Open Letter: Recognizing Two Important Human Rights Milestones of 2018

December 21, 2018

Open Letter


The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, M.P., P.C.
Prime Minister of Canada
Langevin Block
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A2

RE: Recognizing Two Important Human Rights Milestones of 2018

Dear Prime Minister:

This year, with the accession to the Optional Protocol of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the naming of the Canadian Human Rights Commission as the domestic monitoring body for CRPD implementation in Bill C-81, the Federal and Provincial/Territorial Governments have made significant advances in regaining Canada’s position as an international leader for human rights in the context of disability. 

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) celebrates Canada’s accession to the Optional Protocol.  We recognize that accession reinforces the commitment that the Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments have made to ensuring that people with disabilities have full enjoyment of their human rights, as elaborated in the CRPD, which Canada ratified in 2010.  CCD called upon Canada to accede to the Optional Protocol because the mechanism strengthens the human rights protections that are available to people with disabilities in the CRPD, and we congratulate you on this important advance.

CCD also applauds the Government of Canada for naming, in Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act, the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) as the body responsible for monitoring the implementation of the CRPD, as called for in article 33 (2) of the Convention.  We welcome this important step of designating the CHRC as the monitoring mechanism for the CRPD.  Robust domestic monitoring will equip us as a nation with the knowledge necessary for determining whether or not Canada is achieving the goals of an accessible and inclusive Canada.  Indeed, CCD had been calling for Canada to name the Commission as the domestic monitor since our ratification in 2010.  It must be noted that the Convention also makes clear (in article 33(3)) truly robust domestic monitoring must also be inclusive of civil society and the organizations of people with disabilities need to be properly resourced to engage effectively in monitoring.

These two milestones could not have been achieved without the commitment and dedication of human rights champions in the Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments and in civil society.

Very sincerely yours,

Jewelles Smith
CCD Chairperson

CC: Members of the House of Commons

Council of the Federation