Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released its Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) Framework, a new web-based educational tool to support the public, governments, service providers and employers across the province to design and develop policies and programs that meet their obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code. The framework can also be used by advocates and researchers to help bring a human rights approach to their campaigns and projects.
As part of the Framework, five user guides are available to support people and organizations in the following sectors:
- Health and human services
- Employer policy and programs
- Advocacy and research
- Provincial policy and programs
- Municipal by-laws, polices, programs and services
“Understanding human rights obligations is the foundation for building policies and programs which meet the human rights of all Ontarians,” said OHRC Chief Commissioner Patricia DeGuire. “The new Human Rights-Based Framework will help people understand their responsibilities and take human rights into consideration at every step of their planning and implementation. This is one practical way to build a human rights culture in Ontario – a culture that recognizes the dignity and worth of every person and provides equal rights and opportunities without discrimination.”
The HRBA Framework helps users through each stage of a new policy or program with probing human rights questions and considerations that educate and help people to think differently.
A human rights-based approach can help to identify inequalities and remedy discriminatory practices. It can also empower marginalized communities by supporting their participation and inclusion in program or policy development and strengthen the capacity of government policy and decision makers to respect, protect and fulfill their legal human rights obligations.
“AMO supports a rights-based approach to housing and other critical areas of municipal responsibility. Practical supports and tools such as the HRBA Framework and ‘how to’ guide are key to helping understand what rights-based approaches mean in practice and how municipal governments can implement them,” said Colin Best, President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. “AMO is proud of its partnership with the Ontario Human Rights Commission and looks forward to ongoing collaboration to support all levels of government in meeting obligations under the Code.”
The OHRC calls on everyone in Ontario, including service providers, employers, advocates, and provincial and municipal governments, to make use of this new tool to meet their responsibilities and legal duties towards Ontarians.
- The HRBA Framework should be used in conjunction with other related OHRC guidelines and policies, such as: human rights and rental housing, preventing discrimination based on mental health disabilities and addictions, and policy and guidelines on racism and racial discrimination.
- While the HRBA Framework supports organizations in meeting their human rights obligations, it does not replace receiving legal advice where necessary.
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- Call it out: racism, racial discrimination and human rights
- Duty to Accommodate
- Poverty POV – What we are hearing
Adewonuola Johnson – Issues and Media Relations Officer
Ontario Human Rights Commission
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