Resolutions adopted June 1994

Whereas:
  1. Certain clients will not be accessing the services they need if they are aware that information about them will be transmitted to the government;
  2. NGOs' integrity cannot be comprised by supplying confidential information to the government;
  3. NGOs are not satisfied that SMIS has taken into consideration the operational implications or workload on them, nor are they convinced of the accuracy and therefore usefulness of the performance indicators;
  4. Citizenship and Immigration Minister Marchi announced the creation of a National Working Group to reach a compromise agreement on outstanding issues that will be mutually acceptable to the NGO community and the Government;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR urge: 

  1. That a moratorium be placed on the implementation and piloting of the SMIS until such time as a mutually acceptable agreement is reached by the National Working Group;
  2. That the National Working Group be comprised of:
    1. one provincial representative nominated by each of AMSSA, AAISA, SAISA, MICA, OCASI, and one for the Atlantic Region;
    2. an Information Technology Expert, nominated by the CCR;
    3. a legal expert on privacy, nominated by the CCR;
    4. an expert on programme evaluation, nominated by the CCR;
    5. a refugee client of a CCR member agency;
    6. an immigrant client of a CCR member agency;
    7. government staff including Settlement and Integration Policy, Research and Settlement Operations;
  3. That the National Working Group be co-chaired by an NGO and a government representative;
  4. That the agreements reached by the National Working Group be implemented in a timely fashion;
  5. That the NGO representatives keep the refugee and immigrant services organizations fully informed of the progress and seek their input including but not limited to the following issues:
    1. client confidentiality
    2. who has access to the reports produced
    3. a review of the mandatory information required
    4. what clients and programmes can be exempt from the SMIS reports
    5. the use and the meaningfulness of the performance indicators
    6. what kind of reports will be generated and how will they be used
    7. the security of the data
    8. what process will be used to ensure that planning will be collaborative;
  6. That sufficient funding be made available to the NGO representatives for:
    1. travel
    2. consultation
    3. telephone and fax
    4. expert advice
    5. honoraria for refugee and immigrant client representatives.
Whereas:
  1. Immigrant serving agencies play a key role not only in the initial settlement but also the integration of newcomers so that they may become participating members of the larger society;
  2. The settlement and integration process varies from one individual to another and can take anywhere from a few months to over a decade;
  3. Immigrant serving agencies are in a unique position to outreach to their community, assess needs and provide early detection of problems and intervention;
  4. Immigrant serving agencies are equipped with skills and professional expertise to provide specialized services, such as family counselling, employment and job training, etc. based on a variety of service models;
  5. Immigrant serving agencies may provide a wide range of holistic and culturally appropriate services which are not available in "mainstream" service agencies;
  6. Immigrants are entitled to choices for services which they consider most appropriate and acceptable (including specialized services at immigrant serving agencies);
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR undertake to communicate to the government that:

  1.   Immigrant settlement services should not be limited to new arrivals within a restricted time period (wherever limitation exists);
  2. Immigrant serving agencies are qualified not only to provide initial settlement services but also a wide range of specialized services such as family counselling, employment and job training, etc.;
  3. Immigrant serving agencies should have equal access to funding to meet unmet needs of the community they serve, including those needs which extend beyond the initial stage of settlement.
Whereas:
  1. All social service agencies (mainstream and non-governmental) hold as fundamental principles that services must meet the specific needs of the populations served and that clients have the right to self-determination;
  2. All social services must respect the clients' choice as to the most appropriate service delivery system and offer diverse models of services to meet these individual needs;
  3. The understanding of settlement needs of immigrants and refugees has developed significantly over the past 10 years and has responded to the reality that newcomers' adjustment is of varying length depending on a variety of factors, which include language, cultural, social supports and integration, etc;
  4. Non-governmental settlement service agencies have evolved in meeting these needs and have developed a very comprehensive and specialized knowledge base for service delivery;
  5. Mainstream services are only beginning to address the issue of access to services by an increasingly diverse population;
  6. The accessibility and adequacy of such services are only in the developmental stages and these service agencies are still struggling with their internal adjustments to personnel and organizational change;
  7. Historically, non-governmental settlement services have not only been pioneers but have been providing leadership in developing settlement services to a constantly changing population;
  8. Mainstream social services are increasingly calling on the expertise of non-governmental settlement services to assist them in their transition to providing more accessible and culturally appropriate services to a population that they have not served in the past;
  9. Non-governmental settlement services have been meeting, and will continue to meet the needs for service in this area;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR communicate to the appropriate governmental and social service bodies at every possible opportunity that:

