Municipalities are urged to develop their own plan of action in keeping with these ten Common Commitments addressing three areas of municipal responsibility:
- The municipality as a guardian of the public interest
- The municipality as an organization in the fulfillment of human rights
- The municipality as a community sharing responsibility for respecting and promoting human rights and diversity
In undertaking these Commitments and in developing unique plans of action for addressing racism and discrimination, municipalities are encouraged to take a participative approach that will engage Aboriginal peoples and initiate dialogue among diverse communities.
The municipality as a guardian of the public interest
Increase vigilance against systemic and individual racism and discrimination.
- Support or establish, in collaboration with community organizations, a monitoring and rapid response system or network to identify and respond to acts of racism, hate crimes and incidents, including bringing such incidents to the attention of the appropriate authorities.
- Support or establish a mechanism for consultation with a network of groups and individuals involved in the struggle against racism and discrimination (e.g. NGOs, Aboriginal organizations, youth, artists, police services, the judiciary, provincial and territorial human rights commissions etc.).
- Report regularly on the incidence of hate crimes and responsive actions taken.
Monitor racism and discrimination in the community more broadly as well as municipal actions taken to address racism and discrimination.
- Make use of existing data and research, or initiate or facilitate appropriate collection and use of data, on incidents of hate activities, racism and discrimination in the community, and share results in a manner that advances human rights.
- Collect and evaluate data and information on racism and discrimination in specific fields of municipal endeavour, such as housing, recreation, culture and other social programs.
- Define achievable objectives and apply common indicators in order to assess incidents and trends in racism and discrimination, such as racial profiling, as well as the impact of municipal policies and programs.
Inform and support individuals who experience racism and discrimination.
- Use awareness materials and campaigns to inform citizens about their rights and obligations, including available resources and mechanisms for prevention and redress, as well as penalties for racist acts or behaviour and other forms of discrimination.
- Establish or enhance existing complaint mechanisms within the municipality’s authority (ombudsperson, anti-discrimination unit, etc.) to deal with allegations of systemic and individual acts of racism and discrimination.
- Establish protocols to liaise with organizations such as human rights commissions, legal clinics, and community advocacy or counselling services that can help facilitate prevention, interventions, and remedies for those who experience racism and discrimination.
Support policing services in their efforts to be exemplary institutions in combating racism and discrimination.
- Consult with local communities to hear concerns and receive input on responsive measures.
- Establish or enhance a comprehensive anti-racism and anti-discrimination vision statement and implement effective policies and procedures (including a complaints mechanism), as well as staff training to help prevent and respond to issues of racism and discrimination in policing services and in the community.
- Implement measures or programs to promote accountability of, and public confidence in, policing services, as well as ensure appropriate representation of Aboriginal and racialized groups in recruitment and at all levels of the organization.
The municipality as an organization in the fulfillment of human rights
Provide equal opportunities as a municipal employer, service provider, and contractor.
- Develop, implement, promote and enforce anti-racism strategies, policies and procedures, including complaints and dispute resolution mechanisms, within the municipal organization.
- Examine equity at a systemic level, such as auditing different aspects of the municipality’s operations, including corporate planning, policy and program development, and procedures and practices with respect to employment, service delivery and contracting, as well as organizational culture; take steps to eliminate barriers; and finally, measure progress.
- Educate and sensitize elected officials and civil servants on mutual respect, citizenship and the obligation to protect and promote human rights.
Support measures to promote equity in the labour market.
- In partnership with local chambers of commerce, set up a certification program for businesses, organizations, and professional bodies to integrate mechanisms into their own organizations for combating racism and building inclusive and respectful workplaces.
- Facilitate monitoring and removal of systemic barriers that impede fair and equitable access for full participation of Aboriginal and racialized communities in the economic life of the municipality, as well as access to professions and trades for foreign trained professionals.
- Make business licensing renewals conditional upon non-discriminatory policies and practices.
Support measures to challenge racism and discrimination and promote diversity and equal opportunity in housing.
- Examine housing and urban planning policies and practices and address systemic barriers that have a discriminatory effect on Aboriginal and racialized communities, including the further marginalization of those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
- Work with landlords and social housing providers, with the assistance of tenant associations and community organizations, including legal clinics, to adopt equitable policies and practices with respect to qualifying applicants and selecting tenants for market rent units consistent with human rights principles.
- Work with homebuilder, realtor, rental, hotel, tourist and hospitality associations to draw up anti-discrimination codes of practice for their respective industry businesses and organizations.
The municipality as a community sharing responsibility for respecting and promoting human rights and diversity
Involve citizens by giving them a voice in anti-racism initiatives and decision-making.
- Take steps to facilitate and increase the representation of Aboriginal and racialized communities on municipal boards, commissions and committees.
- Organize regular community forums in collaboration with existing organizations and mechanisms in order to offer citizens an opportunity to discuss and be heard on issues of racism and discrimination in the municipality, including effectiveness of local policies and programs.
- Empower local NGOs and civil society to share information and take action against racism and discrimination.
Support measures to challenge racism and discrimination and promote diversity and equal opportunity in the education sector, and in other forms of learning.
- Encourage the development of teaching materials that promote respect for dignity, human rights, intercultural understanding, dialogue and peaceful coexistence.
- Support partnerships between educators and front-line community organizations to reach out to vulnerable youth whose access to education is adversely affected by bullying and violence or discriminatory discipline policies or practices.
- Create a program to recognize schools for their anti-racism and anti-discrimination initiatives.
Promote respect, understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity and the inclusion of Aboriginal and racialized communities into the cultural fabric of the municipality.
- Provide equitable support to cultural projects, programs, events and infrastructure so that the cultural diversity and heritage of the community can be preserved and diffused in a fair and representative way.
- Support initiatives that increase expertise and capacity within ethno-cultural organizations to effect change in their communities and enable their members to participate fully in society.
- Promote awareness of the fact that integration of a community’s cultural fabric, together with its economic, educational, social and security interests, strengthens and benefits the whole community.