Human Rights Office Statement on COVID-19

 People from diverse backgrounds around the globe helping each other during COVID-19


A Response Guided by our Shared Values

Each and every member of the uOttawa community has an important role to play in protecting vulnerable members of our campus community from the health threat posed by COVID-19. It is also a fundamental principle of the University of Ottawa to ensure that our response to this crisis is compassionate, supportive, and guided by our community's shared values of equity, diversity and inclusion.

As COVID-19 continues to spread further into the population, growing anxiety can lead to harmful assumptions and actions. Targeting individuals or groups of people with fear-based bias can only compound damage already caused by this pandemic and violates the University’s policies and procedures pertaining to the prevention of harassment and discrimination.

We are All Equal and Have the Same Risk of Infection

Students, faculty, and staff from East Asian communities are valued members of our community. If you find that you, or people you know, are avoiding interaction with someone based on perceived place of origin, remember that we are all equal and have the same risk of infection. If we all maintain a facts-driven perspective and stay up to date with official health sources, then we will all be better equipped to take care of ourselves, and of each other, during these challenging and difficult times.

The Human Rights Office is working with key campus decision makers to ensure that steps taken during the COVID-19 pandemic align with evolving guidelines from Public Health Ontario and with human rights principles under the Ontario Human Rights Code and related legislation.

Help is Available

The Human Rights Office also remains available to provide confidential and impartial information and assistance to all members of the University community.

If you have experienced discrimination, harassment, or sexual violence, we encourage you to visit our webpages Harassment and discrimination and Sexual violence: support and prevention to learn about the options and services available to you.

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