NCCM makes submission to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Ottawa – August 11, 2017) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent civil liberties & advocacy organization, submitted a detailed report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) ahead of Canada’s appearance before the committee at its 93rd session in Geneva on August 14-15, 2017.

The CERD, responsible for monitoring state compliance of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), will hear from civil society organizations on how Canada is performing on its human rights obligations under the convention.  The NCCM’s report highlights barriers to inclusion and systemic racism experienced by Canadian Muslims in four areas: employment, education, law enforcement and public policy.

“This submission will serve to deepen the UN’s understanding of the issues impacting the racially diverse population of Canadian Muslims,” says NCCM Communications Director Amira Elghawaby. “The experiences of discrimination for the Muslim community are often compounded by the intersection of racial and religious identities.  It is important that our government understands the unique ways in which inequality manifests for diverse communities in order to mitigate its impact and ensure meaningful compliance with international human rights obligations.”

Among other measures, the NCCM calls on both provincial and federal levels of government to mandate the collection and public release of disaggregated race-based data across public institutions.  It also recommends measures for an adequate and efficient response to hate incidents in light of a 253% increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes over a four-year period.

“International conventions set high standards for member states to ensure the protection of human rights and civil liberties.  While the federal government has acknowledged Islamophobia to be a growing phenomenon, much work remains to be done to ensure that public statements lead to substantial action,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.

“The government must accelerate and adequately resource its efforts to meaningfully combat discrimination, and address the longstanding gaps in legislation, policies, and practices in order to ensure a just and equitable Canada for all,” says Gardee.

Amnesty International Canada, Colour of Poverty, and the African Canadian Legal Clinic are a few of many organizations that have submitted alternative reports to the committee.

The NCCM’s full submission can be read here.

All other reports to the CERD can be viewed here,


Amira Elghawaby, Communications Director, 613-254-9704,