Toronto – Today, on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released Call It Out. This new interactive eLearning program is a tool designed to raise awareness of the history and impact of racism and racial discrimination and to promote a culture of human rights in Ontario.
In advance of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21), the OHRC is inviting people to take part in its public interest inquiry into racial profiling and racial discrimination of Black persons by the Toronto Police Service (TPS).
For me, the answer must start with understanding freedom from sexual harassment as a human right. Realizing the freedom from violence is essential to human dignity, equality, and hope.
Human rights in Ontario
The Ontario Human Rights Code is a provincial law that gives everybody equal rights and opportunities without discrimination in specific social areas such as jobs, housing, services, facilities, and contracts or agreements.
The Code’s goal is to prevent discrimination and harassment because of race, sex, disability, and age, to name a few of the 17 grounds. All other Ontario laws must agree with the Code.
Not all unfair treatment and not all harassment is covered by the Code. The treatment or harassment must be based on at least one Code ground and take place within a social area to be protected. For an explanation of discrimination and harassment, see What is discrimination?
If you believe you have experienced discrimination, the Human Rights Legal Support Centre can help you determine if what you experienced is protected under the Code. If you want to take legal steps to address an incident, the deadline is generally one year from the last discriminatory event.
The Ontario Human Rights System is made up of three separate agencies:
- The Ontario Human Rights Commission (that’s us) works to promote, protect and advance human rights through research, education, targeted legal action and policy development.
- The Human Rights Legal Support Centre gives legal help to people who have experienced discrimination under the Code.
- The Human Rights Tribunal is where human rights applications are filed and decided.
Human Rights 101 will help guide you through Ontario’s Human Rights System.