Inland Protection

Tasse report

Resolution number: 
21
November 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.
Subject: 
Working Group: 

Simple court remedy

Resolution number: 
20
November 1996
Whereas: 
  1. The refoulement of Ms Mbulu after Canadian post-claim procedures against the express wishes of the UN Rapporteur against Torture and the many cases before international human rights committees and commissions reveal a problem with Canadian post-claim procedures.
  2. International law requires a simple, that is one-step, court procedure when fundamental human rights are at issue.
  3. Canada has agreed to ensure or guarantee human rights for everyone on the territory, including when there is a real risk of a violation of a fundamental right consequential to expulsion.
  4. There was a major report revealing the inadequacy of risk review and humanitarian and compassionate review by Davis and Waldman which recommended inclusion of international human rights standards.
  5. Some way of better acquainting Canadians with current international human rights standards is needed.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR urge the Government of Canada to:

  1. Review legislation to ensure a simple (one step) effective court remedy when fundamental rights arise in expulsion.
  2. Write to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights asking them to hold a seminar in Canada with international experts from international committees and commissions and members of the Canadian legal community to advise on current requirements of international human rights law for the new legislation.
Working Group: 

Country risk assessment

Resolution number: 
19
November 1996
Whereas: 
  1. CIC's process for assessing country risk functions secretly and without public oversight or legal control.
  2. The CCR has condemned the functioning of the current post-determination review.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Demand full access to the records of the Advisory Committee on Country Conditions for Removal including the information sources of this committee.
  2. Write to the Minister asking for an open process, including an organized and systematic process for NGOs and human rights organizations to have input to this committee.
  3. Ask for an opportunity for NGO input into CIC's country profiles.
Working Group: 

IRB appointments

Resolution number: 
18
November 1996
Whereas: 
  1. The CCR has passed res. 11, May 1992; res. 23 November 1993 and res. 29, June 1994.
  2. Appointments to the Immigration and Refugee Board remain political, despite the existence of an advisory committee on appointments.
  3. This politicization manifests itself not only in poorly qualified candidates being appointed or reappointed, but as well, highly qualified candidates not being appointed or reappointed.
  4. The continued political nature of appointments means that there remains a core of Immigration and Refugee Board Refugee Division members who are not capable of functioning competently without the assistance of another Refugee Division member present at the hearing to assist them.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to:

  1. Withdraw from Bill C-49 the proposal that Refugee Division panels be reduced from two to one.
  2. Stop the appointment of IRB members based on political factors and instead base such decisions on the merit and competence of candidates.
Subject: 
Working Group: 

Deportations to Zaire

Resolution number: 
17
November 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.
Working Group: 

DROC passport requirements

Resolution number: 
16
November 1996
Whereas: 
  1. Refugee claimants eligible for landing in Canada through the DROC program often left their homeland for fear of persecution.
  2. The Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta is requiring that all eligible DROC applicants submit a passport as ID for landing purposes.
  3. Some refugee claimants eligible for acceptance into Canada through the DROC program are extremely afraid to approach the embassies of their homeland to request passports fearing that it could endanger their own lives or those of their loved ones in their homeland.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR request that CIC waive the requirement of specifically providing passports as ID in cases where DROC applicants fear that their life or the lives of their loved ones in their homeland could be put at risk by requesting such a passport at their embassy. Instead, other types of ID should be permitted for processing purposes.

Working Group: 