  1. Non-governmental settlement services are an integral part of the social service delivery system and that the expertise of these services must be fully recognized;
  2. Non-governmental settlement services must have equal access to funding for social services; 3. Ongoing funding must be made available to ensure continuity of services and to maintain quality of services through appropriate resources for planning, delivery and evaluation.
Whereas:
  1. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) affects over 114 million women and girls in the world;
  2. An estimated 6 - 8 million girls under the age of 10 undergo the process of female genital mutilation each year;
  3. Female genital mutilation is the removal of, or injury to, any part of the female genital organ. The three main types are:

    Type 1) Clitoridectomy ("sunna") which may involve:

    1. Pricking the clitoris to induce bleeding,
    2. partial removal of the clitoris,
    3. complete removal of the clitoris

     

    Type 2)  Excision - removal of the clitoris and partial or complete removal of the labia minora

    Type 3) Infibulation ("Pharaonic mutilation") removal of the clitoris, labia minora, parts of the labia majora and the stitching together of the vulva (infibulation) to obliterate the urethra and the vaginal orifice except for a small opening (Women's Health in Women's Hands);

  4. Female Genital Mutilation is valued as a significant ritual within the cultures and communities in which it is practised but it has no valid religious or spiritual basis;
  5. Female Genital Mutilation can cause death in extreme cases or will leave the young woman with ongoing, lifelong health problems such as urinary and menstrual flow retention, dysmenorrhoea, infections of the reproductive and urinary tract, chronic pelvic infection, problems with childbirth, with sexual activity and chronic pain;
  6. Female Genital Mutilation is specifically identified as illegal in many countries and in Canada it is considered as child abuse in the section of physical abuse and aggravated assault;
  7. Female Genital Mutilation is child abuse but is also a violation of women's human rights, is violence against women, is violence against women's sexuality, is torture;
  8. Most importantly, Female Genital Mutilation is being practised in refugee camps, and it is well known what the sanitary conditions of refugees camps are like to undertake a radical surgery such as FGM;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Recommend to the UNCHR to recognise that Female Genital Mutilation is a human rights issue, and that it should be treated as such;
  2. Request that the Criminal Code of Canada be amended to specifically identify Female Genital Mutilation as a criminal act, and explore the possibility of appropriate new legislation;
  3. Urge the Federal and Provincial Ministries to appropriate funds and resources to provide counselling and support groups for the victims of FGM, for educational programmes to take place within the communities in which Female Genital Mutilation is practised and in order for the affected communities to educate the mainstream Canadian society, in particular, health service providers and educational institutions;
  4. Continue to pursue the issue of Female Genital Mutilation through information sharing, education and in advocacy;
  5. Explore the inclusion of FGM on the platform for action in the upcoming fourth world conference on Women, in Beijing 1995;
  6. Urge Canada to provide protection to women and to women and their daughters who are fleeing the FGM practice.
Whereas:
  1. Racism is a reality in Canadian society;
  2. In particular, racism is reflected in refugee and immigrant selection policies;
  3. The deepening economic recession has stimulated even more backlash against refugees and immigrants;
  4. Another important reflection of racism is the manner in which refugees and immigrants are treated after arrival. There are numerous racial discriminations which appear in the public and the political domain. As a result Canadian refugees and immigrant people of colour and their children are being systematically prevented from participating in the Canadian mosaic;
Therefore be it resolved:

That:

