Canadian Human Rights Commission applauds government announcement and calls for further effort toward full inclusion of persons with disabilities

December 1, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

In response to yesterday’s Government announcement by the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, issues the following release:

The Canadian Human Rights Commission welcomes the Government of Canada’s announcement yesterday and sees this as another important milestone for the rights of persons with disabilities in Canada. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is more than just a document — it is a set of obligations agreed to by Canada to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities.

Yesterday’s announcement means that now, individuals who have exhausted all other avenues of recourse can complaint to the United Nations if they feel the Canadian government is not upholding its obligations under the Convention.

“At the end of the day, everyone is born with a unique set of abilities; but it is society that disables people preventing them from full inclusion and participation,” said Chief Commissioner Marie-Claude Landry. “We applaud this milestone, but we know that the fight for equality and inclusion for persons with disabilities is still very real.

More than half of the discrimination complaints being brought to the Commission are related to disability, which is why we continue to work alongside organizations such as the Council of Canadians with Disabilities to push for federal accessibility legislation in Canada.

“It is time that Canada has an Act of Parliament that embodies the spirit of the UN Convention and that exists solely to ensure people with disabilities can realize their right to full and meaningful inclusion in our society,” said Landry. “We would welcome such a law as an important complement to the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Employment Equity Act — and we look forward to all three of these Acts at work together.

This Sunday, on International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Commission will join people across the world in recognizing the right to full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society.

Quick Facts

  • 3.8 million adult Canadians have a disability that limits their daily activity.
  • 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental illness or problem in a given year.
  • Employment rates for persons with disabilities is lower than 50%.
  • Almost half of discrimination complaints received by human rights organizations (Commissions and Tribunals) across Canada are related to disability (2013).
  • 1 in 4 students with a disability have been bullied in school because of their disability.

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