ISAC has made a submission to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on Canada’s implementation of its obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The Committee is meeting in Geneva starting February 24 to review Canada’s record. The last review was in 2006.
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights requires countries to protect important human rights for people who live in poverty, such as the right to social security and to an adequate standard of living. The UN committee monitors countries who have signed on to the Covenant, to see how they are protecting those rights.
Canada signed the Covenant in 1976. Canada’s record on economic, social and cultural rights is reviewed by the Committee periodically. Canada is required to submit a progress report to the Committee. Civil society groups like ISAC are encouraged to make submissions to the Committee about their concerns.
Our submission raises a number of important issues:
- Canada has no national standards to ensure the adequacy of provincial social assistance benefits
- The national standard on residency requirements has been eroded for refugees and others without regularized immigration status, who are protected under the Convenant
- Social security for older migrants to Canada has been eroded
- The rights of Canadians with disabilities to social security and an adequate standard of living are not being adequately protected
- Serious barriers exist for unemployed workers to access Employment Insurance benefits, and certain groups in Canadian society such as temporary foreign workers are being discriminated against.
After its review, the Committee will highlight concerns and make recommendations in a “Concluding Observations” report.
You can download our submission here: ISAC Submission - Report to UN Committee on Economic and Social Rights - Canada 6th Periodic Review - February 2016.
All of the submissions made to the Committee are available here: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=1012&Lang=en