"...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)

Universal Periodic Review of Canada (UPR) 2013

On April 26, 2013 Canada’s human rights record as a whole was again assessed by the UN Human Rights Council under the Universal Periodic Review procedure. This was Canada's second Universal Periodic Review.

Report of Canada's Universal Periodic Review

On September 19, 2013 Canada appeared before the UN Human Rights Council to state which recommendations it accepts. Canada's written Response was filed.

Canada's Response - Recommendations Accepted and Rejected

Comment: "Committing to the Status Quo"Canada's Response to the UPR Recommendations"

Canada Without Poverty Press Release


Summary of Canada's Response to Key Social Rights Recommendations

Rec #6 Ratify the Optional Complaints Procedure (OP-ICESCR) for social rights

Canada: Rejected. No plans at this time to ratify.

Rec # 124 Develop national anti-poverty strategy; Develop strategies to address homelessness and poverty, etc.

At para 30. "Accepted in part": "While Canada will not adopt a national strategy to combat poverty, strategies and action plans have been adopted by most PTs"

What this really means is that Canada won't commit to doing anything to address the human rights crisis of poverty and homelessness.

Rec # 125 Develop a National Food Security Strategy

At para 31. Accepted in part but Canada "does not accept the specific proposal to develop a national plan on food security".

On the Positive Side: Things to Work With?

At para 29, Canada accepted the following recommendations to address poverty, homelessness and food insecurity:

126 Further enhance its efforts in social protection and security for people living in poverty, such as considering formulating the necessary poverty alleviation and homelessness strategies (Malaysia);

127. Reinforce policies and programmes developed to address poverty, homelessness, food insecurity as well as access to quality health-care services and education, with special focus on the most disadvantaged groups, such as Aboriginal peoples (Slovakia)

At para 25 Canada accepts ALL the recommendations with respect to disability. Most are too vague to be of much use but the following recommendation from the U.S. may be helpful:

"Implement and enforce national uniform standards of access to buildings, information, and communications for persons with disabilities."


Civil Society Submissions and Initiatives on UPR 2013

The gap between Canada’s human rights obligations and their implementation domestically has again been identified as a key issue of concern by groups across the country.

EMPTY WORDS AND DOUBLE STANDARDS: CANADA'S FAILURE TO RESPECT AND UPHOLD INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS was submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council by a coalition of organizations.

A number of CURA community partners have filed briefs with the OHCHR in order to provide information for the UPR.

These include:

CCPI and the Social Rights Advocacy Centre (SRAC) Implementing Effective Remedies in Canada

Canada Without Poverty (CWP) & the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) Submissions

Canadian Feminist Alliance For International Action Submissions

Summary of stakeholder submissions