What Are Human Rights Violations?achkarlaw-admin
Human rights violations are considered serious breaches of the principles of equality, dignity, and fairness to which every person is entitled.
In the province of Ontario, the rights and dignity of individuals are vigorously protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code (“Code“). This legislation serves as a powerful shield, safeguarding employees, contractors, and various other workers from facing discrimination and harassment based on specific grounds outlined within its purview.
Human rights violations are actions or behaviors that infringe upon the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals, as outlined in international human rights law and domestic legislation. These violations can take various forms, such as discrimination, harassment, torture, arbitrary detention, denial of freedom of speech, and more. Human rights violations are considered to be serious breaches of the principles of equality, dignity, and fairness that every person is entitled to.
The Ontario Human Rights Code enumerates, or explicitly lists and specifies a comprehensive range of protected grounds, encompassing various aspects, including:
- Place of origin
- Ethnic origin
- Creed (religious beliefs)
- Sex (including pregnancy and gender identity)
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity
- Gender expression
- Marital status
- Family status
- Receipt of public assistance
- Record of offences (in employment only)
These provisions demonstrate the province’s commitment to upholding diversity, inclusivity, and equality for all its residents. The protection provided by the Ontario Human Rights Code applies explicitly to a broad array of scenarios.
If a person believes that their rights under the Ontario Human Rights Code are violated, the affected party experiencing discrimination and/or harassment has the right to initiate proceedings by filing an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
Although anyone can file a human rights application, with or without legal representation, the success of the application hinges on the ability to substantiate the claims of discrimination and/or harassment. It may be advisable to seek legal assistance from an experienced human rights law firm to evaluate the merits and strengths of the claim before proceeding further.
What Constitutes A Human Rights Violation?
In order to be considered a human rights violation , one or more of the protected grounds must be proven to have been the basis for discrimination or harassment within any of the protected social areas. These areas include:
- Goods and services
- Membership in unions, trades, or vocational associations
For example, denying an individual access to a fitness facility due to a disability constitutes a clear case of discrimination based on the ground of disability.
What Is The Burden Of Proof?
When filing a human rights application, the burden of proof rests with the applicant. The standard of proof required in such cases is the “balance of probabilities.” In other words, the applicant must demonstrate that it is more likely than not that the alleged human rights violation has taken place.
If an applicant is able to prove that a human rights violation occurred, then the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario may award the applicant numerous remedies and damages.
Seeking Redress for a Human Rights Violation
When facing human rights abuse, individuals have several alternatives to consider before initiating a formal human rights proceeding. Alternative approaches, including demand letters and seeking legal advice, which can prove beneficial in addressing the issue effectively.
Advocating for Your Human Rights
Before embarking on a formal legal process, one option to consider is sending a demand letter. A demand letter serves as a written communication that puts the alleged wrongdoer, such as an employer, on notice regarding the incident of human rights abuse. This letter explicitly outlines the nature of the abuse, the grounds on which it is alleged to have occurred, and the specific remedies sought to rectify the situation.
Assessing the Strength of Your Human Rights Violation Case
Another prudent step before initiating a human rights application is seeking legal advice from an experienced human rights lawyer. A qualified legal professional can provide a thorough analysis of the strengths and merits of the case. They can assess the evidence available, evaluate the potential challenges, and offer an informed perspective on the likelihood of success in a human rights proceeding.
Informed Decision Making
Obtaining legal advice equips individuals with a clearer understanding of their rights and the options available to them. Lawyers experienced in human rights matters can offer strategic guidance, explain the intricacies of the law, and outline potential courses of action. Armed with this knowledge, individuals can make well-informed decisions on how to proceed with their claim.
If you are uncertain about the strength or merits of your human rights violation case, our team of skilled human rights lawyers at Achkar Law is here to assist you.