How to Protect Your Human Rights in Canada

How to Protect Your Human Rights in Canada

Human rights issues cannot be ignored. We’ve had #BLM, and now the #StopAsianHate movement is taking over social media. Apart from joining online and offline protests, what other things can you do to fight against discrimination and racism in Canada?

One way is to pick up your legal weapon.

Anyone legally present in Canada can file a complaint, including a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or someone on a visa. If you believe you have experienced discrimination, you can file a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission or the human rights agency under your jurisdiction.

Canadian Human Rights Commission


According to Canadian Human Rights Commission, here are some examples of discriminatory acts that could be accepted as a discrimination complaint, once they are linked to one or more of the grounds of discrimination:

  • If you go to a federally regulated organization and you are denied goods, services, facilities or accommodation.
  • If you are provided with goods, services, facilities or accommodation in a way that treats you differently and adversely.
  • If you are refused employment or you are fired from your job, or are being treated unfairly in the workplace.
  • If the company or organization is following policies or practices that deprive people of employment opportunities.
  • If you are a woman and are being paid differently when you are doing work of the same value.
  • If you have been the victim of retaliation because you have filed a complaint with the Commission or because you have helped someone else file a complaint.
  • If you have been the victim of harassment.

How to File a Compliant

To file a complaint, you need to do so within 12 months of the act or treatment that you are complaining about. There is no filing fee, and you can file a complaint on behalf of others as long as you have their consent. In addition, you don’t need to hire a lawyer or get other legal assistance, and you can call the Commission (1-888-214-1090) and ask for help, only note that the Commission is impartial and it does not take your side or the respondent’s.

Here’s the link to the compliant page:

Provincial & Territorial Human Rights Agencies

Provincial and territorial human rights laws share many similarities with the Canadian Human Rights Act and apply many of the same principles. They protect people from discrimination in areas such as restaurants, stores, schools, housing and most workplaces. Here are the links of all provincial and territorial human rights agencies:

Alberta Human Rights Commission 

British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal 

B.C. Office of the Human Rights Commissioner 

Manitoba Human Rights Commission 

New Brunswick Human Rights Commission 

Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission 

Northwest Territories Human Rights Commission 

Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission 

Nunavut Human Rights Tribunal 

Ontario Human Rights Commission 

(Ontario) Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario 

(Ontario) Human Rights Legal Support Centre 

Prince Edward Island Human Rights Commission 

Québec Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse 

Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission

Yukon Human Rights Commission

As a recruiter, how to avoid bias in recruitment practice? Check out the infographic I made.

There are many different ways to show your support. Ultimately, we need to raise voice and speak up. This is not being aggressive or extreme. This is to fight for your fundamental rights, and educate the society in the long term.

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