“Prime Minister Harper has clearly stated that unless there is significant progress on political reconciliation, accountability and respect for human rights in Sri Lanka, he will not attend the CHOGM hosted by Sri Lanka in 2013,” Roy said. (Colombo Gazette) Senator Segal said that the purpose of his visit to Sri Lanka will be to act as a fact finder for Canada’s foreign minister The special Canadian envoy will visit Jaffna and have discussions with political groups and civil society members in the north and in Colombo. Senator Segal said that he will also be meeting with government officials in Colombo during his visit.“As you may know, the level of our delegation to the Commonwealth heads of government meeting scheduled for November in Colombo has yet to be decided. I shall report back to the Foreign Minister after my trip is concluded,” he said. Canada says Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not attend the CHOGM in Sri Lanka unless there is an improvement in the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.Canadian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Chrystiane Roy had said last December that the Canadian government feels the Sri Lankan government continues to fail victims and survivors of the war.The spokesperson also said that Canada is ‘deeply troubled’ by reports of intimidation of judges in Sri Lanka, and reiterate the importance of judicial independence. Canada will dispatch a special envoy to see for himself the ground situation in Sri Lanka before the government decides on the level of its participation at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November.Special Envoy to the Commonwealth, Canadian Senator Hugh Segal, will visit Sri Lanka as an envoy to the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. Report by Easwaran Rutnam
“My slight concern would be that the police move on their own,” he said.”It’s whether the criminal justice system from its end to end would respond to it. So that’s a bigger debate than me.””I think the time is right to consider it,” he added, saying he hoped it would encourage women to report crimes. “Hopefully that is an indication to victims that it’s more reason to come forward and more reason to believe that the criminal justice system will take them seriously,” he said.Last year Nottingham police revealed that they investigated a case of misogyny every three days during July and August and said women were calling its helpline to explicitly ask that a crime be recorded as a sexist hate crime. Several other forces are believed to be monitoring the pilot with a view to introducing similar schemes if it is successful. In 2015 the rules were expanded to give anti-Muslim hate crimes their own category, bringing them in line with anti-Semitic attacks. The most recent figures show that in total 80,393 hate crimes were recorded in 2016-17 compared to 62,518 in 2015-16, the most significant increase since the Home Office began recording figures in 2011-12. Prison sentences and fines can be “uplifted” under current CPS guidelines where an offender is found to have acted out of prejudice towards a victim. Responding to a question from Labour MP Jess Phillips, Mr Hamilton indicated his own support for a review of the categories, but said other agencies, such as the CPS, courts and Government would also have to implement the change. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Sexual offences have also increased, with recent figures showing that the UK has the highest recorded level of violent sex crimes in the EU. Statistics published by the European Commission show that of the 215,000 violent sexual crimes recorded by the police across the European Union in 2015, 64,500 were in England and Wales. Mr Hamilton said it would be considered whether either “gender-based” or “single gender female” should become a category of hate crime, suggesting that crimes against men could also be included. Last year Nottingham police announced a pilot of the new system, which allows women to report crimes as misogyny-fuelled, and former chief constable Sue Fish is currently presenting evidence to the NPCC. If the changes were introduced then sexist language or behaviour would be treated as an aggravating factor to other crimes such as assault and harassment.Police are to consider whether the shift would require a statutory change or whether it could be done through guidance to individual forces. “You would take any offence that the person reported and if it reached the evidential standard and had been reported as a hate crime then it would attract an enhanced sentence,” added Mr Hamilton. “So it’s not about a new crime of hate, it’s about adding another category to the enhanced process that layers on top of an offence when it occurs.” Sexist criminals could get longer sentences under plans to make misogyny a type of hate crime.Senior officers are considering whether to count misogynistic offences among hate crimes, which would mean longer sentences for perpetrators found to have acted out of hatred for women. Currently crimes where a victim has been targeted on the grounds of characteristics including their race, sexuality or disability can be made aggravated offences and the perpetrators given longer sentences, but gender is not one of these categories. A pilot taking place in Nottingham since last year is due to report back to police chiefs who will consider whether to make wider changes affecting the rest of the country. Speaking to the Women and Equalities Committee, assistant chief constable Mark Hamilton, who leads on hate crime for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said he believed the police were “going to take this forward” although it would also require action from the courts and CPS.In 2014 the Law Commission published a report recommending that the “scope” of hate crime be examined to see whether further categories should be introduced. It recommended that a “full-scale review is conducted of the operation of the aggravated offences and of the enhanced sentencing system”.