Refugee Rights Day, each April 4th

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Refugee Rights Day is celebrated each year in Canada on April 4th. It is an opportunity to bring attention to the advances made in the protection of refugee rights in Canada as a result of the Singh Decision. Refugee Rights Day is also a time to learn about the threats to those rights.

What is Refugee Rights Day?

April 4th is the 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.’ 

Refugee claimants are therefore entitled to an oral hearing, in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice and international law.

The importance of the Singh decision today

Watch these reflections on why the Singh decision is important:

Lawyer Barbara Jackman and her reflections on the 1985 Singh Decision:

For more information:

Supreme Court of Canada - decision: Singh versus the Minister of Employment and Immigration