for the rights of those specific groups who have been hit the hardest by the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in a series of public statements and speaking engagements throughout the year.
  • Marking Canada's first ever Equal Pay Day and helping put Canada's first Pay Equity Commissioner on the map, calling for better protections for women in the face of this “she-cession.”
  • Developing a new guide for employees and employers on mental health in the workplace in a COVID-19 era.
  • Sounding an alarm on COVID-driven racism, the rights of those in our prison system, and the rights of people with disabilities.
  • Coleading the Confronting Racism and Addressing Human Rights in a Pandemic virtual conference, together with the Government of Canada's AntiRacism Secretariat, with an attendance of over 3,500 people across Canada.
  • And participating in a host of live, virtual discussions and speaking engagements with our fellow human rights partners and defenders across Canada.