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Appendix B: International obligations

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International human rights law recognizes the interrelationship between economic status, marginalization, social exclusion and racism. Several international instruments affirm the importance of removing barriers and taking corrective steps to achieve equal participation in all aspects of society.[39] The Supreme Court of Canada has indicated that the values and principles enshrined in international law constitute a part of the legal context in which legislation is interpreted and applied.[40] Also, human rights commissions have been identified as key institutions in implementing and protecting international human rights standards. Accordingly, the OHRC uses applicable international standards when developing policy, and to inform how it applies and interprets the Code

[39] See, for example, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 21 December 1965, 660 U.N.T.S. 195 (entered into force 04 January 1969, accession by Canada 14 October 1970); the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights, UN Doc. A/CONF. 157/23 (1993), endorsed GA Res. 48/121, UN Doc. A/RES/48/121 (1993); the Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice, adopted and proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 27 November 1978, E/CN.4/Sub.2/1982/2/Add.1, annex V, 1982; and, the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance Declaration and Programme of Action, 25 January 2002, A/CONF.189/12. 

[40] See Slaight Communications Inc. v. Davidson, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1038 and Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1999] 2 S.C.R.  817 at paras. 70-71. 



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