  1. The CCR as a priority undertake a programme of public education to dispel refugee myths. One major undertaking should be the incorporation into press releases of the contribution of newcomers to this society;
  2. The CCR incorporate a statement into all its external and internal documents, such as its mission statement and its By-Laws, that part of the role of the Council is to actively promote an anti-racist perspective/initiative in all its work;
  3. The CCR set up an internal core group that includes representation from the diverse refugee and immigrant communities to devise strategies to combat racism;
  4. As part of its mandate, the core group encourage linkages between immigrant and refugee groups.
Whereas:
  1. Ministries of Education and Boards of Education across Canada are developing and implementing policies of Race Relations and Ethno-cultural Equity;
  2. Anti-racism education is most effective when it involves participants in a process that addresses attitudinal change;
  3. Member groups of CCR have grassroots, community experience, as well as an analysis from international experience, in the meaning and effects of racism;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR communicate with the Ministries of Education with a list of CCR member groups and the recommendation that Boards of Education be encouraged to communicate with these groups as sources of local resource people for teacher workshops, classroom presentations and representation on policy-shaping committees at the Board level.

Whereas:

The media portrayal of refugees and immigrants has tended to focus on the negative rather than the positive;

Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR encourage its member organizations to monitor and respond to the media portrayal of refugees and immigrants and to advocate for more balanced coverage, and that the CCR member organizations having experience in media monitoring and media relations make their expertise known to the CCR for sharing among its members.

Whereas:
  1. The settlement and adaptation process has been recognised in the Report "After the Door has been Opened" to have significant mental health aspects;
  2. The federal Ministries of Human Resources, Citizenship and Immigration, Canadian Heritage, and Health are concerned with the successful settlement of Immigrants and refugees;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR request that:

  1. The above mentioned Federal ministries continue to implement the recommendations of the report "After the Door Has Been Opened";
  2. These Ministries pay particular attention to and review the mental health effects of their policies;
  3. These Ministries urge the Provincial Ministries of Health to recognise cross cultural mental health counselling by including costs for these services under the Provincial Health Plans.
Whereas:
  1. Health service is a right in Canada;
  2. Eligibility to the new Interim Federal Health Programme will be based on response of refugee claimants at points of entry and inland immigration offices to the question: "will you be able to cover any medical costs you may incur while your claim is being processed?";
  3. The claimant will be intimidated and scared to answer "no" for fear that this would jeopardize their claim;
  4. The claimant will be required to sign a declaration of eligibility (IMM-1442) at the point of entry or inland office;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR: 

  1. Urge the Federal Immigration Department to consider the removal of any eligibility criteria to be asked at the point of entry or inland offices at a time when claimants are seeking asylum;
  2. Request that the question of ability to pay for medical costs be removed and that health services be made available unconditionally to all claimants regardless of ability to pay;
  3. Urge the Department of Citizenship and Immigration to remove the mandatory condition that claimants sign the declaration of eligibility.
Whereas:
  1. Community-based organizations across the country engage in research activities around the issues of immigrant and refugee services;
  2. There is a severe lack in funding these research activities at the grass roots level;
  3. Funders usually contract out research on immigrant and refugee services delivery to private consultants and academics;
  4. Research results are in consequence inadequate and not pertinent to the real needs of immigrant/refugee and ethnocultural communities across Canada;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Call upon all funders and particularly the federal government to recognize the value of research activities carried out by community-based immigrant and refugee organizations;
  2. Call upon all funders and particularly the federal government to provide financial resources for community-based organizations to continue to improve and expand research activities on immigrant/refugee service delivery;
  3. Continue to provide at the semiannual consultation a forum for community-based organizations to present the results of and exchange information on the various research activities across the different regions.
Whereas:
  1. Settlement workers provide essential services in providing support during transition and adaptation of immigrants and refugees;
  2. Settlement workers have immense linguistic, cultural and crosscultural skills that are in demand by both the host community and immigrants and refugees;
  3. The majority of settlement workers are immigrants, visible minorities and women;
  4. Two of the four priority groups as identified by the federal government's employment equity plan are visible minorities and women;
  5. The ISAP contracts provided by the Department of Immigration to settlement agencies refuse to acknowledge and/or provide funding for any benefits except those mandated by law (i.e. CPP and UIC);
  6. Settlement agencies are independent and should not be subject to government wage freezes;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR write to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration urging him to fully recognize Settlement Worker skills by providing funds to allow settlement agencies to implement an adequate salary structure and benefit package including health and retirement plans.