Identity documents

Resolution number: 
15
November 1996
Whereas: 
  1. The CCR moved a resolution in June 1996 clearly outlining requirements for an acceptable solution to the ID issue.
  2. The CCR submitted a detailed brief in October 1996.
  3. Article 27 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees states that contracting states shall issue identity papers to any refugee in their territory who does not possess a valid travel document.
  4. Draft regulations published on November 16, 1996 fails to address any of the preconditions contained in the resolutions and the brief.
  5. The proposed regulations will discriminate on the basis of race and national origin and create a measurable hardship for Convention refugees in Canada and their families abroad.
  6. The impact of these regulations will be particularly harsh on families and children.
  7. The regulations demonstrate a clear departure from Canada's commitment to the protection of refugees.
  8. The regulations do not respond to solutions, offered in good faith by representatives of Somali, Iranian, Afghan, Sri Lankan and other communities in interminable and numerous meetings with the government.
  9. The draft regulations do nothing for people in refugee-like situations.
  10. The Immigration and Refugee Board had determined the identity of anyone found to be a Convention refugee.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Reject the draft ID regulations published November 16, 1996.
  2. Call on the Canadian government to: a) Amend the Immigration Act to remove the requirement for identity documents for Convention refugees, and others in refugee-like situations. b) Withdraw the proposed regulations; or in the alternative:i) commit resources to land affected persons within 6 months. ii) direct immigration officers to give greater weight to personal interviews and other documentary evidence when primary documents cannot be obtained.iii) make an exemption to permit family reunification where the passage of time due to delays in landing processing has prevented sponsorship.
  3. Submit a detailed brief of their criticisms of the regulations and call on member agencies to do the same.
  4. Call on the UNHCR to condemn the proposed regulations on the grounds that they violate Canada's international obligation to protect families, children and refugees and to facilitate family reunification.
Working Group: 

Identity documents

Resolution number: 
15
June 1997
Whereas: 
  1. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has introduced the Undocumented Convention Refugee in Canada Class (UCRCC) as a proposed solution to the problems created by 46.04(8) of the Immigration Act;
  2. The UCRCC is only effective until January 1999;
  3. The House Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration rejected the five year waiting period before applying for landed immigrant status;
  4. The five year wait under UCRCC will cause: (1)undue hardship for refugees (such as extended or permanent family separation);(2)significant barriers to successful integration of refugees in relation to education, employment, health care and travel outside Canada;
  5. All people subject to the UCRCC have already been recognized as Convention refugees;
  6. 80% of the people affected by the UCRCC regulations are women and children who do not fit the profile of war criminals or security risk that the Minister referred to in justifying the five year waiting period;
  7. Only two countries, Somalia and Afghanistan, are presently included in the UCRCC, and there has been no solution proposed for persons from other countries in similar situations;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR urge the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to:

  1. Abolish the five-year waiting period provided for under the UCRCC and land all Convention refugees using the identification documentation which they already have and/or accepting statutory declarations as proof of identification;
  2. Allocate resources to the granting of landed status within six months to those persons who have already completed the UCRCC waiting period;
  3. Notify all eligible members of the UCRCC of their eligibility so that they know that they may apply for landing;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the CCR write to the Québec Ministre des Relations avec les citoyens et de l'Immigration, requesting his support for our position on this issue.

Working Group: 

Guidelines to replace DROC

Resolution number: 
14
June 1997
Whereas: 
  1. The DROC regulations have been eliminated;
  2. Chapter 1E 9 of the Immigration Manual has been changed to include guidelines dealing with applicants who have not been removed from Canada for a considerable period of time;
  3. The emphasis in the guidelines is placed on economic self-sufficiency by requiring that applicants be successfully established under the criteria used for Illegal De Facto Residents (listed in IE 9.15(3));
  4. These establishment criteria may discriminate against vulnerable groups (such as the elderly, women and children);
  5. Unlike the former DROC regulations, the guideline requiring full cooperation of the applicant with the department places too great an onus on the applicant and too much potential for inconsistent interpretation by the department;
  6. The new guidelines are very restrictive and apply only to those few countries where removals have been suspended or where the applicant has had to go and apply to their government for travel documents and does not include individuals who have just not been removed;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That CCR urge the government to amend the guidelines to:

  1. Ensure that people who through no fault of their own have not achieved economic self-sufficiency but have otherwise become successfully established are not excluded from being accepted for permanent residence;
  2. Clarify that full cooperation means that applicants have done nothing to interfere with their removal;
  3. Delete the reference in paragraph (a)(i) and (ii) of the guidelines to ensure that the policy applies to anyone who has remained in Canada.
Working Group: 

PDRCC review

Resolution number: 
13
June 1997
Whereas: 
  1. There have been recent changes to the Post Determination Refugee Claimants in Canada Class (PDRCC) instituting a rigid fifteen day deadline for application;
  2. The PDRCC review process will be simultaneous with the judicial review process before the Federal Court and as such is a duplication of cost and expense which may not be necessary if the judicial review is successful;
  3. It is onerous for counsel to do both the judicial review and the PDRCC submissions at the same time, which may result in a reduction in quality of representation;
  4. Changes in country conditions may occur after the PDRCC decision is made and before deportation, putting the applicant at risk if returned to his/her country of origin;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That that the CCR urge that:

