5. 2014 Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention

Nov 2014
Whereas:
  1. The General Conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO) adopted a new protocol to the Forced Labour Convention in June 2014 in order to address gaps in the implementation of the Convention, and to protect vulnerable workers from abuse;
  2. Canadian labour laws fail to adequately protect migrant workers, leaving them at risk of abuse, conditions of forced or compulsory labour, exploitation and human trafficking; this is a growing yet preventable problem;
Therefore be it resolved:

that the CCR call upon the government of Canada to ratify the 2014 Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention, and to implement all of its provisions.

3. Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture

Jun 2006
Whereas:
  1. There is now an optional protocol to the Convention against Torture which provides for on-site visits to detention centres around the world and which is open to signatures by member states;
  2. This protocol will not come into effect until 20 countries have ratified it and only six have currently ratified it;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR call upon the Canadian government and urge our sister organizations to ask for other governments to ratify the Optional Protocol of the Convention against Torture so that this can come into effect as soon as possible.

Working Group:

2. International mechanisms for human rights and the new Human Rights Council

Jun 2006
Whereas:
  1. The Human Rights Commission of the United Nations has ceased to exist and the new Human Rights Council has come into existence;
  2. There are a large number of Special Rapporteurs and special procedures whose existence depends on resolutions of the Human Rights Commission and whose expertise we do not want to lose;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR call upon the Canadian government and other governments to support the renewal of all of the current mandates of Special Rapporteurs and special non-conventional procedures of the United Nations in order not to lose their expertise.

Working Group:

27. Refugee claims by children and the Hague convention

Nov 2003
Whereas:

Recent family court decisions in B.C. and Ontario have provided that a child who comes under the jurisdiction of the Hague Convention and who is a refugee claimant in Canada could be returned to the country where she fears persecution prior to a determination of the refugee claim;

Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR work with the UNHCR and with the UN committee that monitors the Hague Convention and with the Departments of Justice of the provinces which are parties to the Hague Convention to ensure that these two international covenants are applied in a manner that does not interfere with a child's right to have a refugee claim determined and not to be refouled to a country where she has a well-founded fear of persecution.

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11. Human rights training

Dec 2000
Whereas:
  1. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in its report invited Canada to draw on the resources of the OAS human rights system;
  2. Training for IRB members in international human rights law is not given by a competent arms-length human rights body;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR call on the IRB to:

  1. Pay the IACHR to provide training in international human rights law for the IRB members and RCOs;
  2. Open their training sessions to the CCR and members of the bar.
Working Group:

12. Federal Court and international human rights obligations

Jun 1997
Whereas:
  1. The Federal Court of Canada has been extremely reticent to apply the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international human rights obligations in the judicial review process for refugee claimants and non-residents;
  2. Immigration and refugee practitioners are frustrated with the negative attitude of the Federal Court to refugee and immigration issues;
  3. The Federal Court leave requirements and the process for certification for appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal afford less access to the Court by refugee claimants and immigrants than the average Canadian has to appeal a conviction for a traffic ticket;
  4. The news media and notes produced before the Supreme Court of Canada have shown that there have been improper contacts between the Ministry of Justice and the Federal Court and there are currently inquiries by the Canadian Judicial Council and the Ministry of Justice;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Demand that the independence of the Federal Court be reaffirmed and that, more particularly, contacts between the government and its quasi-judicial bodies and the Federal Court without the presence of the opposing parties or non-governmental organizations cease immediately and that the current inquiries be expanded to include such contacts;
  2. Express its concern to the Minister of Justice that the Federal Court is not consistently applying the Charter and our international human rights obligations and that it is overly restrictive in its application of judicial review in its handling of immigration and refugee matters and ask the Minister of Justice to commission an independent study on the effectiveness of the judicial review remedy;
  3. Ask that the federal government appoint judges to the Federal Court who have an immigration and refugee law background, particularly those who are members of the immigration bar.
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23. American Convention on Human Rights

Nov 1995
Whereas:
  1. Canada is a member of the Organization of American States which has developed a human rights instrument, the American Convention on Human Rights;
  2. Canada has entered economic agreements with the U.S. and Mexico and plans to enter a joint asylum granting agreement with the U.S.;
  3. Mexico has ratified, and the U.S. has signed, the American Convention on Human Rights;
  4. The Convention offers enhanced protections for non-citizens with respect to certain rights, notably family rights and procedural rights;
Therefore be it resolved:

that the CCR:

  1. Urge Canada to ratify the American Convention on Human Rights;
  2. Invite the Network on International Human Rights to hold discussions with a view to increasing awareness of the functioning of the OAS human rights system and thereby encouraging such ratification.
Working Group:

24. Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers

Nov 1995
Whereas:

 the consequences of migration include serious abuses and injustices for migrant workers, especially migrant women and children;

Therefore be it resolved:

that the CCR call on the Canadian government to ratify the Convention on the rights of all migrant workers and their families.

22. Non-citizens and international human rights treaties

Nov 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.
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12. Convention on the rights of the child

Nov 1994
Whereas:
  1. The Canadian Council of Churches and the Inter-Church Committee for Refugees have cooperated in the preparation of a brief submitted by ICCR to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about non-citizen children;
  2. The CCR meets regularly with senior immigration officials;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR support the thrust of the Brief submitted by ICCR and raise the major recommendations of the Brief at its meeting with officials, namely:

  1. providing training programs on the Convention for the various actors in immigration procedures;
  2. allowing the children of non-citizens to benefit from the Canadian Human Rights Act as of right;
  3. introducing provisions of the Convention into the Immigration Act and Regulations relating to overseas procedures; children in hearings and interviews; family reunion procedures; and access to essential health and social services.
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