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Canada’s human rights commitments

Canada takes its international human rights obligations seriously and is committed to maintaining a constructive dialogue with the United Nations human rights treaty bodies. These are a vital aspect of a strong and effective international human rights system.

These international mechanisms provide an independent perspective on the state of human rights in Canada. They allow the Canadian government to review laws or policies which may not be consistent with international obligations.

This willingness to accept independent, constructive criticism is critical to Canada’s credibility, both domestically and internationally. Canada holds itself to the same standard it expects from other countries and supports international assistance activities that build the capacity of partner governments to protect human rights.

Upcoming reviews

Canada appeared before the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in April, 2017, during the committee's 17th session.

Recent reviews

As a state party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Canada must report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

Canada appeared before the committee on October 25, 2016, during its 65th session. This appearance was for the review of Canada’s 8th and 9th reports on the convention. These reports were submitted to the UN in February 2015 and outlined measures taken by federal, provincial and territorial governments to implement the convention.

The committee's list of issues for Canada and our responses are available here:

Past reviews

Canada regularly submits its human rights record for review by UN monitoring bodies. For more information on reports submitted by Canada and their review by relevant UN bodies, see Reports on UN human rights treaties and other bodies.

Complaints by Canadians

Canada accepts the authority of the UN human rights treaty-monitoring committees to hear complaints from Canadian citizens. This is under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention Against Torture.

For more information on how individuals can file complaints under international human rights treaties, see Complaints to international organizations.

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