HRC 55: Canadian Civil Society Joint statement to Canada's UPR adoption

Published on March 25, 2024

We make this statement on behalf of 23 organizations based in Canada. 

We welcome Canada’s acceptance of the recommendations to collaborate with civil society in monitoring of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), making official information accessible to the public, and strengthening national mechanisms for reporting and following up on international recommendations and mechanisms. 

These steps are crucial for the successful implementation of received recommendations, meaningful engagement with civil society and fostering robust accountability systems that fulfill Canada’s human rights obligations. 

The implementation of these recommendations is especially urgent given the shortcomings of the Government’s engagement with civil society in this fourth UPR and its overall lack of accountability on international human rights compliance.  These shortcomings include a lack of federal leadership, limited information accessibility, unequal opportunities for civil society participation, and no clear process for monitoring and follow up of recommendations.  

To address these issues, we call for the government to work with civil society to develop a new human rights architecture in Canada that is fit for purpose and befitting a country that purports to champion human rights on the global stage. We call for the federal government to engage directly with civil society organizations rooted in local communities, ensuring a diversity of stakeholders in all the consultation processes. We also call on the Government to allocate resources for civil society and rights holders to meaningfully participate in human rights processes, including educational resources with a particular focus on the UPR to ensure more Canadians and government officials are involved in this process. 

Moving forward, we urge the Canadian government to take these actions to ensure transparency, accountability, and meaningful civil society involvement in the UPR process. 

We thank you, 



Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights
Amnesty International Canadian Section (English-speaking)
Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
Black Legal Action Centre
Campaign 2000: End Child and Family Poverty
Canadian Centre for Housing Rights
Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children
Canadian Council for Refugees
Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action
Canadian Health Coalition
Citizens for Public Justice
Coalition for Justice and Human Rights
Colour of Poverty - Colour of Change
DAWN Canada  
HIV Legal Network
Human Rights Watch
John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights
National Right to Housing Network
Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
Righting Relations Canada
Social Rights Advocacy Centre
South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario
The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies