Canadian Human Rights Commission 2006 Annual Report
Annual Report 2006 was tabled in the House of Commons.
Over the past year, the Commission has focused on strengthening its three-pronged service delivery model of dispute resolution, discrimination prevention and knowledge development. This model allows the Commission to help resolve disputes quickly when they occur and, at the same time, work toward a healthier future marked by fewer disputes, improved representation of the four designated groups and greater respect for human rights.
Effective use of the various tools at the Commission’s disposal is resulting in more efficient resolution of complaints, such that the proportion of complaints less than one year old had increased to 75% at the end of 2006, compared to 60% in 2005. The Commission’s emphasis on conflict resolution is now allowing some parties to settle their disputes even before the filing of a complaint.Work with employers and service providers to prevent discrimination and foster inclusive, respectful workplaces expanded in 2006. One improvement in this area was the streamlining of the employment equity audit process. A new initiative was the creation of an Employer Advisory Council comprised of senior Commission staff and representatives of organizations that have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together with the Commission to prevent discrimination and resolve complaints effectively and quickly. The Council provides a forum for raising, discussing and acting on discrimination prevention issues, and for sharing best practices, tools and resources.
The Commission’s increased focus on research and policy development is another means of fostering understanding of, and compliance with, the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Employment Equity Act. Subjects of research in 2006 ranged from national security and human rights to the human rights of employees returning to work after an extended absence. Other proactive initiatives included the creation of a National Aboriginal Program to strengthen relations with Aboriginal groups and foster a dialogue on how to incorporate the unique context of First Nations communities in human rights protection mechanism. The program was created in anticipation of the expected repeal of section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission is committed to continually improving its processes and its management practices, and to using its resources in the most effective and efficient way possible to promote and protect human rights.