As Ontario’s communities change and grow, the organizations that serve them must also adapt to meet new needs. In recent years the OHRC has developed a human rights organizational change approach, to help organizations eliminate bias and discrimination, be more inclusive, and fully respect and accommodate the dignity, worth and rights of all people.
In March 2013, the OHRC joined the Windsor Police Service (WPS), the Windsor Police Services Board (WPSB) and the Ontario Police College (OPC) to mark the second anniversary of our work together. In this three-year project, launched in February 2011, the four organizations are aiming to identify, eliminate and prevent any possible discrimination in the Windsor Police Service, as an employer and in the services it provides.
The partners have been looking at existing policies and programs and developing strategies to address any existing or potential human rights concerns. Highlights for Year 2 include:
- Conducting a 2012 WPS Workplace Census
- A Police Ethnic and Cultural Education program for culturally diverse youth, to foster an interest in policing careers
- A Human Rights Directive review checklist to check for human rights elements and make sure that all directives comply with the Ontario Human Rights Code
- Community Consultation sessions in January and May 2012 on policing and human rights
- Setting up a telephone interpretation service in over 200 languages
- Making greater use of website and social media platforms to promote multi-language communications and commitment to human rights and diversity initiatives
- Hiring a student Workplace Facility Assessor to conduct an accessibility audit of Windsor Police Service HQ
- Developing a new Human Rights and Accommodation policy and procedure
- Holding training sessions on basic human rights, accommodation, policy review and inclusive design for Project Charter members.
I think it's important to acknowledge in this work, in human rights work there are no champagne moments ... Here, if you can have a cheer and what I mean by that is a small win, that's fantastic. And the reason I say that is because I know the work we do here, little by little, we crumble the barriers, the stereotypes, the barricades that not only individuals, but society has up. And I always say, and this true for any workplace, we are a microcosm of society and because we were that, societal expectations are part of the organizational expectations.
- Andre Goh, Manager, Diversity Management Unit, Toronto Police Service
No champagne moments