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Canada

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House of Commons

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Specialized body - Human rights

Subcommittee on International Human Rights
(May 2006)

About

Nature
Permanent

Members

Number of members
All MembersBelow 45 years of age
Total73
Men42
Women31
Political affiliation of members
Majority parties
4
Opposition parties
3

Chairperson

Chairperson: Sex
Female
Age: Chairperson is below 45 years of age
No
Political affiliation
Majority

Committee functions

Committee functions
Mainstream human rights into the work of (other) parliamentary committees and of Parliament as a whole
No
Scrutinise all Bills for their compatibility with human rights
No
Scrutinise the Executive’s policy for compatibility with human rights
Yes
Obtain information from the Executive about the justification for actions or inaction which affect human rights
Yes
Scrutinise State compliance with existing UN human rights treaties
No
Initiate inquiries of its own choosing
Yes
Scrutinise proposed human rights treaties, and other international treaties with implications for human rights, and report to Parliament thereon, prior to ratification
No
Ascertain and review the Executive’s reasons for not acceding to or ratifying existing international human rights treaties
No
Scrutinise the Executive’s response to judgments of national, regional and international courts with implications for human rights
No
Monitor the adequacy of the existing national system for the protection of human rights
No
Review the allocation and expenditure of funds in the State budget to support measures to promote and protect human rights
Yes
Other important functions, please specify
* The subcommittee’s parent committee, the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Development, initiates debates on reports or on subjects of its choosing, on behalf of the subcommittee. The sub-committee may also inquire into matters relating to the promotion of respect for international human rights, as referred to it by the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development ** All parliamentarians have the power to access places of detention without notice -- it is not a special committee power.

Committee involvement in international human rights reporting mechanisms

Committee involvement in international human rights reporting mechanisms
Consulted in the preparation of national report to the UN Human Rights Council
No
Included in the official delegation which orally presented the most recent national report to the Council
No
Discussed the conclusions and recommendations which the Council adopted as a result
No
Conducted hearings with the Executive about its plans to implement these conclusions and recommendations
No

Committee powers

The Committee has the power to:
Propose amendments to legislation
No
Introduce bills into Parliament
No
Initiate parliamentary debates on its reports or on subjects of its choosing
No
Carry out inquiries
Yes
Hold oral evidence hearings
Yes
Compel witnesses to attend
Yes
Compel the production of documents and papers
Yes
Make recommendations to the Executive
Yes
Conduct visits, including visits abroad
Yes
Access places of detention without notice
Yes

Committee working methods

The Committee:
Adopts an annual or longer-term work plan
Yes
Publishes reports on its work on the parliamentary website
Yes
Usually reaches consensus on the issues on which it reports
Yes
Systematically follows up its reports and recommendations
Yes
Reports regularly to Parliament on its activities
No
Number of specialised staff to service committee
4

Cooperation and coordination

The Committee regularly cooperates and coordinates (e.g. through sharing of reports; meetings; joint follow-up action) with:
Other parliamentary committees
Sometimes
Civil society organisations
Always
National Human Rights Institution(s) Often called “Commissions” and/or “Ombudspersons” in the area of human rights
Sometimes
Academic institutions, including research institutes on human rights and the rule of law
Often
The media
Often

Contact information for the Committee

Phone
+1 (613) 992-9672