  1. The PDRCC review be applied to all rejected refugee claimants whether they apply for it or not;
  2. The PDRCC review be done shortly before removal, rather than after a negative CRDD decision or after a negative Federal Court decision;
  3. The PDRCC decisions be made under the auspices of the Immigration and Refugee Board, instead of by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and by qualified personnel with expertise in specific country conditions and international human rights standards and standards of procedural fairness.
  4. People with criminal convictions not be excluded from consideration for the PDRCC as it is against Canada's international obligations, and specifically against Canada's obligations as a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
Working Group: 

Federal Court and international human rights obligations

Resolution number: 
12
June 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.
Working Group: 

Expedited hearing process - Vancouver pilot project

Resolution number: 
11
June 1997
Whereas: 
  1. The Convention Refugee Determination Division intends to introduce a pilot project in Vancouver requiring that all refugee claimants go through the expedited process interview with an RCO that would be tape recorded, with the transcripts available should the case go to full hearing;
  2. The process will unnecessarily complicate the hearing process for those cases which are required to proceed to full hearing;
  3. The process will prejudice the claimants who go to full hearing by making it known to the Board members conducting the full hearing that the claimant has not been recommended by the expedited process;
  4. Use of the recording of the pre-hearing conference or RCO notes at the full hearing will create a hearing process which overly focuses on contradictions between the PIF, the transcript of the pre-hearing conference and the full hearing and create an overly adversarial environment during the hearing;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Oppose the introduction of the Vancouver Immigration and Refugee Board pilot project of holding obligatory pre-hearing conferences which will be recorded;
  2. Urge that the expedited hearing process conserve its administrative autonomy and remain completely separate from the full hearing process;
  3. Urge that the existence of the expedited hearing process continue not to be disclosed to the Board members conducting the full hearing process.
Working Group: 

IRB presumption against certain claims

Resolution number: 
10
June 1997
Whereas: 
  1. The Immigration and Refugee Board has been handling all claims to Convention refugee status from Chileans, Mexicans and other nationalities as if all such claims were manifestly unfounded claims (MUCs);
  2. This practice of the IRB denies the individuality of claims and goes against the policy of case by case determination;
  3. This practice by the IRB may lead to the rejection of valid claims;
  4. This practice of the IRB may be applied to refugee claimants from other countries;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR demand that the IRB take steps to stop the practice of treating all claims from particular countries as if they were all manifestly unfounded.

Subject: 
Working Group: 

IRB scheduling

Resolution number: 
9
June 1997
Whereas: 
  1. The IRB in Montreal has adopted a new policy on scheduling refugee claims and as a result will be hearing a large percentage of more recently arrived refugee claimants ahead of claims that have been waiting for a longer time;
  2. This policy will increase the hardship of many refugee claimants who have already been suffering the effects of long delays;
  3. Administrative needs should not be put ahead of the rights of refugees to a just and speedy hearing of their claims;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Is opposed to the implementation of the new IRB policy, which will put recent claims ahead of pre-existing claims for their own administrative purposes;
  2. Express to the IRB our deep concerns and opposition to this policy.
Subject: 
Working Group: 

Safe third country agreement and U.S. standards

Resolution number: 
8
June 1997
Whereas: 
  1. The CCR has adopted a resolution strongly opposing any Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)/Safe Third Country Agreement (STC) between the United States and Canada;
  2. The United States government has recently passed regressive immigration legislation;
  3. This legislation has resulted in the summary removal of approximately 4,000 people from the US between April 1 and May 13, 1997, as a result of lack of identity documents;
  4. Some of the people who have been summarily removed have been en route to Canada to make refugee claims;
  5. These summary removals provide conclusive evidence that the United States is not meeting standards of protection articulated in the Geneva Convention;
  6. The Québec Ministre des Relations avec les citoyens et de l'Immigration has publicly supported the implementation of the MOA/STC agreement;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Condemn this shift in US immigration policy and procedure and reiterate its strong opposition to the negotiation of any MOA or STC agreement;
  2. Write to the Québec Ministre des Relations avec les citoyens et de l'Immigration explaining our position on this issue and urging him to withdraw his support for the MOA/STC agreement.
Working Group: 

