Many governments noted that Canada’s human rights record is flawed as participants of a United Nations’ Human Rights Council review of Canada’s record in Geneva that wrapped up on February 5. Under the council’s new Universal Periodic Review process, 68 governments from around the globe went on the record with comments, concerns and recommendations.
According to the council, Canada’s worst offenses were in areas such as Indigenous peoples, poverty and homelessness, enforcing economic, social and cultural rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, the rights of persons with disabilities, counter-terrorism practices, and the plight of refugees, migrants and racial minorities.
While Canada was commended for its good reputation within UN human rights circles, many pointed at how there is no implementation plan for the UN’s recommendations and therefore these issues have never been resolved.
John Sims, the Deputy Minister of Justice, who headed a large delegation of Canadian officials at the conference, said that there would be meaningful follow-up to the recommendations.
A long list of recommendations and concerns were put before the Canadian delegation. Canada will have the option to either accept or reject the list at the next meeting of the Human Rights Council in June.