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Chronology on Gender-Based Violence – Federal and International Strategies, Policies and Milestones

Access a clickable chronology with links on federal and international strategies, policies and milestones that have contributed to preventing and addressing gender-based violence (GBV).

The Knowledge Centre on Gender-Based Violence at Women and Gender Equality Canada hosts this tool as part of the commitment to and support for It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Address and Prevent Gender-Based Violence.

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2021

Government of Canada

2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan: Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People (National Family and Survivors Circle and contributing partners)

The 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual Plus (2SLGBTQQIA+) People National Action Plan: Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People (the 2021 National Action Plan) was released on June 3, 2021. The 2021 National Action Plan responds to the many demands to end violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. It is an overarching framework which connects the work of the National Family and Survivors Circle and the Contributing Partners, the federal government, as well as provinces and territories, recognizing their different approaches and priorities.

2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ National Action Plan: Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People

Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People (Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada)

The Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People is the Government of Canada's contribution to the 2021 National Action Plan, called for by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. It outlines the Government of Canada's approach to ending violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.

Federal Pathway To address Missing And Murdered Indegenous Women, Girls And 2SLGBTQQIA+

Budget 2021

Gender equality, supporting women and gender equality is a key element in the 2021 Budget: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience. The Budget will invest $601 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, to advance the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, including enhancing the capacity of gender-based violence organizations; supports to crisis hotlines; strengthening the GBV Program; addressing root causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people; establishing a Secretariat; and increasing GBV data collection. Related investments such as the response to the tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls bring the total of investments in responding to GBV to over $3 billion over five years.

A recovery plan for jobs, growth, and resilience - Budget 2021

Joint Declaration for a Canada free of Gender-based violence (Women and Gender Equality Canada)

Announced on January 22, 2021, the Joint Declaration for a Canada free of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) was endorsed by the Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Ministers responsible for the Status of Women during their 38th Conference.

This declaration is a historic milestone in the response to GBV and the advancement of gender equality for people across Canada. This federal, provincial and territorial collaboration represents an important step in developing a National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence in Canada.

2020

Government of Canada

Speech from the Throne (Parliament of Canada)

The 2020 Speech from the Throne, A Stronger and More Resilient Canada, stated that women’s safety must be the foundation on which all progress is built. The Government of Canada will accelerate investments in shelters and transition housing, and continue to advance with a National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence.

Front page of the 2020 Speech from the Throne

Supporting women and children experiencing violence during the COVID-19 pandemic (Women and Gender Equality Canada)

As part of the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the Government of Canada is supporting women and children experiencing violence during COVID-19, through Women and Gender Equality Canada, by providing $100 million in emergency funding for organizations providing supports and services to those experiencing GBV. This includes taking critical measures and making new investments to support shelters and transition housing that provide a safe space for women experiencing violence and their families, and to ensure anyone facing GBV has a safe place to turn.

International

Commission on the Status of Women / Beijing +25 (UN Women)

The 64th session of the Commission on the Status of Women – CSW64/Beijing +25 (March 9-20, 2020), was planned to include a review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. In the light of concerns regarding COVID-19, the session was suspended, but preparatory documents are available. (E/CN.6/2020/L.1).

Commission on the Status of Women 64

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2019

Government of Canada

Speech from the Throne (Parliament of Canada)

The 2019 Speech from the Throne, Moving Forward Together, stated that the Government of Canada will take greater steps to address GBV in Canada, building on the Gender-Based Violence Strategy and working with partners to develop a National Action Plan.

Cover of 2019 Speech from the Throne

Canada’s Road Map to End Violence Against Children (Public Health Agency of Canada)

In 2019, as part of Canada’s commitment to the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, the Public Health Agency of Canada launched Canada's Road Map to End Violence Against Children. The Road Map supports the Government of Canada's continued efforts to eliminate GBV and child maltreatment. The Road Map describes the Government of Canada's strong foundation and progress in preventing and addressing violence against children, while also identifying opportunities for further action.

Cover of Canada’s Road Map to End Violence Against Children

Final Report – National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

The final report, “Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls”, was released on June 3, 2019.The Final Report sought to understand the violence against Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual people and capture the historic and present systemic causes of this violence.

In a Statement released on the same day as the Final Report, the Prime Minister said that the Government of Canada will develop and implement a National Action Plan to address violence against Indigenous women, girls, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and Two-Spirit people. The Government of Canada will turn the Inquiry’s Calls for Justice into real, meaningful, Indigenous-led action.

Cover of the Reclaiming Power and Place

Building a Foundation for Change: Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy (2019-2022) (Canadian Heritage)

Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy 2019-2022, led by Canadian Heritage was launched following 2018-2019 engagement sessions with Canadians across the country. This whole-of-government strategy aims to build a more inclusive and equitable country while working towards eliminating racism and discrimination, and is guided by three overarching principles: demonstrating federal leadership; empowering communities; and building awareness and changing attitudes.

