The Committee considered the combined twenty-first to twenty-third periodic reports of Canada (CERD/C/CAN/21-23), submitted in one document, at its 2566th and 2567th meetings (see CERD/C/SR.2566 and 2567), held on 14 and 15 August 2017. At its 2580th, 2581st and 2582nd meetings, held on 23 and 24 August, it adopted the present concluding observations.
These concluding observations also set out a series of subjects for concern and recommendations. In paragraph 15, the Committee raise their concerns about the reported disproportionally high number of incarceration of indigenous peoples and persons belonging to minority groups, in particular African-Candadians due to reasons such as socio-economic disparity, lack of appropriate community services, overpolicing of certain populations, drug policies and racially biased sentencing. In paragraph 16(d), the Committee recommends that the State party address the root causes of overrepresentation of African-Canadians and indigenous peoples at all levels of the justice system. In relation to drug policy, the Committee recommends that the State party re-examine their drug policies and provide evidence based alternatives to incarceration for non-violent people who use drugs.
Citation: UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 'Concluding Observations of the Combined 21st to 23rd Periodic Reports of Canada' (September 2017) CERD/C/CAN/CO/21-23