FEWO Committee Report
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The Committee heard evidence regarding anti-sexual violence and anti-harassment policies and legislation that have been implemented in certain provinces and territories. The Committee encourages provinces and territories that currently do not have existing or sufficient legislation in this area to champion the implementation of standardized anti-sexual violence and anti-harassment policies across university and college campuses, and that these policies stand alone from other human rights policies or student codes of conduct.
The Committee observed the need for digital industry leaders – including social media platforms, app and game developers, and internet service providers – to work with the federal government and with digital literacy organizations to promote greater digital and media literacy, particularly amongst young people; foster greater social responsibility for acts of violence that occur on their platforms; and actively respond to reported incidents of cyberviolence in a manner that is survivor-centric and trauma-informed.
The Committee observed the need for a standardized curriculum in public schools that addresses sex positivity, healthy relationships, healthy sexuality, positive masculinity, pleasure, communication, intimacy, respect, bodily autonomy and healthy body image, and queer, trans and non-conventional experiences; and the need for the curriculum to be implemented in an age-appropriate and culturally appropriate manner as early as junior kindergarten.
The Committee observed the need for the implementation of a standardized curriculum in public schools that teaches digital and media literacy and that this curriculum: 1) prioritize the development of students’ critical thinking skills towards media so that they are equipped with adequate tools and resources to critically examine the media and images they consume; 2) that it teach concepts of digital civility and being a good digital citizen; and 3) that it make distinctions between acceptable online behaviour, unacceptable online behaviour, and criminal online behaviour. Furthermore, this curriculum needs to be implemented in an age-appropriate and culturally appropriate manner as early as junior kindergarten.
The Committee observed the need for the implementation of a long-term, stable and mandatory educational curriculum for all provincially regulated law enforcement officers, crown prosecutors and staff, and members of the judiciary, that promotes consent culture and educates police and court officials on how to appropriately address reports of sexual violence; the need for the curriculum to teach an approach to dealing with sexual violence that is survivor-centric, respectful and trauma-informed; and the need for the curriculum to teach an approach to sexual violence cases that does not disproportionately criminalize perpetrators who are racialized, trans, queer or gender non-binary, indigenous or with mental health issues or disabilities.
The Committee observed the need for a long-term, stable and mandatory educational curriculum for all provincially regulated law enforcement officers, prosecutors and staff, and members of the judiciary that teaches digital and media literacy so that they can be fully cognizant of the complexities of crimes of sexual and gender-based violence that occur online.