Message from the Ombudsperson
I am excited to mark the four-year anniversary of the Office of the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE).
As the first of its kind in the world there was no model for the work we were assigned when the office opened in May of 2019. During this inaugural period, my team and I have:
- Developed and implemented a complaint mechanism to receive and review possible human rights abuses by Canadian companies, their suppliers and partners, working outside Canada
- Commenced review of 15 admissible complaints
- Published seven quarterly reports on inquiries and complaints received
- Published two annual reports
- Published a study on the risk of child labour in the Canadian garment sector
- Provided testimony to two Parliamentary Committees on matters related to our mandate
- Raised awareness of responsible business conduct with Canadian companies, industry associations, trade commissioners, embassies, and university students, among others
Over the next year we look forward to:
- Implementing the garment study’s recommendations
- Publishing our first Initial Assessment reports this summer
- Conducting mediations and/or investigations this summer
- Publishing our first final reports with recommendations to companies and the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development
We will continue to refine and improve how we receive and report on complaints so that the work of the CORE, while protecting the privacy of complainants and others, is as transparent as possible.
Finally, a few words on the enhancement of my mandate. The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights recognizes the duty on states, including Canada, to ensure effective access to remedy for impacted individuals and communities. As I testified to Parliament, having the power to compel witnesses and documents would strengthen the CORE’s capacity to influence and strengthen the responsible business conduct of Canadian garment, mining and oil and gas companies and thereby our capacity to provide access to remedy to those impacted by the operations of these companies. I will continue to participate in the discussion to add these powers to the CORE’s toolbox.
I am proud of my team and the work we have undertaken so far and look forward to a busy and impactful year ahead.
Canadian Ombud for Responsible Enterprise (CORE)
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