Toronto – The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today released Minds that matter: Report on the consultation on human rights, mental health and addictions. This report outlines what the OHRC heard in its largest-ever policy consultation across Ontario, and sets out a number of key recommendations and OHRC commitments to address human rights issues that affect people with mental health disabilities or addictions.
In 2009, to establish a plan to address systemic discrimination based on mental health, the OHRC developed and released a consultation paper, received written submissions and conducted in-depth interviews. This feedback led the OHRC to hold a consultation to develop a policy on human rights and mental health. The policy consultation took place over several months in 2010 and 2011. It included interviews, focus groups, round-table sessions (in Toronto, Windsor, Ottawa and North Bay), a call for written submissions and an online and mail-in survey.
September 2012 - Minds that Matter reports the findings from the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) province-wide consultation on the human rights issues experienced by people with mental health disabilities or addictions. It provides a summary of what we heard from more than 1,500 individuals and organizations across Ontario and sets out a number of key recommendations and OHRC commitments.
Over the past several years, the OHRC has taken many steps to advance understanding of how best to address competing rights. In 2005, the OHRC began the dialogue by releasing a research paper entitled, Balancing Conflicting Rights: Towards an Analytical Framework. The paper provided the public with preliminary information that would promote discussion and further research without taking any firm policy positions.
The OHRC welcomes your feedback related to the areas of concern identified and/or specific interventions that it should consider undertaking.
Please feel free to comment on any of the information provided in this paper, or on the questions identified below:
Within the Areas of Concern identified above, are there priority areas that the OHRC should consider in its strategy?
Within the Areas of Concern identified above, are there priority initiatives that the OHRC should consider undertaking?
Participants in the consultation suggested the following approaches, which they believe are important to the development of any human rights mental health strategy. The OHRC will consider incorporating these principles into its strategy.
In October 2003, the Ontario OHRC released its consultation report entitled The Opportunity to Succeed: Achieving Barrier-free Education for Students with Disabilities (The Opportunity to Succeed). The report was the product of the OHRC’s research and consultation with a wide array of interested parties during the fall of 2002 on human rights issues affecting students with disabilities.
Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, discrimination because of religion (creed) is against the law. Everyone should have access to the same opportunities and benefits, and be treated with equal dignity and respect, regardless of their religion. Religion includes the practices, beliefs and observances that are part of a faith or religion. It does not include personal moral, ethical or political views. Nor does it include religions that promote violence or hate towards others, or that violate criminal law.
As people better understand their rights and wish to exercise them, some of those rights may come into conflict with the rights of others. Depending on the circumstances, for example, the right to be free from discrimination based on creed or sexual orientation or gender may be at odds with each other or with other rights, laws and practices. Can a religious employer require an employee to sign a “morality pledge” not to engage in certain sexual activity? Can an accuser testify at the criminal trial of her accused wearing a niqab?