Review of Canada’s Accession to the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Current status: Closed
This engagement is now closed
This consultation took place between February 16 and March 16, 2017.
To learn about the results, please read the Consultations Report.
Message from the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
Accession to the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- ASL version of the Accession to the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- Audio version of the Accession to the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Canada is a party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Convention). The Convention entered into force for Canada on April 10, 2010. Its purpose is to ensure that all people with disabilities enjoy the same human rights, freedoms and respect as other people. It requires countries to promote equality and prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities.
As a party to the Convention, Canada can accede to (or join) the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As explained in more detail below, the Optional Protocol contains two procedures to strengthen the implementation of the Convention: an individual communications procedure and an inquiry procedure.
The Government of Canada, in close consultation with provincial and territorial governments, is currently reviewing the Optional Protocol prior to making any decision regarding accession to the treaty.
As part of this review, the Government of Canada is seeking your views on the Optional Protocol.
We are asking for your comments on the following:
- the obligations contained in the Optional Protocol
- the impacts for you as an individual, your organization, and the individuals your organization represents if Canada were to join the Optional Protocol
- the advantages or disadvantages to Canada associated with joining the Optional Protocol
- whether and how have Canadians with disabilities or the organisations that represent them been using the complaint mechanisms under the other human rights treaties to which Canada is a party and
- any other comments that you would like to provide
The Optional Protocol does not create any new substantive rights. It contains two procedures to strengthen the implementation of the Convention: an individual communications procedure and an inquiry procedure. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Committee) will only deal with matters from countries that have joined the Protocol.
The “individual communications procedure” allows individuals or groups of individuals in a country to file a complaint with the Committee if they believe the country has violated their rights under the Convention. This complaint is known as a “communication”. The communication can also be made by a third party on behalf of individuals or groups of individuals.
A communication must meet a number of requirements before the Committee can consider it. For example, the Committee will not accept a complaint if it is lodged anonymously; the same situation has already been investigated or is being investigated by another body; the complainant did not use their domestic system to the fullest extent; the complaint is without basis; there is no proof. These requirements are known as “admissibility criteria”.
The Committee may request that the country take urgent interim action to avoid possible irreparable damage to the victim(s). The Committee may make this request at any time after receiving a communication and before considering its merits.
- The “inquiry procedure” allows the Committee to start and carry out an inquiry into trustworthy information about serious or widespread violations of rights under the Convention by a country. Where it is needed, and if the country concerned agrees, the Committee may visit the country to investigate directly. All inquiries are confidential and conducted with the cooperation of the country in question.
For specific details on the obligations and processes of each procedure, see the Optional Protocol.
For a description of the Federal process for Canada’s adherence to an international human rights treaty, see International Human Rights Treaty Adherence Process in Canada.
How to participate
Submit your feedback in the language of your choice (English, French, American Sign Language or Langue des signes québécoise) and preferred format such as online, handwritten, video or audio submissions.
You can provide your input to the Office for Disability Issues via:
Consultation – Optional Protocol
c/o Office for Disability Issues
Employment and Social Development Canada
105 Hotel-de-ville St., 1st floor, Bag 62
Gatineau QC K1A 0J9
- Canada fulfilling commitment to upholding and safeguarding the rights of people with disabilities
- Canada makes further commitment to support rights of persons with disabilities
- Promoting rights of persons with disabilities
- Rights of people with disabilities
- Consulting with Canadians on accessibility legislation
- International Human Rights Treaty Adherence Process in Canada
- Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Purpose of the collection
Consultation and engagement is defined as a process where Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) invites organizations and/or individuals to provide their views on a variety of topics—to help develop better, more informed and more effective policies, programs and services.
Activities include, but are not limited to:
- in-person meetings or events (roundtable meetings or meetings with stakeholders, town halls, public meetings, forums, workshops, advisory committees)
- online consultations (surveys, discussion forums, social media)
- oral or written submissions (telephone, email, fax or mail)
Participation is voluntary
Participation in all ESDC consultation and engagement activities is voluntary. Acceptance or refusal to participate will in no way affect your relationships with ESDC or the Government of Canada.
ESDC’s authority to collect information
Your personal information is collected under the authority of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act (DESDA).
Your personal information will be managed and administered in accordance with DESDA, the Privacy Act and other applicable laws.
Uses and disclosures of your personal information
Uses and/or disclosures of your personal information will never result in an administrative decision being made about you. Your personal information will be used by ESDC, other Government of Canada departments or other levels of government for policy analysis, research, program operations and/or communications.
Handling of your personal information
Information provided for ESDC consultation and engagement activities should not include any identifying personal information about you or anyone else—other than your name, organization and contact information.
If your feedback includes unsolicited personal information for the purpose of attribution, ESDC may choose to include this information in publicly available reports on the consultation and elsewhere.
If personal information is provided by an individual member of the general public (who is not participating on behalf of an organization), ESDC will remove it prior to including the individual’s responses in the data analysis, unless otherwise noted.
You have the right to the protection of, access to and correction of your personal information, which is described in Personal Information Bank ESDC-PSU-914 or ESDC-PSU-938.
Instructions for obtaining this information are outlined in ESDC Info Source. Info Source may also be accessed online at any Service Canada Centre.
You have the right to file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada regarding ESDC’s handling of your personal information.
Your submission, or portions thereof, may be published on Canada.ca or included in publicly available reports on the consultation; it may also be compiled with other responses to the consultation in an open-data submission on Open.Canada.ca, or shared throughout the Government of Canada or with other levels of government.
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