Abstract purple icon representing topics on poverty

Updated: August 3, 2022

Vancouver – In response to a spate of incidents of violence that had devastating impacts on unhoused people across Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, the commissioner issued the following statement:

Last week’s violence is a stark reminder of the devastating impacts of hate and violence on those most marginalized by poverty and housing insecurity. People who are unhoused deserve protection from discrimination and violence.”

“They deserve it under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, where discrimination on the basis of social condition is still not prohibited despite repeated calls for change. They deserve it through having access to housing, pursuant to the internationally protected right to housing. They deserve it through having access to mental health and addictions services, where treatment and support is so often the difference between finding housing stability or not and they deserve it in our everyday interactions where empathy and compassion too often fall away”

B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner has identified poverty as a key priority for her human rights work in the province. This includes work to ensure better protection against discrimination on the basis of social condition under B.C.’s Human Rights Code. Please read our report:

Adding “social condition” to B.C.’s Human Rights Code

Please note the Commissioner is not available for any interviews

Media contact

Charlotte Kingston, Director, Communications, at media@bchumanrights.ca or 1-250-216-4534.

Media kit

Download our media kit for images of Commissioner Kasari Govender.


BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner exists 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. Learn more at: bchumanrights.ca

About the Commissioner

B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner, Kasari Govender, started her five-year term on Sept. 3, 2019. Since then, our Office has been working swiftly to build a strong team, to listen deeply to the concerns of British Columbians, to deliver education materials on our rights and responsibilities, to issue policy guidance to protect marginalized communities and to lay a human rights-based foundation for our work. As an independent officer of the Legislature, the Commissioner is uniquely positioned to ensure human rights in B.C. are protected, respected and advanced on a systemic level throughout our society.

Follow us

Get the latest human rights news from us on Twitter (@humanrights4BC), Facebook (facebook.com/HumanRights4BC) and Instagram (@humanrights4BC).