Whereas:
  1. Settlement service agencies are encouraged to participate in special funding projects of their respective funders;
  2. Funders continue to expect settlement service agencies to provide administrative support costs and other internal resources such as staff time out of their core budgets
  3. This potentiality inhibits settlement agencies from accessing various funding programmes due to decreasing internal resources;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR bring to the attention of funders the need to recognize and provide administrative support costs to their funding programmes.

Whereas:
  1. Under the current era of fiscal restraint and funding cutbacks, agencies are being encouraged to enter into collaborative efforts for service delivery;
  2. The criteria for establishing collaborative efforts has been only loosely developed;
  3. The attempt to forge effective, equitable collaborative efforts has met with little, if any, success;
  4. The funding allocated to conjoint projects is never adequate to allow organizations to engage in a process of development;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Bring to the attention of funders, particularly the federal government and specifically the funders participating in the Culturally Appropriate Social Services Conference in Montreal, June 5 - 7, the need to allocate sufficient funds for the development process of forging equitable collaborative efforts between mainstream and community-based organizations including, but not limited to, the criteria for equitable power-sharing;
  2. Call upon the mainstream organizations to join in the effort of making the development process a reality for forging meaningful, equitable collaborative efforts.
Whereas:
  1. Many organizations receive inadequate funding for the administrative costs of delivering the LINC Programme;
  2. The contribution of volunteers greatly enhances LINC service delivery, but funding is not provided for volunteer recognition;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR Settlement Working Group meet with Danielle Racette, LINC Implementation Team Director, Citizenship and Immigration, to discuss these issues and develop a fair and equitable manner to recover administrative and volunteer costs associated with the Programme.

Whereas:
  1. At the refugees and development sessions there was considerable interest in continued activity around these issues;
  2. A significant barrier to coordinated assistance to refugees and the internally displaced in countries of asylum/origin is the separation of responsibilities and different funding criteria within departments and between government ministries;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Continue to organize sessions on international refugee and development issues;
  2. Investigate initiating dialogue with CIDA, Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Finance to discuss the overlapping responsibilities/ funding criteria relating to refugee relief and development assistance.
Whereas:
  1. The UNHCR estimates that 80% of the world's refugees are women and their dependants;
  2. Women refugees comprise a high proportion of the refugee camp populations;
  3. As a result of the gender consultations the need for gender proportionality in Canada's resettlement activities and the possibility of establishing targets for 1995 has been recognized and referred as a major topic to the broad consultation on immigration;
  4. Between 1985 and 1991 women comprised only 23% of the principal applicants of the refugees landed in Canada;
  5. Women refugees face various obstacles throughout the process of overseas selection, admission and integration in Canada. The strong emphasis on immigration criteria uses inappropriate measurement tools to assess a woman's ability to successfully establish in Canada;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR communicate with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration recommending:

  1. An action plan for the next five years (1995-2000) be developed by government and NGO representatives to enable the enactment of gender quotas of a minimum of 50% women as principal applicants by the year 1997. The development of this action plan should be developed in conjunction with stakeholders;
  2. A minimum level be set for the Women at Risk Programme, effective immediately. This level would include CR1 and CR5 Women at Risk and would access the 20% of the 1994 AAP monies originally destined for indigent immigrants.
Whereas:
  1. The UNHCR and other NGOs who identify and refer Women at Risk cases to Canadian visa posts abroad have gathered adequate information on the referred cases;
  2. Numerous sources confirm that interviewing a woman for the details of her story of persecution can be an act of traumatization, and that further interviews are unnecessary and re-traumatizing;
  3. The November 1993 CCR Gender Consultations noted the importance of visa officers accepting referrals of Women at Risk cases using their discretion not to interview for the details of their persecution;
  4. In the restructuring of the Canadian visa posts visa officers have been advised to use their discretionary authority to decrease the number of interviews;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR request the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to direct visa officers to accept and process expeditiously the referrals of Women at Risk cases from the UNHCR and NGOs without an interview for the details of the persecution experience.

