29. Best interests of the child and deportation of a parent

Nov 2003
Whereas:
  1. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has noted with concern in its recent report on Canada that the "best interests" principle as a primary consideration in all decisions affecting children is not being observed by administrative and judicial authorities in many areas, including in decisions on deportation;
  2. The CCR adopted a resolution in November 2002 calling for guidelines on the best interests of the child;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR call upon the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to develop guidelines for his officers to ensure that the best interests of children affected by a deportation decision are given "primary consideration" as required by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and that, for greater certainty, on public policy grounds, there is a presumption that deportation of the parent of a minor child in Canada would not be in the child's best interest.

Working Group:

13. Privatization of removals

Dec 2000
Whereas:
  1. CIC has been using P&I, a private company, to remove African nationals from Canada to Africa;
  2. The deportees have been forcibly detained and unlawfully confined by a private company;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Write to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to: a) Condemn the use of P&I for removal of deportees; b) Demand to know the legal basis for using P&I;
  2. Demand that the Minister confirm in writing that the practice of using private agents for removals will cease;
  3. Continue to investigate P&I and Citizenship and Immigration Canada's contracting out of removals;
  4. Investigate all possible human rights violations, possible complaints and legal challenges to such practices.
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17. Deportation to the US of persons from countries to which Canada does not deport

Nov 1998
Whereas:
  1. Canada has suspended deportations to Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo (ex-Zaire), Afghanistan, Rwanda, & Burundi;
  2. CIC does not consider this policy to cover removals to third countries, principally the United States;
  3. A significant numbers of claimants arrive at Canadian border points via the United States, often as a result of Canadian interdiction practices;
  4. A growing number of refused refugee claimants face an imminent danger of being removed to the United States, a country which at present has no suspension of deportations to the above-named countries;
  5. The CCR has written several times to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, in the spring and summer of 1998, asking her to suspend removals of these individuals to the United States;
  6. CIC has to date maintained its policy;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Continue to energetically oppose, by all means possible, the implementation of this policy;
  2. Prepare a letter and information kit which CCR members can use to lobby their M.P.s, and to mobilize support from other organizations involved in human rights work.
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17. Deportations to Zaire

Nov 1996
Whereas:
  1. The situation in Zaire is acknowledged by both political and human rights experts to be very volatile, with human rights violations and violence rampant in various parts of the country.
  2. There is effectively no central government in control in Zaire at this time.
  3. Canada, recognizing this serious situation, is presently leading a major humanitarian initiative in Zaire and the Great Lakes Region.
  4. A growing number of Zairois (mostly in Montreal) have already received, or will be receiving, departure dates for the near future.
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Urgently request the Prime Minister of Canada to address this inconsistency in Canadian policy by ordering an immediate suspension of deportations to Zaire.
  2. Request a clarification from the UNHCR on the dangers of deporting people to Zaire at this time.
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21. Tasse report

Nov 1996
Whereas:
  1. The Tassé Report on Canada Immigration removal practices revealed widespread serious concerns, not only on the part of NGOs and the legal profession, but also from front-line removals staff, concerning the removals process.
  2. The Tassé Report concludes that CIC's renewal initiative requires greater emphasis on people. The Report urges that a code of ethics be developed and that a process for greater accountability be instituted for the removals staff.
  3. Policies announced or implemented by CIC have in effect been counter-productive to the spirit of the Tassé Report's recommendations. There have been more deportations and harsher treatment (including incarceration) of many people who are eventually deported to countries (such as Algeria) where life and safety are at grave risk. This situation has forced removals officers to be complicit in breaches of international covenants to which Canada is a signatory regarding security of the person.
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR call on the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to implement the recommendation of the Tassé Report for greater accountability through:

  1. adoption of an effective code of ethics.
  2. training on ethical principles and standards for staff by persons qualified to deal effectively with these issues.
  3. setting up an independent complaints procedure.
  4. setting up a review mechanism to ensure continuing compliance with international standards.
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15. Removals

Nov 1995
Whereas:
  1. The CCR has already on numerous occasions expressed its concerns relating to the manner in which removals are effected and has adopted various resolutions calling on the government to address those concerns;
  2. The public revelation that an immigration officer committed forgery with a view to speeding removal has prompted the Department to ask Roger Tassé to assess removals procedures;
  3. The subsequent arrest of two other immigration officers on charges of forgery only confirms the fundamental nature of the problem;
Therefore be it resolved:

that the CCR, in addition to other previously adopted recommendations:

  1. Call on the Department to:
    • Establish accountability mechanisms, including civilian oversight or an ombudsman, for the Enforcement Branch of the Immigration Department;
    • Protect the deportee's identity vis-a-vis the country to which they are being deported;
    • Respect the principle of family unity by ordering that removals never be effected when the removal would lead to family separation;
  2. Endorse the following recommendations of the assessment of the CIC-RCMP task force, dated May 25, 1995:
    • that the Department develop a Code of Conduct and Discipline for investigators;
    • that the Department undertake a pro-active recruiting campaign to attract women and visible minorities to the enforcement function;
    • that the Department design and implement a community based approach to the issue of illegal immigration;
    • that all persons employed in the enforcement function receive cross cultural training.
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