Action Canada response to Canada’s response to UN Special Procedures Joint Communication to Canada regarding sexuality education curriculum in Ontario

When the Government of Ontario announced its plan to cancel the 2015 health curriculum and revert back to the outdated 1998 curriculum, Action Canada, in collaboration with The 519 and SHORE Centre, submitted an urgent appeal to the UN’s Special Procedures to draw attention to the human rights violations occurring as a result. On 19 December 2018, Canada received an official communication endorsed by UN human rights experts demanding Canada take immediate steps to ensure compliance with human rights obligations.

The UN message to Canada was clear: federal and provincial governments have an obligation to ensure all young people are provided with sexuality education, and failure to ensure access to sexuality education is a violation of human rights.

In response to the Communication, the Government of Canada, in collaboration with the Government of Ontario, submitted a response which: fails to take adequate responsibility for human rights obligations (particularly regarding non-retrogression), puts forward inaccurate information regarding the curriculum in question, falsely claims there is no definition of “age appropriate,” refutes any violation of the freedom of expression of teachers by denying the creation of the “snitch” line, presents misleading information regarding the curriculum consultations, and incorrectly attributes rights entitlements to parents.

Posted on 2019-06-03