Whereas:
  1. The combination of eligibility criteria for overseas refugee processing confirming the person is either a Convention Refugee or a member of a Designated Class and the admissibility criteria based on immigration criteria is a contradiction of the humanitarian and protection focus of the refugee programme;
  2. The combination of the eligibility and admissibility criteria, named above, causes the particular exclusion of women, who suffer from a gender bias in any test based on economic achievement. Sociologist Monica Boyd writes of the triple disadvantage immigrant women face in the job market - gender, nationality and race - which is further compounded by the refugee experience;
  3. The Adjustment Assistance Programme is a source of immigration funds available to support government and jointly sponsored refugees. Refugee levels take into account the budget requirements. Until most recently AAP funds were used to assist indigent immigrants, whose cases and the policy for selection is the responsibility of the immigration (not refugee) section, thereby negatively impacting on the fact that Canada has repeatedly fallen short in its overseas government-assisted refugee resettlement levels;
  4. Refugees in need of protection processed for entry to Canada are frequently denied a transportation loan based on a projection of "inability to repay the loan". The transportation loan system must be administered consistent with the policy objectives of the refugee programme i.e. protection;
  5. The issue of the separation of refugee humanitarian programmes and budget is listed as the fifth of five major topics to be referred to the broad consultations on immigration;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR Executive communicate with the Minister and Department of Citizenship and Immigration recommending that the refugee programmes, policy and budget, including Adjustment Assistance Programme and the Transportation Loan be separated from the immigration programmes, policy and budget. This process should be undertaken in conjunction with stakeholders, such as CCR, Sponsorship Agreement holders, community groups, refugees and settlement agencies. The discussions should include recommendations on the placement of Family Class, immigration levels, levels of special needs cases and programming needs.

Whereas:
  1. The Women at Risk Programme has been under review as an integrated part of the general gender consultation, with involvement from the CCR ad hoc committee examining the Women at Risk Programme, women resettled pursuant to the Women at Risk Programme, sponsors, UNHCR, immigration officers, visa officers, and settlement counsellors;
  2. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has repeatedly acknowledged that the Women at Risk programme, the pride of Canada, was specifically established to respond to the immediate protection needs of refugee women and that the Programme has not adequately met its goals and needs improvement;
  3. The UNHCR and the CCR ad hoc committee examining the Women at Risk Programme in their research findings confirm the necessity of changing the eligibility criteria to respond to vulnerable refugee women in need of urgent protection, including women experiencing gender-related persecution;
  4. The high proportion of stream B cases being processed under the Women at Risk Programme has made the Programme a misnomer by processing cases that fit the general Joint Assistance Programme profile thereby negatively impacting on those women in need of immediate protection who are at risk;
  5. In the Proposals for Action from the Consultations on Gender Issues and Refugees, the implementation of the IRB guidelines for overseas selection and the development of regulations for the Resettlement from Abroad category are listed as actions to be taken immediately. Their immediate implementation will address some of the concerns around the eligibility criteria for selecting women for refugee resettlement, including the Women at Risk Programme;
  6. The current successful establishment component of the admissibility criteria of the refugee resettlement programme, which includes the Women at Risk Programme, is gender-biased, penalizing women refugees for systemic disadvantages which women have encountered world-wide, is an inappropriate measurement and is contradictory with the overall goal of the humanitarian refugee programme, including the Women at Risk Programme;
  7. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration on behalf of the Department released a Declaration of Refugee Protection for Women on June 1, 1994 at the CCR recognizing the "need to overcome traditional male-oriented views of the potential of refugees for `successful establishment'" and the summary of findings of the Women at Risk Programme review presented to the CCR on June 2, 1994 notes that programme partners have called for the relaxing or elimination of the successful establishment component of the admissibility criteria;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR communicate to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration strongly urging:

