Under the Ontario Human Rights Code,
“harassment” has a specific meaning.
Harassment is behaviour that is known
or ought to be known to be unwelcome
Racial harassment is when the
unwelcome behaviour is related to
race-based grounds under the Code.
Racial harassment means that someone is
bothering you, threatening you or
treating you unfairly because of your
perceived race, colour, ancestry,
place of origin, ethnic origin,
creed, or citizenship.
It may also be based on a combination
of any of these characteristics.
Racial harassment may also be because of
things that are characteristics,
such as your clothing where it related
to your background, or if you
speak with an accent or practice
a certain religion.
It is against the law for anyone to
harass you, insult you, or
treat you unfairly for
any of these reasons.
The Ontario Human Rights Code
protects you from racial harassment
and discrimination where you work,
live, or get a service.
Services include places such as hospitals,
restaurants, stores and malls, hotels,
recreation facilities and schools.
Racial harassment can happen when someone
where you work, live or get a service
makes racial slurs or “jokes”,
makes fun of you or insults you
because of your racial identity,
posts cartoons or pictures, in a workplace,
school or housing space, that degrade
persons of a particular racial group,
calls you names because of your race,
colour, citizenship, place of origin,
ancestry, ethnic background or creed.
If you think you have been
harassed, try to tell that person to stop.
If you feel that saying or doing something
puts you, your job or your housing at risk,
go to someone in authority.
If it happens at work, speak to
human resources, tell a manager or
contact your union representative.
If it happens in the building where you live,
notify the landlord.
If none of these options
improve your situation,
or you are afraid of taking these steps,
you can also file
a formal human rights complaint.
To start the process contact the
Human Rights Legal Support Centre.
Or you can contact the
National Council of Canadian Muslims
also known as NCCM.
Both have services in Arabic.
And visit the OHRC's website at