New mail-in system for refugee claimants at ports of entry in Ontario

Resolution number: 
7
June 1997
Whereas: 
  1. The Pilot "Mail-In" Project first implemented by CIC at Pearson Airport about 6 months ago is being implemented in Fort Erie and Niagara Falls, Ontario as of May 15, 1997;
  2. There is no public knowledge of any evaluation regarding its value nor was there any consultation or discussion with NGOs or organizations working with refugees previous to its initial implementation or extended implementation in Fort Erie and in Niagara Falls;
  3. Refugee claimants no longer have the same access to assistance from Canadian legal counsel nor Canadian refugee support workers familiar with Canadian law and process;
  4. American refugee support workers are being overwhelmed with paperwork, lack needed resources and are unfamiliar with the Canadian system and the after-effects of what may be written on these forms;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Request a public evaluation of the project at Pearson International Airport involving NGOs, legal workers and organizations working with refugees which would include the following:

    a)the criteria on which the decision was made to extend this project to Niagara Falls and Fort Erie;

    b)the consideration of the extent to which Canada Immigration considers this policy to be beneficial to refugee claimants;

  2. Oppose the extension of this "write-in" process to ports of entry in other provinces of Canada.
Subject: 
Working Group: 

Port of entry

Resolution number: 
6
June 1997
Whereas: 
  1. Section 44 of the Immigration Act prevents a person from making a claim if they have been issued an exclusion order;
  2. Senior Immigration Officers were given the power to issue exclusion orders under the former Bill C-86;
  3. Some Senior Immigration Officers (SIOs) have not been ensuring that persons concerned are aware that they must claim refugee status or they are ineligible and barred from later making a refugee claim;
  4. Many refugees believe wrongly that they must be admitted to Canada before they can make a refugee claim;
  5. Due to poor interpretation, inadequate or poor explanation or undue pressure persons at risk have been removed or detained;
  6. There have been many incidents such as the recent case of stowaways in Halifax where the SIO appears to have failed to ensure that the applicants knew of their right to claim refugee status;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Write the Minister and explain how Section 44 is being abused by SIOs and request an amendment to ensure that a person may be able to make a refugee claim even if an exclusion order has been issued;
  2. Write to the Director General of Enforcement, CIC, and demand that he issue guidelines to SIOs that ensure that refugee claimants are cautioned that they must make their claim before they issue an exclusion order and that they make sure that the person concerned has a full and fair opportunity to make an informed decision.

 

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Family reunification

Resolution number: 
17
November 1997
Whereas: 
  1. There is an interdepartmental committee of CIC considering new measures to speed up family reunification for refugees;
  2. The CCR supports a policy which would allow the dependants of refugees who are overseas to come into Canada and be processed within for landing;
  3. The CCR has recommended measures promoting speedy family reunification in Res. 13, November 1995;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR write to CIC in support of measures allowing dependants abroad to be processed in Canada and requesting that CCR be consulted and allowed to make representations on such changes.

Working Group: 

Written lists

Resolution number: 
16
November 1997
Whereas: 
  1. CIC has a list of countries to which it does not at present deport nationals from those countries, but has not made this list available in writing;
  2. The recommendations made to the Minister by the Advisory Committee on Country Conditions for Removal are not made public;
  3. Neither the Minister's decisions to suspend nor to resume deportations are communicated to the public;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Write to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration requesting a written confirmation of the list to which Canada does not presently deport nationals of these countries;
  2. Request that the Minister direct the Immigration department to automatically make public in writing any further decisions regarding either suspensions or resumptions of deportations.
Working Group: 

