"...Covenant rights should be enforceable within provinces and territories through legislation or policy measures and through the establishment of independent, transparent and effective monitoring and adjudication mechanisms. (UN Committee Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 2006)

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) 2006

The CESCR assessed Canada’s compliance with its obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) in May 2006. This was the fifth review of Canada.  Throughout this process, CURA researchers coordinated an unprecedented number of community groups and NGOs across the country to participate in and attend the review of Canada.

Civil Society Submissions and Initiatives

CURA researchers coordinated a compilation of submissions to the CESCR by organizations from across the country. Initially, CURA researchers worked with 13 organizations across Canada to provide the CESCR with a summary of key issues and questions that should be put to the Government of Canada in response to the Government’s written submissions to the Committee. These submissions covered a vast array of issues including questions pertaining to all of the substantive rights contained in the ICESCR with an emphasis on homelessness and poverty, as well as issues relating to Canada’s failure to implement the recommendations of Treaty Monitoring Bodies, the lack of effective domestic remedies; and Canada’s role in international trade agreements and in foreign investment.

NGO Collaborative Submission to the CESCR Pre-Sessional Working Group

CURA researchers then coordinated the compilation of a national report on the key economic and social rights issues confronting the most disadvantaged and marginalized groups in Canada and recommendations on how Canada could better meet its international social rights obligations. It included submissions from Quebec and from disability rights groups. Issues highlighted include: the lack of enforcement mechanisms for Committee recommendations, inadequate housing and homelessness, poverty, health rights, and economic and social rights issues affecting particular groups such as indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, women, refugees, and migrants. 

NGO Compilation Submission for the 2006 CESCR Review – English

NGO Compilation Submission for the 2006 CESCR Review – En français

A number of NGOs also provided the CESCR with more detailed reports on particular issues or on rights issues confronting particular constituencies:

African Canadian Legal Clinic

Alternatives North

Amnesty International – Recommendations
en français

Assembly of First Nations

Canadian Bar Association

Canadian Council for
Refugees 1 and 2

Canadian Human Rights Commission

Canadian Feminist Alliance for
International Action

Charter Committee on Poverty Issues



Global Initiative to End All Corporal
Punishment of Children

Income Security Working Group

Independent Indigenous

Justice for Girls


La ligue des droits et libertes

Low Income Families Together 1,
2, 3

Lubicon Lake Indian Nation

National Anti-Poverty Organization
– Annex

Native Women’s Association of Canada

Organic Agriculture Protection Fund

Poverty and Human Rights Centre

Together for Human Rights

Western Shoshone Defence Project – 1, 2 and


Government of Canada’s Submissions

Government of Canada’s Fifth Periodic Report submitted to the CESCR

Government of Canada’s Reply to the List of Issues: 5th Periodic Report and 4th Periodic Report issued at the same time.

CESCR's Concluding Observations on Canada – 2006

In May 2006 the CESCR conducted its oral review of Canada, commencing with statements from a number of NGOs followed by constructive dialogue with a number of representatives from the Government of Canada. After this, the CESCR released its Concluding Observations (2006) based on its review of Canada. Most notable about these Observations was the CESCR’s concern that the GOC had failed to implement most of the recommendations it had made in the last review. As a result, many of the 2006 Concluding Observations are reiterations of the Committee’s original recommendations from

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