  1. The revision of eligibility criteria for refugee resettlement programmes with special changes to the Women at Risk Programme criteria, enabling it to be a programme responsive to the urgent protection needs of refugee women;
  2. The elimination of the successful establishment component of the admissibility criteria for refugees in urgent need of protection, especially refugee women.
Whereas:
  1. The crisis in Rwanda persists and a special workshop on the subject was requested at the CCR conference;
  2. The genocide and massacres which began on April 6 have to date caused 500,000 victims and displaced more than 2,000,000 people and the numbers are continuing to grow;
  3. Inordinate numbers of refugees are pouring into the countries neighbouring Rwanda;
  4. The people of Rwanda are suffering a humanitarian tragedy and a social and economic crisis without historical precedent;
  5. The UN forces left Rwanda just as the genocide was launched, leaving the civilian population at risk, thus encouraging the army and the militia to massacre and calling into question their credibility
  6. There is considerable media misinformation suggesting that the war in Rwanda is ethnic, while in fact it is political;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Urge the government of Canada to:

    1. support our request for an impartial international or regional inquiry into the events which led to the genocide of the Rwandan people;
    2. support appropriate measures to ensure that following such an inquiry those responsible for the massacres are judged and punished, whether in Rwanda, here or in another country;
    3. support appropriate measures to establish a democratic government of national unity and to ensure respect for human rights, in the spirit of the Arusha Accord;
    4. continue its generous humanitarian aid to the Rwandan people;
    5. study and discuss the problem of how the local personnel employed by Canadian organizations or government were abandonned when Canadian expatriates were evacuated, in order to ensure that such a situation does not happen again;
    6. reject the imposition of conditions on the participation of Canadian forces in the UN troops, according to which 5,500 troops are to be brought together in Rwanda;
    7. implement special measures with simple and clear criteria to offer protection in Canada for those with family or other links with Canadians of Rwandan origin and to refuse visas and landing to previously identified criminals;
    8. cease all non-justified removals of Rwandans in Canada;
  2. Request its members to educate the Canadian public on the origins as well as the solutions to the current crisis in Rwanda;
  3. Request the Canadian government to finalize an urgent special procedure to collect unaccompanied orphaned minors whose sole remaining relatives are in Canada; i.e. Canadians of Rwandan origin whatever their eligibility for existing sponsorship programmes (humanitarian cases).
Whereas:
  1. The collapse of the Communist regime in Afghanistan did not bring a lasting solution to that country, as was proposed in the UN peace plan that was never implemented, but rather precipitated a more brutal war between rival extremist warlords resulting in heavy civilian casualties, thousands more internally displaced, a new wave of over 100,000 refugees on the Pakistani border and a severe escalation of human rights abuses (as reported in the most recent 1994 publication of Amnesty International);
  2. The UN repatriation programme for Afghan refugees has become an international embarrassment and a gross failure;
  3. Recent UNHCR reports run contrary to the findings of human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and the Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan and inappropriately suggest that Afghans are not in need of resettlement abroad;
  4. Afghan refugees constitute the largest refugee population in the world, but Canadian government sponsorship of Afghans had come to a halt until the recent agreement mentioned below, and the rejection rate for private sponsorship is over 90%;
  5. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration recently negotiated a joint resettlement agreement signed by Sergio Marchi and Mr Aziz Bhaloo, President of the Ismaili Council of Canada and FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance Canada;
  6. The CCR has raised concerns over Afghan refugees in conversations with the Immigration Department numerous times without any results;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Call on the government of Canada to:

