TORONTO–The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has revitalized its strategic plan for 2023–2025. Human Rights First: A plan for belonging in Ontario reflects on placing belonging and intersectionality at the centre of human rights work, with an emphasis on building relationships and partnerships to achieve this. The plan outlines five key priority areas for continuing to protect, promote and advance human rights in Ontario.
Human Rights First maintains three priorities established in its previous strategic plan: Indigenous reconciliation, the criminal justice system, and the education system. The revitalized plan also includes building human rights culture through meaningful engagement with rights-holders and duty-holders; and health and well-being, including a continued focus on poverty and homelessness – applying a human rights lens to determinants of health such as housing, income and employment.
Human Rights First reflects extensive engagements with more than 200 individuals representing diverse communities, organizations, and institutions across Ontario. Engagements included key informant interviews, focus groups and surveys. The OHRC will continue this engagement and apply proactive, collaborative, and intersectional approaches to maximize the reach and impact of its work to create a human rights culture in Ontario. These approaches align with its core values: accountability, integrity, relationships, collaboration, and social justice.
“Today, the OHRC begins a new chapter in its work with the release of Human Rights First: A plan for belonging in Ontario,” said OHRC Chief Commissioner Patricia DeGuire. “It recognizes the complex ways that social and political identities are braided and can create compounding effects of discrimination for Code-protected groups. The ultimate goal is to provide the human rights leadership and guidance that can improve the quality of life for every Ontarian.”
To track progress on outcomes, the OHRC has identified key performance indicators (KPIs), which will help to strengthen the agency’s accountability and measure its effectiveness. The plan intentionally includes a focus on organizational capacity, recognizing its importance to effectively fulfill the OHRC’s mandate.
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Ontario Human Rights Commission
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