Protect Your Rights
If you think your human rights are being violated or you are interested in questions of rights and freedoms, what can you do?
- Where can I get more information?
- Who else might share my interest? Who can I work with?
- What action can I take? Is there work already being done in this area?
The Charter can apply directly to a situation, but often you will want to look at other laws that relate to Charter rights. For example, many complaints of discrimination are covered by provincial human rights laws. Read about the application and enforcement of the Charter, under the "Clauses and Provisions" section of this website. Important resources, including provincial human rights links, are available in the "Resources" section located at the top menu of this website.
Information About the Law and Human Rights Issues
Charter rights often relate to other laws. You may be able to find information you need on the web. Every province has a public legal education organization that may have information you need. Governments, libraries, associations and community organizations can all be helpful sources of information. If you need to speak to a lawyer, your local law society might have a lawyer referral service.
Getting Your Voice Heard
What action can you take? It may be as simple as treating those around you with an awareness of the rights and freedoms we all share. It could be political action such as writing to government representatives or becoming involved in elections. You could make your community aware of Charter rights by speaking out at meetings or writing letters to newspapers. You could take action with others who share your interest.
If the Charter issue relates to an existing court proceeding, you can ask the court to decide if there has been a violation of the Charter. (see "Clauses and Provisions"). If you think that a law or government is not respecting your Charter rights and you are not already involved in a court case, you can take the government to court. This is a big step. You will likely want to work with others who are interested in the issue. Many different organizations are involved in Charter challenges - for example, the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund or the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
Knowing Charter rights and freedoms will give you the framework for understanding issues facing society as well as your rights. Add your voice and contribute your experience to building a society that honours the rights and freedoms of everyone.