As a result, the Commission saw a dramatic increase in the number of people looking for help and wanting to complain because they believed they had been had been discriminated against. In fact, more people contacted the Commission to complain than in any other year in our history. The increase in volume has been significant.
The Commission takes a “no wrong door” approach and tries to help each and every person who asks for help — no matter how that request reaches us. This starts with determining whether a person has the basis of a human rights complaint and if so, whether the Commission is the right organization to help them.
With this new online complaint platform, many of these people are able to find help, find answers, or find a solution without filing a formal complaint with the Commission. In many instances, the Commission directs the complainant to the appropriate organization. For example, sometimes a complainant’s concern is best addressed by provincial or territorial human rights Commissions, or other federal organizations that have been given the authority to resolve human rights complaints.
We have taken considerable steps to respond to this increase in demand for our services and to respond with efficiency to each complainant. Each person is treated individually, frequently requiring follow-up and one-on-one conversations with a human rights officer. In cases when someone is in a vulnerable situation, the Commission now takes measures to ensure they are helped as quickly as possible.
Only a fraction of the thousands of people who contacted the Commission went on to file a complaint.