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.
In the human rights context, both quantitative data (numbers, for example) and qualitative data (stories, for example) is collected on Code and non-Code grounds. An organization may decide to collect both kinds of data for many reasons.
Some organizations may collect data to:
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.
Discrimination in rental housing can take various forms. One does not have to show that the discrimination was deliberate, malicious or even intentional. Even actions that are unintended or comments that are “only a joke”, are prohibited if they are offensive and discriminatory based on a ground in the Code.
In 2004-2005, the Commission received 100 complaints relating to discrimination in housing. While this number amounts to only about 4 percent of the total complaints received by the Commission during this time period, the complaints that have been filed frequently raise significant systemic issues, issues that potentially affect large numbers of people besides the actual complainant.
1. Defining discrimination
The Code provides that every person has the right to be treated equally in the area of housing without discrimination because of any of the grounds set out in the Code. The purpose of anti-discrimination laws is to prevent the violation of human dignity and freedom through the imposition of disadvantage, stereotyping, or political or social prejudice.
The purpose of the Code, as set out in its Preamble, is the creation of a province in which there is “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 able to contribute fully to the development and well-being of the community and the Province.” Human rights concerns arise whenever individuals are targeted for greater scrutiny, or are the subject of negative attitudes or treatment because of their race.