If you're looking to file a complaint and need answers to the who, what, how and when to file, follow this link: Filing Your Complaint. Are you a complainant looking for us to represent you? See our How to Apply for Representation page.
If you need to defend yourself against a complaint and need answers to the who, what, how of defending yourself see Responding to a Complaint. Want to understand the law around applying to have a case dismissed - Check here.
If you are a respondent looking to get free legal representation contact the Law Centre.
Information about human rights, the Human Rights Code, and how to file a complaint or respond to a complaint is available on this site, or from the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, the Ministry of the Justice, and through some Service BC offices across BC. If you can't find something call us 604-622-1100 or toll free 1-855-685-6222.
The BC Human Rights Clinic is operated by the Community Legal Assistance Society and funded by the BC Ministry of Justice. We are a provincial human rights clinic that provides assistance and representation to those who need help dealing with a provincial human rights complaint.
The Clinic provides free representation to complainants who have cases before the BC Human Rights Tribunal on a province-wide basis. If accepted, you will be assigned an Advocate to assist you through the early stages of your complaint. Advocates will advise you as to the Tribunal process, work with you to develop and prepare required documentation (including on any preliminary applications), deal with deadlines, and represent you at any settlement meetings. Although most cases settle, should the matter not settle or be dismissed on a preliminary basis, a lawyer will be assigned to work with and represent you through all remaining stages of the proceedings, including with respect to preparation for and attendance at any hearing.
Confused about the difference between the BC Human Rights Tribunal and the BC Human Rights Clinic? We find that many people are so we have a chart to explain what each party does at each step in the process.
Looking for online resources regarding human rights? We've compiled a listing of fact sheets, guides and policies from sources across the country. The materials are sorted by issue with brief descriptions and links to the source document. PDF version
The Clinic distributes a booklet titled "Human Rights, Your Rights To Know". The booklet is written in plain language and explains what protections the provincial human rights law provides, how you can make a complaint and who can help you. An online PDF version is available or call in your request.
The Ministry of the Justice has revised their series of information pamphlets on human rights protections in British Columbia. Pamphlets are available in English, Mandarin, and Punjabi.
Our section on Grounds of Protection under the B.C. Human Rights Code. Includes definitions, case law and examples of each ground of protection.
Gender Identity and Expression
Under B.C.’s Human Rights Code (the “Code”), transgender persons have been protected from discrimination within the definition of “sex”, as interpreted by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Courts. However, the transgender community and its supporters have pursued explicit protections in the Code that recognize “gender identity” and “gender expression”.
Effective July 28, 2016, the Code was amended to include ‘gender identity or expression’ as protected grounds. With these amendments, our Code will align with human rights legislation across the country, including Canada’s proposed Bill to add ‘gender identity or expression’ to the Canadian Human Rights Act.
The Honourable Suzanne Anton, Attorney General of BC, had this to say on this historic move:
“I know this addition means a great deal to those who have advocated for its inclusion. These amendments will create greater consistency across Canada and will reflect the fact that transgender persons are protected under the law.
As we move forward, may we all strive to improve societal attitudes and conditions so that every British Columbian feels as protected and respected as they are by law.”
CLAS supports these recent amendments and, in partnership with the Ministry of Justice, we are developing information and resources to educate the public, guide organizations, and increase prevention. These materials will soon be available online. If you require immediate assistance, please contact CLAS’ Human Rights Clinic directly.
Words and Phrases use in Human Rights
The BC Human Rights Tribunal has posted a glossary of words and phrases used in human rights on their website. This is a handy reference for those unfamiliar with the words that the Tribunal and our Clinic use when talking about human rights issues. Here is the link to it: http://www.bchrt.gov.bc.ca/glossary/index.htm
The series of five videos below provide information about human rights in Canada and BC.:
Learn about your basic human rights in Canada. Topics include your rights and freedoms, discrimination, and law that protect you.
Discrimination often happens at work. This video tells you about how your rights are protected when you are working, as well as an employer's responsibilities.
If you rent an apartment or house, do you know how and why your landlord cannot discriminate against you? This video explains how you are protected when you are looking for a place to rent, and when you are renting.
Pregnant women are often victims of discrimination. This video tells you how women's rights are protected if they are pregnant, were pregnant, or might get pregnant.
Learn how to make a complaint by watching this video. Topics include how to get help in person, the complaint process, and how to prepare yourself.