Contributor

(Amri Murray)

Human rights applications - are these now just a waste of time?

The answer to this very question is often answered with a shrug, or the comment “why bother” or perhaps, “I’ll just let it go. It's just a waste of time.”

Given the current delays at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, the decision not to pursue these matters may be quite understandable. Some applications take years to get to a final merits hearing and obtain a written decision.

Although it may take some time, these applications are one of few formal ways to help address systematic racism and discrimination of all types.

The Human Rights Tribunals is a specialized tribunal tasked with resolving claims of discrimination and harassment brought under the Human Rights Code.

To help put a stop to discrimination that permeates our various institutions, associations, and workplaces, the Tribunal will need to play its part as mandated once these applications are filed.

More applications may help to demonstrate the seriousness of the issue of discrimination and may further assist in facilitating greater trends toward change. The more public these issues are, the more certain organizations, for example, will be made to understand that they need to take steps towards rooting out systematic racism and discrimination of all forms.

Moving forward is not simply about the possible compensation award, it is more about facilitating change for this generation and the next.

Real change takes time, but we must not hesitate to assert our rights against those who seek to belittle, bully and trample upon our human rights, and dignity.

The Code’s broad remedial purposes must be seen to be understood and upheld in recognition of the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.

This is indeed the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace for all, irrespective of your race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, citizenship, ethnic origin, disability, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, family status, marital status, or age.

Whether you experience workplace discrimination, discrimination while accessing services, or within institutions, do not stay silent.

The Code’s broad remedial purposes must be seen to be understood and upheld in recognition of the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.