Submission on Potential Changes to BC Human Rights Tribunal Complaints From Minors

Last summer, the BC Human Rights Tribunal contacted First Call seeking feedback on recommendations in the report The Working Group on Strengthening Tribunal Processes for Representative Complaints.

Specifically, the Tribunal sought input on recommendations with regard to representative complaints brought on behalf of children and on building a child-centred approach that is consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Report’s recommendations “cover all stages of the Tribunal’s process from the complaint form through mediation and decision-making.”

Recommendations include (not a complete list)

  • That the Tribunal make it easier for minors to make complaints in their own name and engage in various Tribunal processes including filing a complaint, participating in mediation and settlement agreements.
  • That the definition of age in the Code be repealed. (Current definition of age in the Code is 19 years or more)
  • That the [Human Rights] Code be amended so that any agreement reached to resolve a complaint between a minor and another person is enforceable by and against that person despite s. 19 of the Infants Act. (Currently, Section 19 of the Infants Act provides that a contract entered into with a minor is generally not enforceable)

First Call convened a meeting of interested partner groups in September to discuss the Working Paper. In October, we submitted a summary of that discussion for the Tribunal’s consideration.