Designing a Baseline Study of Human Rights in B.C.


The Centre for Global Studies (CFGS) and its research initiative, the Cedar Trees Institute (CTI), at the University of Victoria, in collaboration with the International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD) are pleased to have been provided a grant by BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner to develop and pilot a framework for a baseline study on the state of human rights in B.C. and to support the development of the Office’s Theory of Change and organizational monitoring and evaluation framework.
The hope of the research is not only to raise awareness but also to help inform a pathway to bring about progressive systematic social change. 
In its unique approach to lead the work under the primary lens of decolonization, the CTI initiative has entered a three-month long process drawing on the insights of many scholarly experts from the wider CFGS and UVic community as well as leading scholars on decolonization in Canada and New Zealand.  

CFGS director, Dr. Oliver Schmidtke, is the principal investigator leading an extraordinarily qualified and knowledgeable team associated with the CTI: Dr. Josh Nichols (University of Alberta), Dr. Kathleen Manion (Royal Roads University), Lee Sentes (Development Action) and from CFGS: Dr. Keith Cherry, Dr. Pablo Ouziel, Beate Schmidtke and Karen Yen. An advisory board with distinguished scholars such as Dr. Sheryl Lightfoot (University of British Columbia), Dr. Val Napoleon (University of Victoria), Dr. James Tully (University of Victoria) and Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond (Dalhousie University) provide guidance for this ambitious project. 
BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner, launched again in 2019 after a 17 year gap, and is one of three provincial human rights bodies. The Human Rights Tribunal hears cases related to alleged violations of BC’s Human Rights Code. The Human Rights Clinic provides legal support for people pursuing cases at the Tribunal. The Human Rights Commissioner plays a broader role, addressing systemic human rights issues by promoting a culture of human rights through education, research, interventions and investigatory activities.