Our 2023 Human Rights Agenda looks back at Canada’s human rights record over the past year against the backdrop of a global recession on human rights. Last year, civilians paid the brunt of heightened armed conflicts and the erosion of human rights protection in political discourse and decision-making.

Some progress was made on our 2022 recommendations. Still, it remains insufficient and too slow to match the glaring human rights needs across the country, and the realities of a world plunged into crisis.


This edition highlights multiple pressing challenges in eight critical areas. These themes are far from exhaustive, but their persistence, despite frequent public commitments, is of deep concern.

Indigenous People's Rights icon
Violence, harassment, and discrimination against Indigenous Peoples in Canada
Gender Rights icon
Legislation and hate targeting 2SLGBTQQIA+ people and preventing online harms
Racism and discrimination icon
Racism and discrimination in the federal public service and the criminal legal system
Refugee and migrant rights icon
Immigration detention, exploitive visas, access to healthcare, and the Safe Third Country Agreement
Human rights defenders icon
The human rights defenders’ resettlement stream and protecting the right to protest
Climate justice and corporate accountability icon
Fossil fuel subsidies, environmental law and court decisions
Canada's foreign policy icon
Arms trade and human rights impact assessment of trade and investment agreements
International human rights obligations icon
Failure to implement treaty obligations and respond to the Wet’suwet’en Nation’s claims


Canada’s human rights challenges are numerous, multifaceted, and daunting. Perhaps the most significant and enduring challenge is these issues require an all-hands-on-deck, coordinated approach.

In November 2023, the Universal Periodic Review also underscored Canada’s repeated failure, over multiple governments, to track progress on its human rights obligations. Canada experienced greater international scrutiny, with country visits from three United Nations Special Rapporteurs, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Inter-American Human Rights Commission. Their recommendations often echoed those Amnesty International issued last year.

Not only are human rights the right or legal thing to do. They are the smart thing to do. We hope the recommendations in this edition inspire decision-makers and rights holders alike and ignite a desperately needed turning point for human rights in 2024.

Ketty Nivyabandi, Secretary General

So, what will it take for these recommendations to finally be implemented? Will 2024 be the year Canada strengthens its monitoring mechanism to uphold human rights at home?

As we inch closer to federal elections, protecting human rights must remain a nonpartisan responsibility and at the heart of public policy. Both globally and locally, political extremes are subverting the essence and relevance of human rights. Canada must tread carefully in this context and counter this trend decisively.

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How to Reach Out to Your Member of Parliament

Amnesty International is pressing the Canadian government to take decisive action on human rights at home and on the world stage in 2024. The call comes as we release our annual Human Rights Agenda for Canada, which urges the federal government to build on the progress made in 2023 while addressing ongoing serious human rights shortcomings.

We’re asking all Amnesty supporters to contact their MPs and senators to encourage them to strengthen human rights in 2024. Every MP and Senator has received a copy of our 2023 Human Rights Agenda—you have the power to ensure they follow through. 

1. Advocacy Resources

Amnesty International’s “Lobbying for Activists” course will help you begin or ramp up your human rights lobbying and advocacy and prepare you for meetings with Canadian decision-makers, particularly Members of Parliament. By the end of this video course you will be ready to call your local MP, set up a meeting, and confidently press them on a current but troubling domestic or foreign policy issue. You can also use this step-by-step guide to help prepare to meet with your Member of Parliament or any other key decision-maker!

Coming Soon: Additional resources to support your lobbying efforts! Please fill out this form to stay updated.

2. Find your Member of Parliament

You can find your local Member of Parliament by entering your postal code and searching here. >>

Once you’ve found your MP, you can learn more about their roles and affiliations under “Roles.” Is your MP part of a committee? The more you know about your MP, the better you can direct your concerns. For example, if your MP is a member of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, they might be particularly interested in hearing our concerns related to the Coastal GasLink pipeline and the Wet’suwet’en Nation.

Please note: If your MP is a Minister, please contact us at for advice. 

3. Pick Your Method of Advocacy

There are many ways to reach your MP, from posting a message on X (Twitter) to scheduling an in-person meeting. Pick the method that works for you and the time you have available. Every message counts!

4. Email or Call your Member of Parliament

The contact information for your Member of Parliament can be found under their profile on the House of Commons website here. >> Contact your MP by email or phone and let them know that you are reaching out about Amnesty International’s Human Rights Agenda and tell them you want them to prioritize human rights. 

Make it personal! Tell your MP why you care about human rights and emphasize the issues in the Human Rights Agenda that are most important to you. 

If you do email your MP, make sure you attach a PDF copy of Amnesty’s 2023 Human Rights Agenda or link to this webpage.

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