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NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release

Consultation on Systemic Discrimination and Racism: Three Ways to Take Part

Montréal, October 4, 2017 — The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse outlined today that the Consultation on Systemic Discrimination and Racism, currently underway, will include three complementary ways for individuals, organisations, and businesses in Québec to take part: local consultations, working groups, and online consultations.

The three consultation processes will be conducted concurrently during the coming months and the Commission will be using the information collected to develop a consultation report and recommendations to submit to the government in the winter of 2018. Both the reports produced by the organisations conducting the local consultations and those produced by the experts responsible for themes will be made public.

Local Consultations

Carried out by 31 organisations in 13 regions across Québec , the local consultations will take various forms, including focus days, discussion groups, workshops, and gathering testimony. Each of the 31 organisations have developed projects that draw on their expertise and are grounded in reality, allowing for a close proximity to the issues at hand.

All projects seek to shed light on the experiences of people who have experienced discrimination or racism or who have witnessed such situations, and to identify possible solutions. The organisations conducting the consultations will provide the Commission with a report on their activities and testimony by December 15, 2017.

Working Groups

The second component of the Consultation is the creation of four working groups to address the themes of: work and employment; education, health and social services, and housing; justice and public security; and culture and media.

The working groups will be steered by five experts responsible for themes, and made up of representatives from diverse sectors, including public, private, and community organisations, researchers, and unions.

On December 4-5, the four working groups will convene in Montréal for a public forum. This forum will bring together participants from diverse fields to pursue examination of the various themes and to put forward practical solutions. The experts responsible for themes will then prepare a report on the working groups’ findings, which will be submitted to the Commission, as well as made public.

Online Consultations

The third way to take part is though the platform to be launched on the Consultation’s website in the coming weeks. Here, individuals, organisations, and businesses can share their experiences by filling out a questionnaire or submitting a brief between October 17 and December 15, 2017. The Commission will consider the online briefs and testimony in preparing its final report.

Public and Independent

The Consultation on Systemic Discrimination and Racism’s approach seeks to gather perspectives from a range of individuals and communities in order to put forward practical solutions that are firmly grounded in reality.

The entire process will be public. However, in order not to exclude testimony that would be valuable to the organisations’ reports and the Commission’s final report and recommendations, individuals who make an express request may testify in private, depending on the nature of the activity.

The independence of the organisations and experts working with the Consultation to find ways to combat systemic discrimination and racism is important to the Commission. Under the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, the Commission has the responsibility and authority to make its own, independent recommendations to the government.

The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (Human Rights and Youth Commission) ensures the promotion and respect of the principles set out in the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. It also ensures that the interests of children are protected and that their rights recognized in the Youth Protection Act are respected and promoted. In addition, the Commission oversees compliance with the Act respecting Equal Access to Employment in Public Bodies.

Contact:
Meissoon Azzaria
514 873-5146 or 1 800 361-6477, ext.210
meissoon.azzaria@cdpdj.qc.ca

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