This document explains the legal backdrop for the Commission’s Policy Framework. It is divided into two main sections. The first provides an overview and summary of key legal principles from some significant legal decisions. This section aims to help readers understand the relevant legal background when seeking to conciliate or otherwise reconcile competing rights claims. The second part of the document surveys the leading cases that deal with competing rights. It also provides examples of situations where the leading cases, and the key principles from them, have been applied by courts and tribunals. It is divided by the types of rights conflicts that most commonly arise. The cases are discussed in some detail as the specific factual context of each case is so important to the rights reconciliation process.
The following information provides a limited sampling of how ‘gender identity’ (and related terms) is viewed in various jurisdictions.
3.1 International policy and law
FGM has been condemned by numerous international and regional bodies, including the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the Organization of African Unity and the World Medical Association. In addition to the broader issues of health and human rights of the child, FGM is gender-specific discrimination related to the historical suppression and subjugation of women that is unique to women and female children.
Effective human rights organizational change requires a solid understanding of the legal and ethical requirements of human rights in Ontario, and the elements of effective organizational change.
As discussed above, the intersectional approach is the preferred one for complaints and cases that cite multiple grounds. Nevertheless, there are other ways in which multiple grounds matters are being handled by human rights bodies, courts and international bodies such as the United Nations (the “UN”). In some instances, the grounds are looked at sequentially to see whether discrimination can be made out on the basis of each one in turn.
1.1. The Code context
The Code states that it is public policy in Ontario to recognize the inherent dignity and worth of every person and to provide for equal rights and opportunities without discrimination. The provisions of the Code are aimed at creating a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of each person, so that each person feels a part of the community and feels able to contribute to the community.
The following are some highlights of settlements and decisions reached during the 2006-2007 fiscal year:
For some time now, Canada has experienced immigrant and refugee movements from countries in which FGM is commonly practised. In Toronto, community groups have estimated that there are 70,000 immigrants and refugees from Somalia and 10,000 from Nigeria, countries in which FGM is commonly practised. As already noted, because of the nature of FGM, reliable statistics on the incidence of its practice are not available.
In general, competing human rights involve situations where parties to a dispute claim that the enjoyment of an individual or group’s human rights and freedoms, as protected by law, would interfere with another’s rights and freedoms. This complicates the normal approach to resolving a human rights dispute where only one side claims a human rights violation. In some cases, only one party is making a human rights claim, but the claim conflicts with the legal entitlements of another party or parties.