This public engagement to re-establish the B.C. Human Rights Commission has been an eye-opening experience for me. I have learned, and continue to learn, so much through peoples’ expertise, experiences and stories. A big takeaway so far has been the call for more public education on human rights as a crucial consideration when building the new commission. From my face-to-face meetings and phone calls with human rights experts and organizations, to the comments I am reading here in the discussion forum, public education has risen as a central theme. Thank you for bringing that to the forefront.
It is clear that when people know their rights, they are better prepared to identify when those rights are being violated and what they can do about it. But public education does more than empower those who face discrimination. It also educates people and organizations – such as employers, landlords, teachers, police, service providers, governments and so forth– about their responsibility to uphold human rights. Greater understanding on all sides can lead to appropriate expectations, empathy, compassion and an understanding of available options.
Participants in the dialogue so far have made it clear that education is a valued tool for building a strong future for human rights in B.C. I would like us now to consider how the commission might design and focus its public education efforts.
How do you feel the new commission should educate people about human rights under the B.C. Human Rights Code?
Based on your experience, what topics of education would be important to individuals? What would be most helpful for employers or other organizations? What are the most convenient ways that you use to find information you need in your daily life?
– Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism & Sport