Canadian Prison Oversight and Safeguarding Criticized by UN Experts


“A United Nations panel has raised concerns about Canada’s failure to ensure equitable justice, highlighting issues with trial delays, detainment of foreigners without charge, and insufficient oversight of the Canada Border Services Agency. The panel emphasized the importance of oversight and accountability in preventing violations of international law, pointing out the risks of mistakes and potential abuses in the absence of proper mechanisms.

Challenges with Indigenous justice initiatives

One of the key criticisms from the UN experts was the inadequate implementation and funding of initiatives aimed at reducing the disproportionate incarceration of Indigenous people. The panel specifically highlighted the shortcomings of Gladue reports, which are intended to provide courts with insights into how colonization has impacted an offender’s life. They raised concerns about the traumatic and ineffective nature of the process in crafting these reports, pointing to a need for improvements in this area.

Praise for police practices and incarceration reduction efforts

While there were areas of improvement identified by the panel, such as police avoiding excessive force and following proper arrest procedures, they also commended Canada for initiatives that have successfully decreased rates of incarceration. Specifically, the Ontario reforms for youth in custody were recognized as a positive step towards reducing incarceration and promoting rehabilitation.


As Canada faces scrutiny from the international community over its justice system, it becomes crucial for the government to address the flaws and gaps highlighted by the UN panel. By enhancing oversight mechanisms, increasing funding for Indigenous justice initiatives, and continuing to implement successful incarceration reduction programs, Canada can strive towards a more equitable and just legal system. The path to true justice is paved with accountability, transparency, and a commitment to addressing systemic inequalities.”



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