The implementation by the Correctional Service of Canada of a national
indigenous plan to respond to the needs of indigenous offenders, including the creation of
aboriginal intervention centres, which integrate programmes and interventions and engage
indigenous communities to support offender release plans and reintegration of offenders
The introduction of the expanded programme on alternatives to detention of
the Canada Border Services Agency, in July 2018;
The adoption of “It’s time: Canada’s strategy to prevent and address genderbased violence”, in 2017;
The adoption of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking, in
The Committee also welcomes the convening, for the first time in nearly 30 years, of
the meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for human rights,
held in December 2017, to discuss key government priorities relating to the State party’s
international human rights obligations.
The Committee commends the State party for its continuing engagement on the
issue of refugee settlement, noting that it plans to resettle 31,700 refugees in 2020.
The Committee appreciates that the State party maintains a standing invitation to the
special procedure mechanisms of the Human Rights Council, which has allowed
independent experts to carry out visits to the country during the reporting period.
Principal subjects of concern and recommendations
Pending follow-up issues from the previous reporting cycle
In its previous concluding observations (CAT/C/CAN/CO/6, para. 29), the
Committee requested the State party to inform it of the steps taken to carry out
recommendations whose implementation it considered a matter of priority, namely
recommendations on security certificates under the Immigration and Refugee Protection
Act (para. 12), immigration detention (para. 13), torture and ill-treatment of Canadians
detained abroad (para. 16) and intelligence information obtained by torture (para. 17). The
Committee appreciates the State party’s replies in this regard, received on 20 August 2013
under the follow-up procedure (CAT/C/CAN/CO/6/Add.1). In the light of the information
provided, the Committee finds that the recommendations in paragraphs 12, 13 and 17 have
not been implemented (see paras. 46–47, 34–35 and 42–43, respectively, of the present
document) and that the recommendations contained in paragraph 16 have been partially
implemented (see paras. 38–39 of the present document).
Fundamental legal safeguards
The Committee takes note of the procedural safeguards set out in article 10 of the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, namely the right of detainees to be informed
promptly of the reasons for their arrest or detention, to retain and instruct counsel without
delay and to be informed of that right, and to have the validity of the detention determined
by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful. It regrets,
however, the scant information provided on the measures and procedures in place to ensure
the practical application of these and other fundamental safeguards to prevent torture and
ill-treatment. In that respect, it has been reported that detainees have occasionally had
difficulty gaining access to an interpreter or family members (art. 2).
The State party should ensure that all persons who are arrested or detained are
afforded, by law and in practice, all fundamental legal safeguards against torture
from the very outset of their deprivation of liberty, including the right to be assisted
by a lawyer without delay, to have the assistance of an interpreter if necessary, to
request and receive an independent medical examination, to inform promptly a close
relative or any other person of their choice of their arrest and to be brought promptly
before a judge.