- There remain dangerous gaps in protection and support for unaccompanied and separated migrant and refugee claimant children entering Canada and moving through the refugee determination system and other immigration processes;
- There exists a lack of consistency between and within Provinces, Territories and regions in regards to the assessment, treatment, and available services and supports for unaccompanied and separated migrant, refugee claimant and refugee children;
- Canada still lacks clear and consistent guidelines and legislation to deal fairly with unaccompanied and separated migrant and refugee claimant children;
- Concerns have been repeatedly expressed by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in regards to the absence of a national policy on unaccompanied and separated migrant and refugee children in Canada, as well as a failure to distinguish between accompanied and unaccompanied children within Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;
Therefore be it resolved
that the CCR:
- Call on the federal government, in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments and NGOs, to establish a national framework for unaccompanied and separated migrant, refugee claimant and refugee children.
- Insist that Canada’s national framework for unaccompanied and separated migrant, refugee claimant and refugee children take into account the following:
- the development of appropriate legislation, policy, protocols and safeguards to ensure fair and compassionate treatment of unaccompanied and separated minors at all stages of their settlement in Canada;
- adequate access to services and supports in all areas critical to the minor’s settlement and wellbeing (including, but not limited to: access to safe housing, education, healthcare services, legal assistance, social welfare, basic needs supports and family reunification), and;
- that Canada’s national framework for unaccompanied and separated migrant, refugee claimant and refugee children is developed and implemented in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the United Nations Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.