Immigrant Welcome Centre

Free Professional Services for Immigrants & Newcomers

The BC Human Rights Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act gives people the right to be protected from discrimination. The Canadian Human Rights Commission is the organization that deals with individual complaints of discrimination by agencies and employers subject to federal law. In other cases, BC Human Rights Commission deals with such complaints.


The BC Human Rights Commission can help if you have been discriminated against based on your:

● Race, colour, ancestry or place of origin

● Political beliefs (employment only)

● Religion

● Marital status, family status

● Physical disability, mental disability

● Sex (including sexual harassment & pregnancy)

● Sexual orientation

● Age (19-65)

● Criminal Charges or convictions unrelated to employment

● Source of income (rental accommodation only).

The Canadian Human Rights Commision can help if you are discriminated because of your:

● Race, colour, national or ethnic origin

● Religion

● Marital status, family status

● Physical disability, mental disability

● Sex (including sexual harassment & pregnancy)

● Sexual orientation

● Age

● Conviction for which pardon as been granted

You are protected if the discrimination happens when you are:

● At work

● Applying for a job

● At a school or educational institution

● Looking for a place to live

● Denied a service available to the public (hotel, bar, store)

● Renting or buying property

● Exposed to hate propaganda

Multicultural Organizational Change Definition

Multicultural Organizational Change is the process whereby organizations become inclusive and culturally responsive in implementing their strategic plan. The Organizational change process involves identifying and removing all barriers, which prevent people in a community, especially people from traditionally non-dominant groups from full participation and from receiving equitable services. The change process results in the establishment of organizations that are reflective of, responsive, and responsible to the entire community.


Related Definitions


BC’s Multiculturalism Week    

In the third week of each November, British Columbia celebrates Multiculturalism Week, recognizing the heritage and contributions of British Columbia’s diverse cultural populations. Multiculturalism is about the full participation of all individuals in the social, political and economic life of our society.

First proclaimed in 1987, to be held in February, in 2011 the date was moved to third week of November, beginning in 2012.

Locally, each year, the Immigrant Welcome Centre hosts the very popular International Potluck Celebration. This popular event was started in the earliest years of the organization, by our founders and brought back to life for our 20th anniversary celebrations, with help from those same founders. We hope to keep it going long into the future.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

This is the United Nations proclaimed day, observed annually on March 21st. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid "pass laws". Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the United Nations, General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination (resolution 2142 (XXI)).

In 1979, the General Assembly adopted a Programme of activities to be undertaken during the second half of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (A/RES/34/24). On that occasion, the General Assembly decided that a week of solidarity with the peoples struggling against racism and racial discrimination, beginning on 21 March, would be organized annually in all States.

Since then, the apartheid system in South Africa has been dismantled. Racist laws and practices have been abolished in many countries, and we have built an international framework for fighting racism, guided by the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Convention is now nearing universal ratification, yet still, in all regions, too many individuals, communities and societies suffer from the injustice and stigma that racism brings.

Racial Discrimination

"Racial and ethnic discrimination occur on a daily basis, hindering progress for millions of people around the world. Racism and intolerance can take various forms — from denying individuals the basic principles of equality to fuelling ethnic hatred that may lead to genocide — all of which can destroy lives and fracture communities. The struggle against racism is a matter of priority for the international community and is at the heart of the work of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The United Nations has been concerned with this issue since its foundation and the prohibition of racial discrimination is enshrined in all core international human rights instruments. It places obligations on States and tasks them with eradicating discrimination in the public and private spheres. The principle of equality also requires States to adopt special measures to eliminate conditions that cause or help to perpetuate racial discrimination." (From the United Nation Website, 2013.)

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