Work to do: UN
Panel takes Canada to task on racism
When it comes to racism within its own borders, Canada has some work to do.
That’s the message of a review by a United Nations committee, which has a slate of almost 70 recommendations on everything from migrant worker rights to preventing racial profiling.
A coalition of Canadian nonprofits, including the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and the African Canadian Legal Clinic, were in Geneva in mid-August to present to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The committee adopted many of their suggestions.
“Canada could do better,” said Debbie Douglas, executive director of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants.
Douglas praised the UN’s recommendation that Canada ratify an international convention to strengthen the rights of migrant workers and their families as well as adopt a convention from the International Labour Organization about decent work for domestic workers.
Avvy Go, director of the Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic in Toronto, said the UN was impressed with some of the work Canada has done so far, including Ontario’s plans to collect race-based data.
“But it’s also clear from the report that the committee feels that there are a lot of areas where Canada needs improvement,” she said.
The report calls for a national action plan to address racism, nationwide data to help understand how policies impact different groups and for the government to develop a concrete plan on implementing all 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.