Identity documents

Resolution number
  1. The CCR moved a resolution in June 1996 clearly outlining requirements for an acceptable solution to the ID issue.
  2. The CCR submitted a detailed brief in October 1996.
  3. Article 27 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees states that contracting states shall issue identity papers to any refugee in their territory who does not possess a valid travel document.
  4. Draft regulations published on November 16, 1996 fails to address any of the preconditions contained in the resolutions and the brief.
  5. The proposed regulations will discriminate on the basis of race and national origin and create a measurable hardship for Convention refugees in Canada and their families abroad.
  6. The impact of these regulations will be particularly harsh on families and children.
  7. The regulations demonstrate a clear departure from Canada's commitment to the protection of refugees.
  8. The regulations do not respond to solutions, offered in good faith by representatives of Somali, Iranian, Afghan, Sri Lankan and other communities in interminable and numerous meetings with the government.
  9. The draft regulations do nothing for people in refugee-like situations.
  10. The Immigration and Refugee Board had determined the identity of anyone found to be a Convention refugee.
Therefore be it resolved

That the CCR:

  1. Reject the draft ID regulations published November 16, 1996.
  2. Call on the Canadian government to: a) Amend the Immigration Act to remove the requirement for identity documents for Convention refugees, and others in refugee-like situations. b) Withdraw the proposed regulations; or in the alternative:
    i) commit resources to land affected persons within 6 months.
    ii) direct immigration officers to give greater weight to personal interviews and other documentary evidence when primary documents cannot be obtained.
    iii) make an exemption to permit family reunification where the passage of time due to delays in landing processing has prevented sponsorship.
  3. Submit a detailed brief of their criticisms of the regulations and call on member agencies to do the same.
  4. Call on the UNHCR to condemn the proposed regulations on the grounds that they violate Canada's international obligation to protect families, children and refugees and to facilitate family reunification.
Working Group
Inland Protection