    1. In addition to the Ismaili joint resettlement agreement, open the doors for all Afghan refugees, especially women and children who comprise the majority;
    2. Conduct a review of all rejected Afghan refugee sponsorship cases;
    3. Support the UN initiative to end the Afghan conflict through a negotiated settlement;
    4. Discourage neighbouring countries from arming the warring factions;
    5. Call on the UNHCR to provide more accurate information on the situation in Afghanistan;
  2. Write a letter to the government of Canada expressing the following concerns about the new joint resettlement agreement between the government of Canada and the Ismaili Council of Canada and Focus Humanitarian Assistance Canada:
    1. We are concerned that the 500 places per year for Ismailis in Pakistan are part of the current quota for government-assisted refugees for the Middle East, not in addition to that quota. Because of this, there will be fewer places available for Iranians, Iraqis, and other Afghans;
    2. This agreement seems to set a dangerous precedent for off-loading the government's obligation for resettling refugees onto ethnic groups or other private sponsors;
    3. While resettlement of Afghan refugees is welcome, we are concerned about the predetermined selection of refugees based on religious affiliation in a region where many refugees of varying religious affiliations are in need of resettlement;
    4. We urge the government either to treat these 500 refugees as privately sponsored refugees or to expand the regional quota in order to respond to the needs of refugees of all religious affiliations.
Whereas:
  1. The United States continues to return Haitians picked up in international waters directly to Haiti;
  2. Previous CCR resolutions of May '92 and Nov. '92 have called upon the Canadian government to
    1. Support the UNHCR statement of May '92 criticizing US actions against Haitian asylum seekers;
    2. Make representations to the US not to return Haitians to Haiti; and
    3. Select a certain number of Haitians for resettlement in Canada;
  3. The Canadian government has not publicly responded to these demands;
  4. The United States is now putting forward a plan involving other governments for processing Haitian refugees in the Caribbean region;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Call upon the Canadian government to:

    1. Publicly clarify the positions it has taken in its discussions with the United States and in multilateral discussions;
    2. Take all available measures, in consultation with the NGO sector, to ensure that
      1. Any screening process set up in the region includes all necessary safeguards for meaningful protection;
      2. No appropriate solutions, such as third country resettlement, be excluded before individual cases are examined;
    3. Select a certain number of Haitian refugees for resettlement in Canada; potential candidates should include Haitians now in vulnerable situations in various locations in the Americas;
  2. Call upon the UNHCR to designate adequate resources to ensure that international protection standards are upheld during this process;
  3. Approach other organizations in the development and human rights fields to support and participate in our advocacy initiatives on this issue.
Whereas:
  1. Aung San Su Kyi remains under house arrest following her victory in the democratic elections of 1989
  2. The SLORC continues to disregard human rights and the outcome of the 1989 democratic elections;
  3. Since 1988 large numbers of Burmese nationals have been both internally and externally displaced;
  4. The Royal Thai government is failing to provide protection to Burmese nationals and their conditions continue to deteriorate;
  5. International attention and pressure have been conspicuously absent;
  6. There is both an overseas need and a sponsorship interest in increasing the current immigration levels;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Petition the Government of Canada to request the Government of Thailand:

    1. to honour their responsibilities to provide safe asylum to Burmese nationals; and
    2. to issue exit visas to Burmese nationals upon completion of Canadian immigration processing;
  2. Petition the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to increase the number of government sponsorships to at least double the current seventy-five positions and in addition appropriate one-third of the contingency allocation in recognition of the urgency of the situation;
  3. Urge the Government of Canada to use all means at its disposal to pressure the Burmese (Myanmar) SLORC to restore human rights and to honour its own democratic process and the outcome of the election of 1989;
  4. Request the Government of Canada to provide human resource development opportunities to Burmese refugees in neighbouring countries as they await restoration of human rights and the democratic process in Burma.
Whereas:
  1. The government of Iran has struck two separate extradition treaties with the governments of Turkey and Pakistan;
  2. Pakistan and Turkey are so-called "first countries of asylum" for refugees fleeing from Iran;
  3. It was reported widely and confirmed by Amnesty International that in return for 14 alleged Kurdish political activists extradited to Turkey, the government of Turkey has extradited at least on one occasion 6 UNHCR refugees to Iran;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR demand that the Canadian government:

