SUMMARY OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’S SUMISSIONS TO THE UN COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS
Canada underwent its 4th and 5th review of its compliance with the Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in March 2006. Amnesty International provided written submission to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights during the review. In our submissions, Amnesty International made recommendations in six areas: indigenous peoples; migrants; trade and investment; development assistance; implementation; and enforcement.
Amnesty International recommended that:
- Canada respect and protect indigenous peoples’ land rights, address persistent violence against aboriginal women and girls, and end the disparity in funding for indigenous child and family services;
- Canada ensure that all migrant workers have access to economic, social and cultural rights, reform the Seasonal Agricultural Workers and Live-in Caregiver programs, and remove obstacles to speedy family reunification;
- Canada take steps towards fulfilling its obligations of international cooperation and assistance, conduct meaningful consultations with those likely affected by new trade rules, and undertake human rights impact assessments of trade rules during and after negotiations;
- Canada ensure that Canadian companies conduct their operations abroad in a manner respectful of the human rights of those affected by those operations;
- Federal, provincial, and territorial Ministers responsible for human rights convene a meeting and adopt a coordinated, inter-governmental and publicly accountable approach to overseeing implementation of and compliance with international human rights obligations; and
- Canada ensure that economic, social, and cultural rights are fully incorporated into federal and provincial law and provide effective remedies for the enforcement of those rights.
OUTCOMES OF THE REVIEW
In its Concluding Observations, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural rights made a number of recommendations to improve Canada’s compliance with its obligations under the Convention, including:
- Ensuring that economic, social and cultural rights be made enforceable through legislation or policy measures across Canada;
- Recognizing the justiciability of economic, social and cultural rights in Canadian courts;
- Re-examining policies and practices towards the land rights and titles of Indigenous peoples in Canada;
- Adopting effective measures to eliminate exploitation of migrant workers;
- Addressing underfunding of aboriginal child and family services; and
- Ensuring protection of economic, social and cultural rights when negotiating trade agreements.
Canada’s fourth periodic report to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (C/C.12/4/Add.15, 20 October 2004)
List of Issues for Canada’s fourth periodic report to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/C.12/Q/CAN/2, 30 June 2005)
Compilation of Summaries of Canadian NGO Submissions (E/C.12/36/3, 25 April 2006)
Amnesty International submissions to the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (French)
Concluding Observations of the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights on Canada’s 4th and 5th periodic reports of Canada (E/C.12/CAN/CO/4; E/C.12/CAN/CO/5, 22 May 2006)