The international community, and in particular, the United Nations (UN), provides African Canadians with a platform from which they can launch a comprehensive strategy to attain equality for the community.
While certain issues impacting African Canadians may appear domestic in scope, they can reach international proportions given Canada’s obligations as a member state and signatory to the international human rights conventions and agreements, and its responsibility for follow-up actions at home.
These international bodies and instruments provide a way for non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including the ACLC, to participate in international advocacy and global governance. They provide an opportunity for NGOs to influence international priorities and standards that have implications for policy and decision-making at the domestic level (both nationally and locally).
The ACLC’s engagement in the international process provides valuable support for the UN to expand its work and influence with citizens. Through the ACLCs interventions, the UN has been able to obtain a more complete picture of the human rights issues affecting African Canadians. The ACLC has also been able to act as a conduit to promote and disseminate decisions made by UN organizations to the African Canadian community, especially when the decisions have been favourable to us.
As a member agency of the UN, Canada is a signatory to a number of human rights conventions and agreements. The short list below highlights some of the conventions that have a particular relevance and significance to the work of the ACLC. All member states, including Canada, are required to submit reports regularly to the respective Treaty Monitoring Committees. NGOs like the ACLC may then submit shadow reports to present a fuller more accurate picture of the realities faced by our community.
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cerd/)
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/committee.htm)
Human Rights Committee (http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/)
Committee on the Rights of the Child (http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/)