  1. Pressure the Turkish and Pakistani governments to adhere to the principle of non-refoulement (article 33 of the Geneva Convention);
  2. Condemn the violation of human rights by the governments of Iran, Turkey and Pakistan and pursue the prevention of the improper use of the extradition treaties by the signatories.
Whereas:
  1. The Canadian government is a signatory of and contributor to the 1989 Comprehensive Plan of Action (CPA) regarding the situation of Indochinese refugees;
  2. The application of the CPA in Southeast Asian refugee camps, as it now stands, leads to:
    1. human rights abuses which affect the safety and dignity of asylum-seekers in the camps and result in many genuine refugees being wrongly denied refugee status;
    2. deaths of many innocent lives;
    3. forced repatriation;
    4. deprivation measures imposed upon the camp populations;
    5. the birth of a dangerously convenient international precedent which aims to eliminate a refugee situation rather than to resolve it;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Request the Canadian government to make representations to the UNHCR, the CPA steering committee and the CPA fellow signatories to:

    1. establish a mechanism to identify, review and correct cases which have been egregiously denied refugee status, with the use of the UNHCR's mandate authority;
    2. respect the safety and dignity of asylum seekers, by immediately recanting the policy of deprivation measures which has led to reductions in food rations and cuts in educational and medical services;
    3. abstain from the use of force and violence in the repatriation programme;
    4. quickly resettle recognized refugees, many of whom have languished for years in transit camps.
  2. Make direct representations to the UNHCR to this effect.
Whereas:
  1. Genocide is going on in various parts of the world by the governments, armies, paramilitary and civil forces;
  2. Refugees are victims and survivors of and witnesses to genocides;
  3. The present international legal mechanisms cannot adequately address the widespread perpetration of genocide today, notably as it affects girls and women, by means of rape in war;
  4. The United Nations has recently begun to discuss the failure of international mechanisms to respond adequately to the crime of genocide;
Therefore be it resolved:
  1. That the CCR call upon the government of Canada, in international fora:
  2. To address the inadequacy of international mechanisms to respond adequately to the crime of genocide;
  3. To ask for a review of the Genocide Convention;
  4. To provide new funding to the United Nations Human Rights Centre for international human rights mechanisms because these are seriously underfunded.
Whereas:
  1. The report entitled Quality of Mercy by Susan Davis and Lorne Waldman recommends sweeping changes to the process of handling refugee claims;
  2. The report entitled Rebuilding Trust by James Hathaway recommends reforms to the selection, role and training of the people involved with the handling of refugee claims;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Request the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Chairperson of the Immigration and Refugee Board to study the interaction of the above two reports and to prepare an implementation plan to co-ordinate the changes to be made as a result of these reports;
  2. Request that the CCR be made a full participant in the preparation of the above implementation plan;
  3. Undertake to develop by the end of September 1994 a common position on the essential principles from both of the above reports that it will advocate in discussions with the government and the IRB.
Whereas:
  1. The IRB was originally designed in principle to be a non-adversarial adjudicative tribunal;
  2. The IRB has departed from this founding principle and has devolved into an adversarial process;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR strongly endorse the position contained in the Rebuilding Trust report by James Hathaway that the IRB return and adhere to the principle of being a non-adversarial tribunal of inquiry into Convention refugee claims.

Whereas:
  1. There is broad national concern regarding the quality of appointments to the IRB;
  2. There is a need for independent evaluations of new nominees to the IRB;
  3. In the next few months a high percentage of IRB positions are scheduled to be filled or reappointed;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR request that the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration declare a moratorium on new IRB appointments until such time as independent review committees can be established.

Whereas:
  1. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has, by News Release dated May 20, 1994, announced that his Department is establishing an "interim review process" to review negative decisions on refugee claims;
  2. The Minister has invited the CCR to assist in this "interim review process";
Therefore be it resolved:

That:

  1. The CCR is interested in participating in the "interim review" of rejected refugee claimants announced by the Minister;
  2. CCR involvement must include full participation in designing the review process and establishing its criteria and would include representation at all working sessions of the Departmental planning body;
  3. All rejected claims, irrespective of date of rejection, be included in the review;
  4. If the CCR is adequately represented on a management committee to oversee administration of the review, the CCR recommend to its members that they circulate information on the review and that the CCR also encourage its members to assist eligible claimants in making appropriate submissions to the review process, on a non-exclusive basis.

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