Staff & Students

Yukon Human Rights Commission Staff are responsible for the day to day operations of the Commission.

Director of Human Rights

The Director of Human Rights is responsible to the Commission for the administration of the Yukon Human Rights Act, and for ensuring that complaints are dealt with in accordance with the Act.

Birju Dattani – Director

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Birju has extensive academic and practical experience in the field of human rights. He was awarded an LL.B. (with Honours) by the University of Wales in Aberstwyth, a Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Legal Skills by the City University of London and an LL.M. in Public International Law by the London School of Economics and Political Science. In addition, Birju has spent time studying at the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn, Cambridge University and the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Birju’s previous professional experience include serving as Assistant Regional Director with Alberta Human Rights Commission and Teaching Fellow in the faculty of law at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.  The son of refugees from Uganda, Birju has a life-long commitment to advancing the cause of human rights and is pleased to have the opportunity to support the Commission in doing so.

Legal Counsel

The Legal Counsel analyzes inquiries and complaints, provides legal advice and ongoing training to Commission Members and staff, and represents the Commission before the Yukon Human Rights Board of Adjudication when required. They also facilitate settlement discussions between Complainants and Respondents, and work on special projects including public education and research.

Vida Nelson – Legal Counsel

Vida Nelson became legal counsel to the Commission in May 2018. She worked for a local law firm specializing in personal injury, family law and civil litigation. She was born and raised in the Yukon, and holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Manitoba, as well as a Bachelor of Science from Simon Fraser University. She is passionate about promoting diversity, access to justice and new conflict resolution mechanisms.

Operations Officer

The Operations Officer is responsible for supporting the Director and Legal Counsel with active human rights complaints and is often the first point of contact for members of the public who reach out to the Commission. In addition to providing administrative support to staff, they also work on special projects, such as A Yukon Without Sexual Harassment, and assist in the development of educational materials.

Human Rights Officers

Human Rights Officers are responsible for the investigation of complaints accepted by the Yukon Human Rights Commission. They may also provide legal information to members of the public, and present at workshops or training events.

Rights Promotion Coordinator

Rights Promotion Coordinator (RPC) is responsible for the development and delivery of the Commission’s rights promotion and research projects, as well as educational programming including public, legal, professional, youth, and stakeholder education and skills development. The RPC is responsible for working with other community partners to meet the goals and mandate of the Commission as set out in the Yukon Human Rights Act, with the specific duties of providing education, training, and ongoing resources for complainants, respondents, professionals working in the area of human rights law, and members of the public seeking information from the Commission.

Rights Promotion Assistant

The Rights Promotion Assistant is responsible for assisting the Rights Promotion Coordinator in the development and delivery of the Commission’s rights promotion and research projects as well as educational programming. They work to advance the public education and research role of the Yukon Human Rights Commission.

Interns and Partnerships

Human Rights Interns

The Commission regularly hosts paid Human Rights Intern positions for students and recent graduates. Generally, Human Rights Interns are law students or recent law school graduates, but the Commission has also partnered with other organizations such as universities and non-governmental organizations to host positions for students and graduates in other disciplines. For example, in 2015-2016, the Commission partnered with Journalists for Human Rights to provide two intern positions for emerging Indigenous journalists.

Human Rights Intern positions are periodically posted on our website. Please contact careers@yukonhumanrights.ca if you have questions about student positions.

Pro Bono Students Canada

Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC) was the first pro bono organization in the country and a nationally respected program that is actively supported by the bar, judiciary, and academy. PBSC was founded at the University of Toronto in 1996 and today operates in 22 law schools in Canada. Each year, PBSC harnesses the talent and drive of over 1500 law students across the country to provide legal services free of charge to low-income citizens and not-for-profit organizations.

Thank you to our amazing 2019-20 student teams from the University of Ottawa, the University of Victoria, the University of British Columbia, and McGill University. Please contact the Pro Bono Students Canada chapter at any law school in Canada if you have questions about how to apply to this program.

https://www.probonostudents.ca/

McGill International Human Rights Internships

The Commission regularly hosts one or two students from the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (CHRLP) each summer.

The International Human Rights Internships Program (IHRIP) is a fully credited course that allows students to earn six (6) credits toward the completion of the BCL/LLB degree. The Program interviews and selects law students for placements as interns with NGOS, courts, and public institutions for a period of 12 weeks over the summer. Partner organizations provide students with practical work experience in human rights investigation, monitoring, and reporting. The internships also provide exposure to the operation and implementation of human rights instruments and norms.

