Foreword

In 2015, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) initiated Operation HONOUR to eliminate sexual misconduct in its ranks. Over the past three years, through Operation HONOUR, the CAF has taken significant steps to address sexual misconduct, while acknowledging that it still has a long way to go.

This progress report provides a summary of what the CAF has accomplished to date. It highlights areas of success and identifies areas where some efforts have been less successful and more work is required.

Sexual misconduct is a difficult and complex issue, and there is no proven approach to follow. The CAF is learning and improving over time.

In November 2018, the Auditor General of Canada released his assessment of how the CAF is addressing sexual misconduct. The Auditor General acknowledged the progress but indicated that the CAF needed to strengthen its response in three key areas: victim support, education and training, and use of independent external advice, guidance and authority. The CAF acknowledges and supports the Auditor General’s findings and is taking action to address them.

The CAF also remains committed to implementing the 10 recommendations contained in the External Review into Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces. In light of the Auditor General’s findings and its own internal review of Operation HONOUR, the CAF has reassessed the implementation of the recommendations. As noted in this report, it was determined that, in some cases, the CAF needs to go further or adjust its approach to achieve the results it is seeking for victims and for the institution.

Support for victims has been, and will continue to be, the CAF’s main effort for the next phase of Operation HONOUR. In addition, the CAF will be shifting more efforts towards achieving culture change. Specifically, the CAF needs to focus on the purposeful, deliberate redefinition of institutional values, attitudes, and beliefs to ensure that every member shares a common understanding of duties and responsibilities, including the obligation to look after each other and all members.

This fourth progress report on Operation HONOUR explores the thinking and approach behind the CAF’s efforts, what has been learned and achieved to date, and the plan moving forward, as the work continues to establish Operation HONOUR as a permanent part of this noble institution. 

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