Related link: 

Building a Foundation for Change: Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy

National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking (2019-2024) (Public Safety Canada)

In 2019, the Government of Canada launched the five-year National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking (2019-2024) led by Public Safety Canada, in partnership with federal departments and agencies. This National Strategy puts in place a whole-of-government approach to prevent and counter human trafficking domestically and internationally.

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National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking (2019-2024)

Expansion of the National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet (Public Safety Canada)

Budget 2019 invests an additional $22.24 million over three years for the expansion of the National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet. This funding supports Public Safety Canada’s efforts to raise awareness of this serious issue, reduce the stigma associated with reporting, increase Canada’s ability to pursue and prosecute offenders and work together with industry to find new ways to combat the sexual exploitation of children online.

Related links:

Public Safety Canada

2018

Government of Canada

Gender Results Framework (Women and Gender Equality Canada)

Introduced in the federal Budget 2018, Women and Gender Equality Canada’s Gender Results Framework represents the Government of Canada’s vision for gender equality. Under this framework, the federal government has identified six key areas where change is required to advance gender equality:

  1. Education and skills development
  2. Economic participation and prosperity
  3. Leadership and democratic participation
  4. Gender-based violence and access to justice
  5. Poverty reduction, health and well-being
  6. Gender equality around the world

Related link:

Banner Gender Results Framework

National Strategy on Countering Radicalization to Violence (Public Safety Canada)

On December 11, 2018, the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence launched the National Strategy on Countering Radicalization to Violence, led by Public Safety Canada. The National Strategy explains radicalization to violence and the destructive and harmful behaviours involved, and outlines the Government of Canada's approach and key priorities.

Cover of the National Strategy on Countering Radicalization to Violence

International

Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences – Visit to Canada (United Nations Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner)

The Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences visited Canada from 13 -23 April, 2018. In the Visit to Canada: Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, the Special Rapporteur examines the gaps and challenges in fulfilling the obligations of the State to eliminate violence against women, its causes and consequences, and recommends measures for preventing and combating violence against women in the country.

Cover of the Report of the Special Rapporteur

2017

Government of Canada

The way forward: The RCMP’s sexual assault review and victim support action plan (Royal Canadian Mounted Police)

A Canadian media report (The Globe and Mail, February 2017) revealed that approximately 37,000 sexual assault cases (in 2016) were deemed unfounded in areas under the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)’s jurisdiction. In response, the RCMP created the Sexual Assault Review Team to undertake an extensive review of these cases – findings are published in the report The way forward: The RCMP’s sexual assault review and victim support action plan.

Cover of The way forward

It’s Time Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence (Women and Gender Equality Canada)

In June 2017, It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence was launched. Led by Women and Gender Equality Canada, the Strategy is based on three pillars: preventing GBV, supporting survivors and their families, and promoting responsive legal and justice systems. This whole-of-government federal strategy lays the foundation for greater action on GBV.

Related links:

Banner It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence

National Housing Strategy (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)

The National Housing Strategy was launched in 2017. Led by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the goal of the Strategy is to ensure Canadians across the country have access to housing that meets their needs and is affordable. To achieve this, the Strategy is focused on the most vulnerable Canadians.

Logo of the National Housing Strategy

Canada’s National Action Plan 2017-2022 for the Implementation of the UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (Global Affairs Canada)

In November 2017, the Government of Canada launched the second National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2017-2022, building upon the first plan that existed from 2011-2016. Led by Global Affairs Canada and implemented by six federal departments and one agency, the Action Plan is the Government of Canada’s specific commitment to advance the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

Related link:

  • Canada's Action Plan for the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security - 2010-2016
  • cover of the Canada’s National Action Plan 2017-2022

    The interim report (National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls)

    In November 2017, the Government responded to the National Inquiry’s interim report with $50M of investments for: health and support services to survivors and their families; a National Investigative Standards and Practices Unit; a review of police policies and practices; and a Women and Gender Equality Canada-led $10M Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Commemoration Fund to honour the lives and legacies of Indigenous women, girls, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and Two-Spirit people.

    cover of the interim report

    2016

    Government of Canada

    The launch – National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

    In September 2016, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was launched by the Government of Canada as a key government initiative to end the disproportionally high levels of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls.  The launch of the inquiry responded to the Call to Action (#41) embedded in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report of Indian Residential Schools (Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future, 2015) (PDF).