Please contact the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism human.rights@mcgill.ca if you have questions about how to apply to this program.

https://www.mcgill.ca/humanrights/

HIRING

The Yukon Human Rights Commission is looking for a full-time Human Rights Officer to be responsible for investigations, public legal education, human rights projects and research related to human rights in Yukon.

HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICER

The Yukon Human Rights Commission is looking for a full-time Human Rights Officer to be responsible for investigations, public legal education, human rights projects and research related to human rights in Yukon. The Human Rights Officer will be responsible for supporting the Commission’s mandate to respond to inquiries from the public and investigate alleged contraventions of the Yukon Human Rights Act. The Human Rights Officer will equally support the Commission’s mandate to educate the public about the Commission and the Yukon Human Rights Act, and conduct research designed to eliminate discrimination pursuant to the Yukon Human Rights Act.

Duties include:

  • Responding to public inquiries and investigating human rights complaints, including preparing detailed investigation plans, interviewing witnesses, and writing comprehensive, professional, accurate and impartial investigation reports;
  • Developing and collaborating on projects in relation to public legal education and research in the area of human rights;
  • Developing and delivering human rights related training and workshops for the public, as well as training arising out of the settlement of human rights complaints;
  • Researching and writing on human rights law and issues;
  • Developing and collaborating on projects in relation to public outreach and organizing public events in the area of human rights;
  • Meeting members of the public to provide information and assistance related to human rights complaints;
  • Keeping up to date on human rights law and issues, as well as maintaining strong legal and general research skills;
  • Other tasks as assigned by the Director of Human Rights.

We are looking for an inquisitive, considerate, collaborative, focused, and organized professional who takes a fair and impartial approach to their work and has experience related to inclusion, diversity, and human rights to join our team.

Essential qualifications:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Able to synthesize and critically analyze evidence and information through a human rights lens.
  • An approachable manner and interpersonal empathy.
  • Relevant post-secondary education in law, education, human rights, social sciences, or other related field relevant to human rights law and public legal education. Equivalent work experience will be evaluated for consideration as appropriate.
  • Ability to present to diverse audiences with varying degrees of knowledge.
  • Ability to work independently as well as cooperatively with staff, Commission Members, and other organizations.
  • Experience working with diverse and/or vulnerable individuals and communities.
  • Experience conducting interviews and interacting directly with the public, both in groups and one-on-one.
  • Demonstrated commitment to inclusion, diversity and human rights.
  • Demonstrated commitment to continuing professional development.
  • Computer literate and willing to learn new software.
  • Proficiency in MS Office (Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, Excel).
  • Attention to detail and strong work ethic.
  • Experience working in a team environment.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and effectively prioritize tasks, especially in high-pressure environments.
  • Fluency in English is essential.

Asset qualifications:

  • Background and knowledge of Yukon’s historical, cultural, and social context, including experience and knowledge of Yukon First Nations and Yukon’s diverse communities.
  • Progressive work experience at a human rights commission, or comparable independent agency, or other related human rights law work.
  • Advanced skills, knowledge, and experience in investigation and interview techniques and administrative complaint processes.
  • Experience developing, delivering and promoting human rights related training and workshops for the public.
  • Advanced skills knowledge and experience in legal or social science research and writing.
  • Knowledge, training and applied experience in inclusive best practices when delivering services to the public, such as interacting with high-conflict individuals and trauma-informed communication.
  • Demonstrated relevant professional contacts and network amongst Yukon organizations, community groups, governments, and individuals.
  • Fluency or proficiency in other languages, including French or signed languages, such as American Sign Language (ASL).

Full time, 35 hours per week. The salary range for this position is between $70,000 and $90,000 per year. Salary will be commensurate with experience.

The Yukon Human Rights Commission is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants are encouraged to self-identify and to describe how their lived experience, skills, and knowledge impact their readiness for this position.

* Note that due to working directly with members of the public, an offer of employment will be conditional upon a satisfactory ‘vulnerable sector’ police records check. Proof of full COVID -19 vaccination may be required as a term and condition of employment, unless a valid exemption can be demonstrated.

To apply, please submit your résumé and cover letter by Monday, September 19, 2022, by email to careers@yukonhumanrights.ca attn. Birju Dattani, Director, Yukon Human Rights Commission.

For more information, please contact careers@yukonhumanrights.ca or call 867-667-6226.