Fact Sheet #29c) Training on New Human Rights Trends

Level 4

Element: Capacity Building and Resources

Outcome 29: Organization has adequate capacity and resources to address Level 4 outcomes of each element.

Indicator 29c): Training on new human rights trends offered to staff.

Possible Measures and Data Sources:

  • Environmental scan (identification of human rights trends).
  • Co-development of training sessions on human rights trends with partners.
  • Number of sessions offered.
  • Percentage of employees and managers trained.

Indicator Description

The organization recognizes the current realities of an increasingly diverse workplace. It is on the lookout for new trends among its staff and clients and ensures that its staff are trained to respond to them. The organization thus promotes listening, co-operation and respect for differences. It ensures that differences are not perceived as barriers, but rather as rewarding benefits for the organization.

At Level 3, human rights and employment equity training is given to all employees, regardless of roles and responsibilities. The organization ensures that is has the tools and resources needed for its equity plan and a discrimination-free environment. At Level 4, the organization goes beyond the basics by providing its staff with training on new trends and current issues in human rights.

For example, the organization organizes interactive workshops based on real-life experiences. These workshops raise participants’ awareness of new trends, equip them with best practices and make the connection between new trends and their role as employees.

Suggested Approach

Organizations must keep abreast of developments in case law and be attentive to new trends in human rights, workplace discrimination prevention and service delivery. These new trends can include sources of discrimination that are not yet covered by legislation (e.g. genetic discrimination, social condition) and new situations related to grounds for discrimination recognized in legislation and that involve respect for and well-being of individuals. Some examples include people who take care of sick or elderly loved ones who are not family members as defined in the collective agreement, new social media that enable new forms of harassment and issues related to working in multigenerational teams. They also include forms of discrimination that arise for individuals who are affected by a number of grounds for discrimination or, in other words, facing a transversal situation.

In order to be well prepared to deal with these issues, you can:

  • Re-examine the available information on employees and clients to see if new trends could affect individuals or the organization.
  • Provide training on new trends: Provide employees with training and awareness sessions on new human rights trends. The objective is to get everyone thinking about how they view difference, the behaviours they should let go of and those that they should adopt from now on.
  • Think about ways to work better together despite differences, in a changing workplace:  Through a workshop, small group discussions or other means, give employees the opportunity to explore successful strategies for preventing discrimination. Assess current ways of doing things and approaches that could be implemented to create an inclusive environment for everyone. This involves how to get along with others, work with partners and serve clients.
  • Share with partners. The organization can share the knowledge, experience and skills it acquired on new human rights trends with its providers and partners. 

Promising Practices

  • Support a mental health program: A large organization implemented a multi-year engagement program to support mental health. It financially supports a wide range of awareness activities and research and treatment programs. This organization publicly announced its engagement. It encourages its employees to learn about the issue and take part in various internal and external training sessions. The Canadian Human Rights Act covers discrimination based on mental health (included under disability), but this issue is increasingly present in the workplace.
  • Sponsor a conference: An organization organized a conference on reconciling intergenerational differences in the workplace for its employees. There were discussions on the co-operation, communication and interpretation challenges that could arise between various age groups, such as baby boomers and generation X- and Y-ers. The guest speaker proposed some solutions for creating a constructive context by putting differences aside.

Useful Links

Mental Health Problems and Disorders - Public Health Agency of Canada

Issues and Options for Engagement Discussions Leading to a Mental Health Strategy - Government of Bew brunswick

About Genetic Discrimination - Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness (CCGF)

Statistics Canada - Generations in Canada - Statistics Canada

Control Over Time and Work-Life Balance: An Empirical Analysis (Archived) -  Human Resources and Skills Development Canada


Let's Talk - Bell Canada

Réseau d'aide aux personnes seules et itinérantes de Montréal - Comprendre l'itinérance (Available in French only) - Réseau d'aide aux personnes seules et itinérantes de Montréal (consulted on Feb. 25, 2013)

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