Nigeria

Resolution number: 
15
November 1997
Whereas: 
  1. Canada has taken a laudable leadership role within the Commonwealth in the initiative to condemn the Nigerian government for its extensive violation of human rights;
  2. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has declared that human rights should be an important consideration in Canadian foreign policy;
  3. Canada has suspended diplomatic relations with Nigeria and closed its embassy in Lagos;
  4. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has still not made a decision to suspend deportations to Nigeria, thus creating a contradiction in policy between two Ministers of the same government;
  5. This policy may put Nigerian nationals deported back to their country at special risk of harassment and retaliation and persecution;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Write to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration requesting an immediate suspension of deportations to Nigeria;
  2. Write to the Minister of Foreign Affairs asking for his intervention in this matter;
  3. Distribute copies of the above letters to all members of the CCR requesting them to also send similar letters;
  4. Publicize our position in a communiqué issued to the media and other relevant organizations.
Working Group: 

Passport requirement for Iranian refugee and hack applicants

Resolution number: 
14
November 1997
Whereas: 
  1. Arbitrary arrests and gross violations of human rights have been the most significant characteristic of the Islamic Republic of Iran policy;
  2. Tyranny and religious intolerance by the authorities have claimed thousands of lives in Iran;
  3. Detention of ex-political prisoners has become a nightmare for prisoners and their families;
  4. Women in Iran are treated as second class citizens and face persecution and stoning to death as Amnesty International has reported;
  5. Iranian refugees do not wish to face again their torturers who appear as government agents at embassies;
  6. In order to process an application for travel documents the Iranian embassy demands personal information of refugees including the way they escaped Iran;
  7. Due to the prevailing situation in Iran, deporting rejected refugee claimants and refugees accused of criminal offenses to that country would certainly jeopardize their lives, putting them at risk of torture or death;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR write to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration urging her to direct immigration officials reviewing H&C applications to exercise their discretion pursuant to Section 2.1 of the Immigration Regulations to exempt refused Iranian refugees from the requirement to have a passport and to accept satisfactory alternative identity documents.

Working Group: 

DRC rejections

Resolution number: 
13
November 1997
Whereas: 
  1. Many claimants from the former Zaire, now the DRC, are being refused by the IRB;
  2. Many of the decisions appear to be based on inadequate country information;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR write:

  1. The chair of the IRB urging that a training session regarding current country conditions in Zaire/DRC be organized on an urgent basis, and that lawyers and NGOs be invited to participate;
  2. The Refugee Branch requesting the same for PCDOs.
Working Group: 

RCO's seconded from CIC

Resolution number: 
12
November 1997
Whereas: 
  1. CIC has responsibility for enforcement of the Immigration Act including, among other things, interdiction, the assessment of eligibility of refugee claimants, the opposing of refugee claims in certain instances and the removal of unsuccessful refugee claimants from Canada;
  2. The employment by the IRB (CRDD) of RCO's previously or presently employees of Canada Immigration gives rise to an appearance of bias and is inconsistent with the non-adversarial model of refugee determination;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR express its opposition to the recruitment of previous or present CIC employees for the role of RCO.

Working Group: 

DIRB sources

Resolution number: 
11
November 1997
Whereas: 
  1. The IRB (CRDD) currently allows documents from its Documentation Centres to be entered into evidence at hearings despite the absence of the name of the source of the document;
  2. This practice contravenes the principles of fairness;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR urge the IRB to ensure that any document supplied by the IRB's documentation centre contain proper identification and naming of sources of any information in that document when that document is entered into evidence at a hearing.

Subject: 
Working Group: 

IRB guidelines on unaccompanied minors

Resolution number: 
10
November 1997
Whereas: 
  1. The IRB Chairperson has issued guidelines on unaccompanied minors;
  2. There is nothing in the guidelines to encourage expedited hearings, nor avoiding full hearings, nor on recognizing the principle of family reunification;
  3. There are often compelling reasons to expedite unaccompanied minors and very little difference between their claims and the claims of their parents, siblings or relatives whose claims have already been adjudicated positively;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR write to the IRB Chairperson to recommend that:

  1. Expedited hearings be generously used for such children;
  2. The IRB develop substantive guidelines for children which will include family reunification as one of its principles.
Working Group: 

Unaccompanied minors entering Canada

Resolution number: 
9
November 1997
Whereas: 
  1. The Ports of Entry at the US border have not in the past allowed unaccompanied minors to enter Canada to make refugee claims without a guardian to receive them;
  2. Due to the work of VIVE Buffalo and CIC P.O.E. at Niagara, an agreement has been reached to allow unaccompanied minors to enter Canada rather than be returned to the US;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR request that the Department implement a National Policy allowing entry of unaccompanied minors on the same basis as the Buffalo/Niagara agreement.

