Our vision

A province free from inequality, discrimination and injustice where we uphold human rights for all and fulfil our responsibilities to one another.

Our mandate

To address the root causes of inequality, discrimination and injustice in B.C. by shifting laws, policies, practices and cultures. We do this work through education, research, advocacy, inquiry and monitoring.

Our role

The Human Rights Code states that the Commissioner is responsible for promoting and protecting human rights in B.C. In the course of fulfilling this mandate, the Commissioner can do the following:

  • Identify and promote the elimination of discriminatory practices, policies and programs
  • Develop, deliver and support research and education about human rights
  • Create policies, guidelines and recommendations to prevent discrimination and ensure policies, programs and legislation are consistent with B.C.’s Human Rights Code
  • Promote compliance with international human rights obligations
  • Approve special programs to improve conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups
  • Intervene in human rights proceedings before the BC Human Rights Tribunal or other courts and tribunals
  • Conduct human rights inquiries and issue reports and recommendations

Our guiding principles

These principles reflect the culture we want to create for our new organization, and how we will conduct our work to ensure accountability to British Columbians. We recognize some of these principles exist in tension with each other—for example, being bold and working at the speed of trust—but we believe that identifying and navigating this tension will help make us better at what we do.

  • We operate on the basis of nothing about us without us, and we centre the perspectives and rights of those most marginalized and those whose rights are at stake. We recognize the humanity in everyone and are accountable to all people living on the lands now known as British Columbia.
  • We take a decolonizing approach to all our work and recognize that human rights can be held by individuals or groups.
  • We understand that all of us have intersectional identities and experience discrimination and privilege in diverse ways. Inequality, discrimination and injustice are rooted in the systems around us and must similarly be addressed in a systemic way.
  • We believe that the protection and promotion of human rights is essential to a functioning democracy and are committed to a vision of democracy in which the rights of the majority do not trample upon the rights of those in the minority.
  • When engaging with community, we move at the speed of trust. We recognize the importance of learning from the stories of diverse people on these lands, including both our elders and our young people.
  • The urgency of climate change—and the important relationship between the natural environment and human rights—guides us in the work we do.
  • Entrenched problems require bold actions. Acting boldly means taking risks, and sometimes we will make mistakes. We are committed to being curious and continually learning.
  • We are strategic and proactive in creating change, and balance immediacy with sustainability.
  • Accessibility of information, space and services is essential to the realization of human rights. Our work will be designed for a range of abilities, cultures, languages, education levels, learning styles and viewpoints.
  • In all our relationships, we strive to be trauma-informed and culturally safe.