Human Rights Protection in Canada


Human rights in Canada were not directly protected by law until after the Second World War. They are imperfectly protected today. At first, various provinces created human rights codes. The first national bill of rights was adopted in 1960, but it was weak and not entrenched in the constitution of Canada. The article describes the impact on human rights law of the creation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982. Provincial laws must be tailored to satisfy the standards of the Charter. The author analyzes some recent cases involving violations of human rights. The article also describes the unique context of human rights protection in Quebec and the changes in some provinces that intend to make more effective the process of enforcing rights. The article concludes by noting recent controversies about violations of human rights involving detention of a Canadian citizen overseas, and possible abuses of the rights of prisoners in Afghanistan.

Publication Date: 
Saskatchewan, Canada