Conducting & supporting research

Facts matter. Quality human rights research is a critical component of the way the Commission is able to build expertise and better advise decision-makers and policy-makers on human rights matters in Canada. By strengthening our knowledge and data, we can identify areas where emerging human rights issues need to be explored, where the boundaries of rights need to be tested or pushed, and where we need to amplify our voice.

Trans Pulse Canada Survey Project Findings:

84% avoid public spaces due to fear of harassment or being outed.
42% have experienced sexual harassment.
16% have experienced physical violence.
50% rate their mental health as fair or poor.
31% considered suicide in the past year.
45% have one or more unmet health care needs.
12% avoid going to the emergency room despite needing care.
40% live in low-income households
SOURCE: Trans PULSE Canada

Trans case law in Canada

With the help of Professor Samuel Singer, the Commission conducted a nation-wide study of trans rights case law in Canada. The study pulls together a recent history of the most relevant cases and stories of discrimination, hate and violence permeating the lives of many trans folk in Canada. It is an in-depth look at the various systemic barriers facing trans people in employment, housing, healthcare, immigration, safety and security, and access to identity documents.

Trans PULSE Canada Survey Project

In July 2019, the Trans PULSE Canada Survey was launched. Led by Dr. Greta Bauer, and made possible by grassroots efforts, this community-based survey is the first national study of its kind in Canada. It provides the first set of national disaggregated data on the lived experiences of trans and non- binary people in Canada. It covers everything from population, to mental and physical health; from access to healthcare, housing and employment, to violence and suicide rates. The Commission has supported Dr. Bauer and the Trans PULSE Canada team throughout the project, lending expertise and policy guidance, and supporting the outreach. Over the next few years, the rich data from the survey will inform reports, conference presentations and journal articles, with the first report now available on the Trans PULSE Canada website.

Policy approaches to harmful content online

In 2019, the Commission co-hosted a conference with the Public Policy Forum and the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence, which is led by Public Safety Canada, to discuss online hate. Experts from both the public and private sectors, as well as those with lived- experience, came together to make policy recommendations on how to combat online hate in Canada from both a public safety perspective as well as a human rights perspective. The conference informed a final report with key recommendations and insights on how policy-makers in Canada might possibly address the escalating issue of online hate.

Identifying Indigenous employment equity gaps in the banking sector

In 2019, the Commission completed its first horizontal audit, looking at systemic issues in Indigenous employment in the banking and financial sector. With approximately 240,000 employees across the country, this particular sector has a key role to play in promoting workplace equality. The audit findings confirm that there is still a gap in employment opportunity when it comes to Indigenous representation in this sector.

The audit also uncovered effective approaches that all employers in Canada can use to attract or retain Indigenous employees. These best practices include: an application screening process that takes lived-experience or career gaps into consideration; anti-harassment training for managers and employees; wider advertising of all opportunities (including senior management positions) throughout the organization; and putting robust anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies into place.

34.3% of the employers have an Indigenous representative on their employment equity committee. Even less, 11.4%, have an Indigenous representative from a management position on their employment equity committee.
28.6% reported addressing none or just a few of the barriers identified in their employment equity plans.
25.7% identified Indigenous men for management or other succession planning positions, and 14.3% identified Indigenous women for similar roles.