Engagement Strategy on Canada’s International Human Rights Reporting Process

Footnote 1

On this page

List of acronyms and abbreviations

CCOHR
Continuing Committee of Officials on Human Rights
FPT
Federal, provincial and territorial
SOCHR
Senior Officials Committee Responsible for Human Rights
UN
United Nations
UPR
Universal Periodic Review

Context

Canada is a party to several international human rights treaties adopted by the United Nations (UN).Footnote 2 Implementation of these treaties is supported by measures taken by federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) governments. FPT governments participate in the reporting processes, including the preparation and submission of reports on measures taken by FPT governments to support implementation of Canada’s human rights treaty obligations and appearances before international human rights bodies.

FPT governments also actively participate in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process of the UN. The UPR process includes the preparation and submission of a report on Canada’s human rights implementation, appearances before a working group of the UN Human Rights Council and the submission of a response on the recommendations that Canada receives from other UN Member States.

The Continuing Committee of Officials on Human Rights (CCOHR) is a FPT committee that maintains consultation and collaboration among governments in Canada with respect to adherence to and domestic implementation of international human rights instruments. Its mandate includes facilitating Canada’s international human rights reporting.

The CCOHR is composed of representatives from FPT governments. It is co-chaired by a representative of the federal government and a representative of a provincial or territorial government. The CCOHR is overseen and guided by the FPT Senior Officials Committee Responsible for Human Rights (SOCHR). The SOCHR enhances high level FPT collaboration and information sharing by advising and supporting FPT ministers responsible for human rights, providing leadership on Canada’s adherence to and implementation of international human rights instruments, and giving direction and support to the CCOHR.

Since 2000, some international mechanisms and bodies have called on Canada to develop tools to meet its international human rights obligations in a more effective and coordinated manner. Various Indigenous and civil society groups in Canada have reiterated these calls to action, as well as the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights.

During the December 2017 meeting of FPT Ministers responsible for human rights, Ministers modernized the mandate of the CCOHR, giving it responsibility for engaging with civil society and Indigenous organizations on matters related to international human rights reporting and instruments. The ministers also tasked the CCOHR with developing an engagement strategy on Canada’s international human rights reporting process.

Purpose

The Engagement Strategy describes an approach that CCOHR takes to inform the public and strengthen dialogue with individuals and groups interested in the protection and promotion of human rights in Canada. It is focused on providing opportunities to solicit views in relation to Canada’s international human rights reporting, including on recommendations received from international human rights bodies. While the views received may inform the development of policies and programs of FPT governments, the present Engagement Strategy does not replace or supersede the engagement activities of respective governments.

It aims to:

Application

The Engagement Strategy complements the CCOHR’s Protocol for Follow-up to Recommendations from International Human Rights Bodies.

This Strategy applies to engagement undertaken by the CCOHR as part of the international human rights reporting process.

The Strategy is aimed at individuals and groups interested in Canada's international human rights commitments, including:

Foundational principles

The Strategy is implemented in accordance with the following principles:

Implementation

SOCHR approves, within the CCOHR multi year workplan, actions that address the commitments outlined in this Strategy and any other matters deemed necessary. The actions may include in-person sessions, solicitation of written input on various elements of the reporting process, and expert panels or other educational events.

Information sharing and enhanced awareness

CCOHR:

Collaboration

CCOHR:

Monitoring and follow-up

CCOHR:

SOCHR:

Modification

The CCOHR may make changes to the Strategy that they deem necessary and appropriate with the approval of SOCHR. The revised document will be shared with the individuals and groups concerned.

Annex A

International Human Rights Treaties to which Canada is a State Party Respective United Nations Treaty Bodies

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), accession in 1976

  • Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (OP-ICCPR), accession in 1976
  • Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty (OP2-ICCPR), accession in 2005
Human Rights Committee
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), accession in 1976; Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), ratification in 1970 Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), ratification in 1981

  • Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (OP-CEDAW), accession in 2002
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), ratification in 1987 Committee against Torture

Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), ratification in 1991. Reservations: Article 12(2) and Article 37(c); Statement of understanding: Article 30

  • Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (OP-CRC-CA), ratification in 2000
  • Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (OP-CRC-SC), ratification in 2005
Committee on the Rights of the Child

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), ratification in 2010. Reservation: Article 12 (2), (3) and (4); declarations: Articles 12 and 33 (2)

  • Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (OP-CRPD), accession in 2018
Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: