SUMMARY OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’S SUMISSIONS TO THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ON CANADA’S UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW
Canada underwent its second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) before the UN Human Rights Council in April-May 2013. Amnesty International provided submissions highlighting our concerns about Canada’s ongoing flawed implementation of human rights obligations and on its engagement with UPR principles, such as consultation with civil society. In our submissions, Amnesty International noted Canada’s reluctance to ratify international human rights conventions or to adopt binding international standards on corporate accountability. We also commented on the human rights situation facing Indigenous peoples; the rising inequality of women; troubling trends regarding sexual violence against women, arbitrary detention, and refoulement of migrants; and concerns regarding torture and excessive use of policing during protests.
OUTCOMES OF THE REVIEW
82 states participated in Canada’s UPR and asked questions regarding the country’s human rights record, resulting in 162 recommendations set out in the report of the UPR Working Group. The recommendations reflected concerns about alarming levels of violence against Indigenous women and girls; nationwide poverty and homelessness; Canada’s lagging record of ratifying international human rights treaties; lack of respect for the rights of Indigenous peoples; inadequate refugee protection and failure to respect the non-refoulement principle in Canadian laws; lack of corporate accountability for human rights abuses committed abroad by Canadian corporations; failure to uphold human rights in the context of national security; and women’s inequality.
In its disappointing response, Canada declined to take up any new measures to deal with obvious and acknowledged human rights problems. In effect, Canada only committed to doing what it was already doing, and rejected recommendations to tackle violence against Indigenous women and girls, poverty, racism, homelessness, food insecurity, and implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Canada’s report to the UN Human Rights Council for its 2013 Universal Periodic Review (A/HRC/WG.6/16/CAN/1, 8 February 2013)
Compilation of UN Information (A/HRC/WG.6/16/CAN/2, 7 February 2013)
Summary of Stakeholders’ Information (A/HRC/WG.6/16/CAN/3, 29 January 2013)
“Empty Words and Double Standards: Canada’s Failure to Respect and Uphold International Human Rights” (Joint NGO Submission, October 2012)
Human rights abuses prevalent among vulnerable groups: Amnesty International Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, April-May 2013 (October 2012)
Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (A/HRC/24/11, 28 June 2013)
Canada’s response to the 2013 UPR recommendations (A/HRC/24/11/Add.1, 17 September 2013)
“Canada Gives Human Rights the Cold Shoulder: Disgraceful Response to UN Human Rights Review Contains No New Commitments” (19 September 2013)
“Canada’s failure to protect the most vulnerable under scrutiny at the United Nations” (23 April 2013)