April 17th, 2024

Groups bring allegations of racism at Canadian Human Rights Commission to global body

By The Canadian Press on February 26, 2024.

Nicholas Marcus Thompson is shown in Toronto on Thursday, April 29, 2021. A coalition of Black organizations have filed for a special review of the Canadian Human Rights Commissions' accreditation status, saying the body continues to violate international human rights law in its treatment of Black people.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

OTTAWA – A coalition of federal unions and organizations representing Black workers has filed an international complaint against the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

The eight organizations say the body that handles human-rights complaints against the federal government is violating global law because of its treatment of Black employees.

Nicholas Marcus Thompson, executive director of the Black Class Action Secretariat, says evidence of systemic discrimination within the commission is “undeniable” and “unacceptable.”

A December Senate report on anti-Black racism in the commission found a “crisis of confidence” in the body and questioned its ability to respond to human-rights complaints in a “fair and equitable manner.”

The groups say their request that the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions review the commission’s accreditation underlines the urgent need for reform.

The commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but its most recent update on what it terms its “anti-racism journey” says it is dedicated to dismantling systemic racism across the organization and across Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 26, 2024.

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