Ontario’s Human Rights Commission has weighed in on Ontario’s vaccine certificate system and found that it does not violate Ontarians’ human rights.
On September 22, OHRC released a statement on their position on vaccine mandates.
“While receiving a COVID-19 vaccine remains voluntary, the OHRC takes the position that mandating and requiring proof of vaccination to protect people at work or when receiving services is generally permissible under the Human Rights Code,” the statement reads.
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They added that as long as accommodations are available for those with exemptions covered under the Human Rights Code, there is no violation of human rights.
“Upholding individual human rights while trying to collectively protect the general public has been a challenge throughout the pandemic,” the statement read. “Organizations must attempt to balance the rights of people who have not been vaccinated due to a Code-protected ground, such as disability, while ensuring individual and collective rights to health and safety.”
They continued that asking for medical documentation from a doctor or nurse practitioner as proof of exemption is considered a reasonable request under the Human Rights Code.
While these measures don’t violate human rights, the OHRC says that the COVID-19 vaccine mandate is in response to extenuating circumstances and that it would only be justifiable during a pandemic.
Under the human rights code, personal preferences are not protected.
“Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary,” the statement continued. “At the same time, the OHRC’s position is that a person who chooses not to be vaccinated based on personal preference does not have the right to accommodation under the Code.”