What we’re doing

Our Office is committed to reducing the presence of hate in our society. Recent incidents of racism and violence across B.C. during the COVID-19 pandemic are deeply disturbing. These violent acts are rooted in ignorance and discrimination against marginalized communities, specifically Asian, Indigenous and Black communities. B.C. is experiencing dramatic increases in hate associated police files, in addition to the many acts of violence that are not reported. Below are some of the examples of our work in this area.

Responding to the rise of racist
violence during COVID-19

During the pandemic, the Commissioner and our Education and Engagement team have been meeting extensively with community organizations responding to incidents of hate and racism. The Commissioner has spoken to thousands of British Columbians in numerous town halls, roundtables and virtual events, about how issues of hate crimes and racist violence are touching their lives.

BCOHRC recognizes that the rise of hate that we have seen in this province – both before and then during the pandemic – does not arise out of nowhere. In realizing our strategic priority to address the rise of hate, we recognized that racism exists on a continuum and we need to tackle it at its roots. So we launched our Am I Racist campaign to get at those forms of racism that are often more invisible and insidious than overt hate – indeed those stereotypes and biases that we all hold inside. The campaign empowers citizens to address racism, starting from a point of self-reflection.

What we know

69%

of trans and non-binary people in B.C. have experienced verbal harassment.

(source)

15%

of people in B.C. believe hate crimes have increased since the pandemic began,

the highest percentage in any province. (source)

255

hate crimes were reported to the police in B.C. in 2017,

an increase of 55 per cent from two years earlier. (source)

20%

participants in a study on the rise in anti-Asian racism in B.C. reported incidents of assault.

(source)


Report hate crimes and human rights violations

There are two official avenues available for people who face incidents of racism and racist violence. The first is that you can report these incidents to the police. Reporting incidents is part of the criminal process of responding to hate crimes. Here is more information about how to report a hate crime to the RCMP Hate Crimes Unit.

There is also a human rights approach to dealing with hate speech and discrimination. Under the B.C. Human Rights Code, you can file a complaint through the BC Human Rights Tribunal. Here is more information about how to file a complaint through the BC Human Rights Tribunal.

Share your support online

Follow us @humanrights4bc and use the hashtag #humanrights4BC to point us towards resources for anti-racism action and reflection.