Human rights talk at TRU centres around access to justice

By Jill Sperling
January 31, 2018 - 3:39pm Updated: January 31, 2018 - 5:35pm

KAMLOOPS — The Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission paid a visit to Kamloops Wednesday, speaking to TRU Law students about the role they can play in increasing access to justice for all Canadians. 

Marie-Claude Landry was appointed to the role of Chief Commissioner in 2015, and says new human rights issues are emerging every day. 

The Commission works to promote human rights and prevent violations, while protecting people through the complaint process. 

Landry says it's important that all people have access to justice, regardless of location or financial situation. 

"I'm not concerned by the people that I reach, I'm concerned by the people we can't reach," she said. "This is what we want to achieve, reach those people and break down the barriers. The Canadian Human Rights Commission have held a round-table with Indigenous women over the last two years, and they identified 21 barriers for accessing justice." 

In order to aid those facing barriers to justice, the Human Rights Commission has improved its complaint process, implementing an online complaint form. 

Landry says there is still a lot of work to do, but with only 200 employees the Human Rights Commission will not be able to do it on its own. 

She encourages law students to use their minds and hearts to fight for human rights. 

"They will be involved in their community, they will be involved with their local organizations, and they can bring those changes," Landry said. "They can first raise awareness, they can raise awareness with people who surround them, but they can also raise awareness with those organizations. They need to learn about human rights. 

"Human rights should be a core value." 

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