About us

Since 1964, CCLA has passionately defended the fundamental human rights and civil liberties of all Canadians through:
  • Public Education
  • Litigation
  • Citizen’s Engagement
  • Monitoring and Research

CCLET presents That's Not Fair!

An animated series of videos, online games, and lesson plans to introduce children ages 7-11 to critical thinking and the habits of democracy.


Canadian Artists for Civil Liberties

“Fundamental freedoms are the beating heart of our vibrant society. They enable us to express ourselves freely, to contribute to important debates and to make an impact on the world around us. As a Canadian Artist for Civil Liberties, I am committed to protecting civil liberties and upholding democratic values, and I endorse the philosophy, mandate and goals of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.”

>>Take the pledge now!

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Since the early 1990s, the Canadian Civil Liberties Education Trust has developed a unique approach to teaching civil liberties in the classroom. The organization provides free workshops and seminars in schools and educational institutions to teach citizens about social justice, their rights and freedoms.Read more...

Fundamental Freedoms

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects those freedoms that are considered fundamental in a democratic society. These freedoms include:
  • Freedom of Expression
  • Freedom of Association
  • Freedom of Assembly
  • Freedom of Religion
  • Freedom of Information

Public Safety

The CCLA monitors the legal and policy frameworks that govern policing and the administration of justice in Canada to ensure that they are sufficiently respectful of civil liberties and Charter rights. This program includes:
  • Police Powers
  • Police Accountability
  • Privacy and Policing
  • Liberty and Due-Process

National Security

Through litigation and advocacy, CCLA works for accountability and compliance with Canada"s legal obligations. The key issues are:
  • Privacy & National Security
  • Fair Trial & Due Process
  • Absolute Prohibition Against Torture
  • Security Certificates


The equality program concerns all forms of discrimination, and seeks to promote fairness and equality in Canada. The following groups fall within the CCLA program:
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Immigration
  • LGBT
  • Race / Ethnicity / Religion
  • Socioeconomic Status
  • Youth

Recent Work

Recent Posts

RSS Rights Watch

  • 32 years of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms April 18, 2014
    Today, April 17th, marks the 32nd anniversary of the establishment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as part of Canada’s Constitution Act. Liberal MP Irwin Cotler and former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, now Professor Emeritus at McGill University, has written a thoughtful and reflective opinion editorial in The Globe […]
  • Fermeture de la seule clinique privée d’avortement Morgentaler du Nouveau-Brunswick: clinique inaugurée en 1998. April 12, 2014
    « C’est vraiment pour la santé des femmes du Nouveau-Brunswick. C’est très important que ça existe » disait son fondateur le Dr Morgentaler. En juillet, cette clinique sera contrainte de fermer ses portes. Plusieurs réactions ne cessent d’être formulées suite à la décision sur la fermeture de la clinique d’avortement Morgentaler à Fredericton suite à […]
  • Edward Snowden: “technology represents the most significant new threat to civil liberties in modern times.” April 8, 2014
    Speaking from Moscow to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, whistleblower Edward Snowden provided live testimony, declaring: “Technology represents the most significant new threat to civil liberties in modern times” (8 April 2014). Prominent human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch were alarmed to learn that th […]
  • Anti-gay speaker defended by the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association April 2, 2014
    Despite protests from hundreds of members of the public, the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association has defended the views of Peter LaBarbera, President of Americans For Truth Against Homosexuality (AFTAH), according to the CBC. A petition was initiated by Intolerance Free Weyburn, and the group is also planning a protest during the Pro-Life Association’s convent […]
  • UN Approves Inquiry into Rights Abuses in Sri Lanka March 29, 2014
    This week, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution (A/HRC/25/L.4/Rev.1), which requests the Office of the High Commissioner to investigate the alleged human rights abused by both parties in Sri Lanka during the civil war. A previous United Nations report estimated that at least 40, 000 civilians had been killed in during the civil war. Th […]


Icon of information logo - capital i Key Reports

Press release – New CCLA Report: Police Background Checks That Include Non-Conviction Records Undermine the Presumption of Innocence


Media contact:

416-363-0321 ext 225




New CCLA Report: Police Background Checks That Include Non-Conviction Records Undermine the Presumption of Innocence

Toronto – September 17, 2012 – The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has released a new report entitled Presumption of Guilt? The Disclosure of Non-Conviction Records in Police Background Checks. The report sheds light on the [...]


Canada’s Universal Periodic Review

On April 26 Canada will undergo its second Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a unique global accountability process that allows all members of the UN Human Rights Council to review Canada’s compliance with international human rights law.  CCLA believes this is an important process and was pleased to participate in a pre-session with states allowing us [...]


Audio Audio

AUDIO: CCLA’s NGO Report To The UN For Canada’s 2nd UPR Review

CCLA’s Sukanya Pillay, Director of the National Security Program, speaks to RCI’s Wojtek Gwiazda about CCLA’s recent report to the UN – the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrant workers, the right to peaceful protest, and  the number of Aboriginal women in Canadian prisons, are some of the issues raised by CCLA as part [...]

Icon of camera Video

CCLA partners with #G20Romp on post-show panel discussions!

Watch the above video to hear from CCLA’s Director of Public Safety Abby Deshman on G20 Toronto, policing at protests and You Should Have Stayed Home.

CCLA is partnering with Praxis Theatre throughout their National Tour of You Should Have Stayed Home, a performance piece about the largest peacetime mass arrest in Canadian history. Written by Tommy Taylor, the play [...]