York University’s Centre for Human Rights (CHR) has increased staff and educational awareness activities in response to a growing demand for its services.
The centre’s 2013-2014 Annual Report shows the majority of this contact was made by administrators seeking advice on how to implement provincial human rights legislation or York U’s human rights policies.
It further indicates that in 2013 to 2014, 25 per cent of these contacts were focused on accommodation matters – most frequently related to the grounds of disability.
In terms of complaints, over the past three years the highest numbers related to disability (27 per cent), followed by the grounds of race (19 per cent), and sexual harassment (12 per cent).
In response to these findings, CHR increased its staff complement and relocated its office from the Ross Building to Technology Enhanced Learning. This will help accommodate an enhanced team and addresses the need for additional space to conduct mediations and other forms of alternative dispute resolutions.
Educations and communications advisor positions have been aligned with the main human rights matters raised by the York U community, and include:
- Josephine Tcheng – accommodations for persons with disabilities
- Jodie Glean – anti-racism
- Nadia Bello – sexual harassment
CHR will roll out and increase in its educational and awareness programs in these areas. For example, this year the CHR launched an Anti-Racism Talkshop Series for members of the community to engage in the development strategies and solutions to prevent and respond to key issues in their working and learning environments. Several other initiatives are still under development.
In addition to these programs, CHR’s education and communications advisors will continue to provide education and training on other human rights grounds. Enquiries and complaints will continue to be received and processed by case advisors, who will continue to conduct consultations related to these grounds.
For more information, visit rights.info.yorku.ca.