This April 4th reach out to your community about refugee rights. Here you’ll find all you need to speak out about refugee rights this Refugee Rights Day. This includes suggestions and materials to alert the Canadian public, members of the media and politicians to advances made in the protection of refugee rights as a result of the Singh decision, as well as to threats to those rights.

April 4th 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1985 Singh decision. In this decision the Supreme Court found that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the fundamental rights of refugees. The Court decided that ‘everyone’ includes refugee claimants in the sentence: ‘Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.’

April 4, 1985 was a milestone for refugee rights in Canada.  On that day, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the right of refugee claimants in Canada to life, liberty and security of the person, and that claimants are therefore entitled to an oral hearing, in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice and international law.  This ruling has become known as the ‘Singh decision’ in recognition of Harnhajan Singh, Sadhu Singh Thandi, Paramjit Singh Mann, Kewal Singh, Charanjit Singh Gill, Indrani and Satnam Singh who brought their cases to the Court.

April 4th 2010 is the 25th anniversary of the Singh decision.

Please see our brochure on Refugee Rights Day and on what the Singh decision means for refugees in Canada.

To learn more about the 1985 Singh decision, check out this video with Barbara Jackman, one of the lawyers who argued the case:


  • Write to your Member of Parliament about current issues affecting refugees in your community
    • For resettled refugees repaying transportation loans, call on the Canadian government to absorb transportation loans for refugees
    • For refugees facing long delays in reuniting with family members, demand that refugees in Canada be immediately reunited with family members who are overseas.
  • Bust myths about refugees and immigrants in Canada
  • Celebrate the contributions of refugees and newcomers in your community.

For more information on these suggestions, see the ‘Actions and Resources’ page.

See the ‘Events and Activities’ page to find out what is happening near you.



You can find some suggestions for activities here.