- Human rights
- Alternatives to punishment
Concluding observations on the twenty-first to twenty-third periodic reports of Canada
15. The Committee is concerned by reports that racial profiling by the police, security agencies and border agents continue on a daily basis in the State party, with a harmful impact on Indigenous Peoples, as well as ethnic minority Muslims, African-Canadians, and other ethnic minority groups. The Committee is further concerned at the reported disproportionately high rate of incarceration of Indigenous Peoples and persons belonging to minority groups, in particular African-Canadians due to reasons such as socio-economic disparity, high rates of incarceration of minorities with mental or intellectual impairments, lack of appropriate community services, over-policing of certain populations, drug policies, and racially biased sentencing. The Committee is further concerned at reports that both African-Canadian and Indigenous offenders are over represented in segregation, 50% of Indigenous inmate women have reportedly been placed in segregation, and that Indigenous inmates have the longest average stay in segregation.
16. The Committee recommends that the State party: (…) (d) Address the root causes of over-representation of African-Canadians and Indigenous Peoples at all levels of the justice system, from arrest to incarceration, such as by eliminating poverty, providing better social services, re-examining drug policies, preventing racially biased sentencing through training of judges, providing evidence-based alternatives to incarceration for non-violent drug users, and fully implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on this topic, in order to reduce the incarceration of African-Canadians and Indigenous Peoples.