    National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

    International

    Global plan of action to strengthen the role of the health system within a national multisectoral response to address interpersonal violence, in particular against women and girls, and against children (World Health Organization)

    The World Health’s Organization’s Global Plan of Action offers a set of practical actions that Member States may take to strengthen health system and intersectoral actions to prevent and respond to interpersonal violence in general, against women and girls, and against children, in particular. By endorsing the Global Plan of Action, Canada has committed to advance its goals domestically, in addition to supporting international efforts.

    Cover of the Global plan of action

    2015

    Government of Canada

    Operation HONOUR (Canadian Armed Forces)

    Operation HONOUR is the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) mission to ensure that sexual misconduct is never minimized, ignored or excused. Operation HONOUR was initiated in 2015 by the Chief of the Defence Staff, following an external, independent review of CAF policies and programs to combat sexual misconduct and protect those affected by it.

    Related links:

    Cover of Path to Dignity and Respect

    International

    Sustainable Development Goals (United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs) and the Canada’s 2030 Agenda National Strategy

    The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015. It is comprised of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that encompass the social, economic, and environmental challenges of today.  Goal 5 is on gender equality and Goal 16 is on peaceful societies.

    The overall Government of Canada progress on its SDG commitments can be further tracked through Statistics Canada’s Sustainable Development Goals Data Hub.

    Related link:

    Sustainable Development Goals

    2014

    Government of Canada

    Action Plan to Address Violence and Violent Crimes Against Aboriginal Women and Girls (Women and Gender Equality Canada)

    Announced in 2014, the five-year Action Plan to Address Family Violence and Violent Crime Against Aboriginal Women and Girls focussed on a three-fold commitment to prevent violence, support Indigenous victims, and protect Indigenous women and girls. The Action Plan was led by Women and Gender Equality Canada with the support of other federal departments.  The Action Plan was followed by the milestone launch of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (2016).

    Related links:

    Cover of the Action Plan to Address Violence and Violent Crimes Against Aboriginal Women and Girls

    2012

    Government of Canada

    National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking (Public Safety Canada)

    The Government of Canada's National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking (2012-2016), consolidated the federal government's efforts to combat human trafficking and introduced new initiatives to prevent human trafficking, identify victims, protect the most vulnerable, and prosecute perpetrators.

    The National Action Plan ended in 2016, and in 2019, Public Safety launched the National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking 2019-2024.

    Related links:

    Cover of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking

    2007

    Government of Canada

    Federal Victims Strategy (Department of Justice Canada)

    The Federal Victims Strategy was created in 2007 and made permanent in 2011. It is implemented by the Policy Centre for Victim Issues, Department of Justice Canada, and brings together federal efforts to give victims of crime a more effective voice in the criminal justice system.

    International

    United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (United Nations, Economic and Social Affairs, Indigenous Peoples)

    The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007. It describes the individual and collective rights of Indigenous Peoples relating to issues such as culture, identity, religion, language, health, education and community.  In 2016, Canada fully endorsed the Declaration.

    Related link:

    Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada

    United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

    2006

    International

    Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (United Nations Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner)

    On 13 December 2006, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that established the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This international human rights treaty aims at protecting the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities without discrimination and on an equal basis with issues pertaining to gender equality and GBV. Canada ratified it in 2010.

    Related link:

    Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

    2004

    Government of Canada

    National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet (Public Safety Canada)

    The National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet was launched in 2004. This Strategy is led by Public Safety Canada.

    On August 6 2019, the expansion of the National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet was announced.

    Related links:

    Public Safety Canada

    Pre-2000

    Government of Canada

    National Crime Prevention Strategy (Public Safety Canada) (1998)

    Created in 1998, the National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) is an integral part of the Government of Canada's continued efforts to prevent crime in order to build stronger and healthier communities. The NCPS is administered by Public Safety Canada.

    Public Safety Canada

    Family Violence Initiative (Public Health Agency of Canada) (1988)

    Since its inception in 1988, the Family Violence Initiative (FVI) has been the Government of Canada’s primary horizontal mechanism for addressing family violence in Canada. The FVI is administrated by the Public Health Agency of Canada and brings together 12 federal departments and agencies to prevent and respond to family violence.

    Family violence is defined by the Public Health Agency of Canada as “any form of abuse or neglect that a child or adult experiences from a family member, or from someone with whom they have an intimate relationship. It is an abuse of power by one person to hurt and control someone who trusts and depends on them”.

    Related links:

    Four adults walking hand in hand

    International

    Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) (1995)

    The Commission on the Status of Women has been responsible for organizing and following up the world conferences on women in Mexico (1975), Copenhagen (1980), Nairobi (1985) and Beijing (1995).  The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (PDF) is an agenda for women's empowerment ensuring that a gender perspective is reflected in policies and programs.

    Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (United Nations Human Rights, Office of the High Commission) (1979)

    The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was adopted by the United National General Assembly in 1979, and ratified by Canada in 1981.

    Related links:

    The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women logo
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