Canada and International Human Rights

About this section of the site

This section of the Human Rights Program site contains both general and more in-depth information. The items under "Canada and the International Human Rights System: an Introduction" are designed to help orientate those users new to the field by giving a brief outline of the UN human rights system and instruments, of how Canada is involved in this area, and a glossary of specialized terms.

Much of this section is provided as a central reference library of the most essential and current official documents, both UN and Canadian, which describe in detail the links between the international and the domestic Canadian human rights field. We hope this will be of special assistance to researchers requiring primary official sources of information, such as government officials (provincial and territorial, as well as federal) whose work touches upon human rights policies or principles; non-governmental organizations working in the human rights field or related issues; and academic researchers and students.

Canada's reports to the United Nations in themselves constitute the largest and most complete single official reference source to be found anywhere on all aspects of the human rights situation in Canada.

How to use this section

Many official human rights documents are lengthy and complex. We have tried to make use of the unique cross-referencing possibilities afforded by Internet technology to make this information more readily accessible.

For example, Canada's reports are typically divided into 13 sections according to jurisdiction (i.e. one federal, ten provincial and two territorial sections), each of which is further divided into sub-sections concerning the various articles of each Convention (in some reports, an additional section discusses jurisprudence which has implications for all jurisdictions). To find all the information available concerning a given Convention article, one must find the appropriate sub-section within each jurisdiction's section. Here, we have provided links enabling the user to follow the thread of each Convention article across jurisdictions, and, where available, to the corresponding part of UN reviewing committees' Concluding Observations. Over time, we hope to provide further links cross-referencing subjects of special interest.

Links to International Human Rights documents