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Military making slow progress against sexual misconduct, says report

February 26, 2019

In April 2015, a report was issued by the External Review on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the Armed Forces, an independent review panel chaired by retired Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps.  Among other things, the review panel found that sexual misconduct is vastly under-reported and that there is a widespread perception among members that aggressors can act with impunity.

CBC reports that seven of the ten recommendations in the aimed to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct in the Canadian military, are “not yet fully achieved” even though four years have now passed.

The CBC spoke to Emma Phillips, who was counsel to the independent review panel, about the review panel’s recommendation that a an independent center be created that would receive reports of inappropriate sexual conduct, to provide information, training and support, and to collect data.

One of Deschamps’ other recommendations — still considered a work in progress — is to make the sexual misconduct response centre fully independent and able to track and evaluate the military’s efforts.

It’s something defence department officials have resisted, but Emma Phillips, a Toronto lawyer who acted as counsel to the Deschamps commission, said Tuesday’s report shows DND is backtracking and the centre will now be independent.

“It’s unfortunate that it’s taken four years for that model to be implemented, but at the same time I’m glad that it’s finally happening,” said Phillips.

Read the article here.


Emma Phillips

Practice Areas

Human Rights Law