Working Group: 

CIC information-gathering guidelines

Resolution number: 
8
November 1997
Whereas: 
  1. The CCR is aware of numerous cases in which CIC's information-gathering practices have jeopardized the security of refugee claimants and their families;
  2. The CCR is not aware of the existence of any adequate CIC guidelines on information-gathering practices;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call upon the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to:

  1. Draft and implement guidelines for the gathering of information concerning Convention refugee claimants;
  2. Ensure the Guidelines so developed are similar in nature and intent to the IRB's Guidelines with respect to the gathering of claimant-specific information and include the assurance that the security of the refugee claimant and his/her family will be paramount and that notice is given to claimants of proposed information searches with an opportunity for the claimant and his/her counsel to respond;
  3. Ensure that such Guidelines are binding on any government agency involved in the gathering of information concerning refugee claimants, including but not limited to the RCMP and CSIS.
Working Group: 

International day of survivors of torture

Resolution number: 
18
May 1998
Whereas: 
  1. The scourge of torture continues throughout the world;
  2. There is an urgent need to raise public awareness in Canada about torture;
  3. The UN General Assembly has proclaimed June 26, 1998 as the International Day in support of Victims of Torture;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call upon the government of Canada to endorse the UN decision by declaring June 26 as the Canadian Day in support of survivors of torture.

Working Group: 

Border direct-backs and detention

Resolution number: 
17
May 1998
Whereas: 
  1. In June of 1996, in response to the U.S. INS detention of Canada-bound refugee claimants and the subsequent processing of said claimants for deportation, the CCR passed a resolution urging CIC to cease turning refugee claimants back to the U.S.;
  2. INS detentions of Canada-bound refugee claimants have continued and, in fact, broadened in 1998 to include detentions in the Niagara Region, Blackpool and Minnesota;
  3. INS has continued to detain certain refugee claimants, even after such claimants have received Canadian eligibility determinations, thereby denying these claimants the opportunity to pursue their refugee claims in Canada;
  4. In an April 29, 1998 letter to the President of the CCR, the Acting Director General of the Enforcement Branch, CIC NHQ, stated, "...it is our policy that no person will be returned to the United States where there is reason to believe that they will be removed from the U.S. before the scheduled eligibility determination or would otherwise be unavailable because of detention. We are reviewing our procedures manual to ensure that this is clearly understood";
  5. Despite the above-cited policy, CIC in the Niagara Region has continued to direct refugee claimants back to the United States to await eligibility determinations, which has resulted in the detention of a troubling number of people;
  6. CIC's practice at certain border crossings of closing the border to refugee claimants on certain days of the week or at certain times of the year has also led to U.S. detentions of Canada-bound refugees awaiting Canadian processing;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR urge CIC to:

  1. Process refugee claimants immediately upon their arrival at the border, rather than closing the border to refugee claimants on certain days of the week or at certain times of the year.
  2. Discontinue the practice of directing refugee claimants back to the United States.
  3. In cases where Canada-bound refugee claimants have been detained by the INS, request that INS release such individuals to Canada to proceed with Canadian refugee claims.
Subject: 
Working Group: 

Protection of gay men and lesbians

Resolution number: 
16
May 1998
Whereas: 
  1. Gay men and lesbians are recognized as a particular social group by the federal court;
  2. Gay men and lesbians are protected from discrimination under section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
  3. Most Canadian provinces currently recognize gay and lesbian relationships as legally equal to heterosexual relationships;
  4. The CCR has adopted a resolution on "Guidelines and Education on Sexual Orientation for the IRB" (Res 16, Nov 94);
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on the federal government to:

  1. Grant equal legal status to same-sex relationships within the Family Class as is currently given heterosexual relationships;
  2. Exempt refugees from rejection on the basis of medical inadmissibility, particularly gays and lesbians with HIV/AIDS;
  3. Extend full and equal protection to people fleeing persecution based on sexual orientation at visa offices;
  4. Waive the one-year cohabitation requirement for overseas sponsorship of a same-sex partner and to substitute it with an appropriate non-discriminatory alternative.
Subject: 
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