Resolutions adopted May 2009

2. Ogoni refugees

Whereas:

the Ogoni people of the Niger Delta of Nigeria, in the number of about 1,000 persons, have been living in Kpomasse refugee camp in Benin for a period of approximately 10 years;

Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR advocate on behalf of the Ogoni refugee population in Benin for a resolution of their situation, including potential resettlement.

3. Sri Lanka – Canadian immigration measures

Whereas:
  1. A humanitarian catastrophe has been unfolding in Sri Lanka since early this year;
  2. More than 300,000 Tamils displaced in the North and East of Sri Lanka are trapped in a deteriorating humanitarian situation and Tamils in other parts of Sri Lanka are vulnerable to harassment, humiliation and threat of violence;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR call on the Government of Canada to:

  1. Facilitate an expedited process to reunify families with relatives at risk in Sri Lanka;
  2. Place a temporary moratorium on removals to Sri Lanka;
  3. Fast-track current and future sponsorship applications from Sri Lanka.

6. Commitment to Asylum

Whereas:
  1. The right to access asylum in Canada is a legal international obligation under the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees;
  2. Resettlement of refugees from abroad, although not an obligation under the Convention, is a demonstration of Canada’s responsibility sharing and commitment to refugees;
  3. The global trend of States to limiting access to asylum is causing the shrinkage of asylum space as the needs increase,
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR call on the government of Canada to:

  1. Reiterate and increase its commitment to continue to resettle refugees from abroad, and at the same time ensure that refugee resettlement numbers overall are not conditional on the number of persons accepted as refugees in Canada;
  2. Comply with its obligations under the Convention to ensure access to fair and efficient status determination for all persons seeking asylum at the Canadian borders and in Canada regardless of the numbers admitted under its resettlement from abroad program.

7. Camp Ashraf

Whereas:
  1. There are 3,400 Iranian dissidents in Iraq at Camp Ashraf who were granted protected persons status under the Fourth Geneva Convention by the Multinational Forces in Iraq. In December 2008 protection of the Camp was handed over to the Government of Iraq;
  2. In January 2009, Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowaffak al Rubaie threatened to make life “intolerable” for the residents of Camp Ashraf in order to spur them to leave Iraq;
  3. Among Al Rubaie’s threats was the forcible relocation of the residents from the Camp, where they have lived for more that two decades and constructed a fully developed town, to an empty desert near the Saudi Arabia border;
  4. Both Amnesty International (AI Index: MDE 14/012/2009, 20 April 2009) and the European Parliament (resolution April 24, 2009) have protested Al Rubaie’s threat of intolerable treatment;
  5. The recent introduction of a large Iraqi police force into Camp Ashraf despite the presence of both the Iraqi and US military at the Camp has alarmed the international community;
  6. George Okoth-Obbo, Director of International Protection, UNHCR, in March 2007 asked the Government of Iraq to refrain from any action that could endanger the life or security of the residents of Camp Ashraf such as their forcible displacement inside Iraq;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Call on the Government of Canada to oppose forcible relocation or any other mistreatment of the residents of Camp Ashraf in violation of international standards, and to assert that the protection and humane treatment of the residents of Camp Ashraf is a matter of international concern which justifies monitoring by the Multinational Forces while they remain in Iraq and afterwards by the international community once the Multinational Forces leave.
  2. Ask the UNHCR to reiterate its 2007 statement about forcible displacement in light of the current situation.

8. Protection of Canadian Citizens Overseas

Whereas:
  1. The protection of Canadian citizens overseas, including Mr. Abousfian Abdelrazik who is stuck in Sudan, is an essential component of citizenship rights;
  2. The denial of a Canadian passport to Mr. Abdelrazik may set a negative precedent of two-tier citizenship and leave citizens with a refugee background in orbit;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR urge the Canadian government to protect Canadian citizens overseas against torture and cruel and unusual treatment and provide them with the right to return with no discrimination whatsoever.

9. Forced returns of Iraqi asylum seekers in European countries

Whereas:
  1. Shelling is occurring in northern Iraq;
  2. The relationship between the Kurdistan province in northern Iraq and the central government is fragile and could lead to violence at any time;
  3. Iraqis are being deported from European countries to Iraq;
  4. Canada has a moratorium on returns to Iraq;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR request the Canadian government to urge European governments to stop deporting Iraqi asylum seekers to Iraq, including to the Kurdistan region.