Non-citizens and international human rights treaties

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Resolution number: 
22
November 1995
Whereas: 
  1. Canada, through its government, its parliament and its courts, has habitually neglected United Nations Covenants and Conventions of justice in its treatment of non-citizens who came to Canada seeking protection;
  2. Specifically, it has neglected to enact legislation in Parliament to embody in Canadian law the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Covenant on Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention against Torture;
  3. As a consequence, habeas corpus and other elements of due process guaranteed to Canadians by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms are often denied by Canadian civil servants and Canadian courts to non-citizens who came to Canada seeking protection;
  4. Further, such non-citizens have no simple and effective legal means of enforcing such rights;
  5. As a further consequence, many such people have been deported from Canada in violation of one or more of the above UN Covenants and Conventions;
  6. The Immigration Act and court decisions based on it are inconsistent with Canada's obligations under UN human rights treaties;
Therefore be it resolved: 

 that the CCR:

  1. Call upon the Parliament and Government of Canada forthwith to incorporate all the above United Nations Covenants and Conventions into Canadian law, and in particular into the Immigration Act and Regulations, directing all Canadian civil servants and courts to enforce them;
  2. Write to the Ministers of Justice and of Citizenship and Immigration and the chair of the parliamentary committee on Human Rights and Disabled Persons advising them of the problem and urging them to establish a mechanism to monitor Canada's compliance with its international human rights treaty obligations and to make an annual report to parliament (such a report to include such matters as the status of international cases submitted from Canada and any legislative or other measures taken);
  3. Request all Chief Justices to organize training sessions for judges on the interpretation and application of Canada's international human rights treaties, with international participation.
Working Group: 
Inland Protection