CCLA Presents Concerns to the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva

July 6, 2015


CCLA is in Geneva this week to address the UN Human Rights Committee, which is reviewing Canada’s rights record for the first time in a decade. The Committee is comprised of 18 independent experts that monitor government compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 

“This is an important process for Canada to either demonstrate or explain on the world stage, and before an expert body, its record on human rights pursuant to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” said Sukanya Pillay, CCLA’s Executive Director and General Counsel. “We are there to ensure the body questioning Canada, the Human Rights Committee, knows of our many concerns regarding civil liberties in Canada, including Bill C-51, equality rights, aboriginal persons, police and conducted energy weapons, as well as the treatment of refugees.”

CCLA is drawing the Committee’s attention to a variety of issues regarding Canada’s compliance with the liberty, security of person, due process, and equality rights contained in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including:

  • Lack of accountability for national security agencies, exacerbated by Bill C-51’s passing into law;
  • New CSIS warrant provisions, which enable the spy agency to obtain pre-authorization, in secret, to violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms — with no adversarial challenge and no follow-up on whether the terms of the warrant were followed;
  • Amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that allow the Minister of Public Safety to withhold relevant information from Special Advocates, thereby compromising the right of refugees to know and meet the case against them;
  • Continued use of solitary confinement in federal prisons;
  • Revocation of citizenship of those deemed threats to public safety or national security if the person is eligible for, or has, dual citizenship, thereby creating two tiers of citizens and compromising the right to equality before the law;
  • Violence against Aboriginal women and the failure to hold an inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women;
  • Grossly disproportionate numbers of Aboriginal persons in Canadian prisons;
  • Failure to hold a public inquiry into the G20 mass arrests and detentions;
  • Threats to freedom of expression, association and assembly;
  • Continued use of conducted energy weapons despite standards for use which fall short of the Braidwood standards.

>> Read CCLA’s comprehensive shadow report to the UN Human Rights Committee