Inland Protection

Human rights training

Resolution number: 
11
December 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: 

IRB complaint mechanism

Resolution number: 
10
December 2000
Whereas: 
  1. Numerous members of CCR and other refugee advocates have criticized the lack of an effective procedure to deal with complaints about Convention Refugee Determination Division members' and Refugee Claims Officers' behaviour and competence;
  2. The complaint procedures and protocols implemented, to date, by the Immigration and Refugee Board have failed to adequately address the concerns of refugees and their advocates;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call upon the Immigration and Refugee Board to:

  1. Introduce a procedure whereby complaints related to the behaviour or competence of Convention Refugee Determination Division members and Refugee Claims Officers will be investigated by an independent person or panel;
  2. Develop and implement a policy which clearly sets out what consequences flow from a finding that a Convention Refugee Determination Division member or Refugee Claims Officer has engaged in inappropriate behaviour or has acted in an incompetent manner.
Subject: 
Working Group: 

Eligibility interview interpretation

Resolution number: 
8
December 2000
Whereas: 
  1. Citizenship and Immigration Canada does not consistently provide refugee claimants with interpreters at eligibility interviews;
  2. The notes which are produced by Citizenship and Immigration Canada at eligibility interviews are given great weight at hearings before the Convention Refugee Determination Division;
  3. The lack of interpretation at an eligibility interview can and does create confusion and misunderstanding between refugee claimants and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR urge that Citizenship and Immigration Canada provide an accredited interpreter at all eligibility interviews.

 

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Unaccompanied minors

Resolution number: 
7
December 2000
Whereas: 
  1. There are serious problems with unaccompanied migrant and refugee claimant children entering Canada (e.g. (1) difference between Provinces in assessment, treatment and support; (2) inconsistency with institutions concerned with protection and representation of unaccompanied migrant and refugee claimant children (IRB, detention));
  2. Considerable research has been done by UNHCR, Save the Children and other organizations concerned with the rights of children;
  3. Canada does not have clear and consistent guidelines and legislation to deal fairly with migrant and refugee claimant children;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR collaborate with the UNHCR to research and develop recommendations regarding legislation, policy and appropriate protocols to ensure fair treatment of unaccompanied migrant and refugee claimant children consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

 

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Inquiry into racial bias

Resolution number: 
13
May 2001
Whereas: 
  1. There have been a series of allegations of racial bias and institutional racism concerning members of the IRB and its personnel;
  2. There have been no serious studies of these allegations of racial bias;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the Executive appoint a task group to:

  1. Gather together and assess information relating to possible racial bias and institutional racism in the IRB;
  2. Decide whether or not to recommend to the Executive that the CCR request the IRB to conduct a public and independent inquiry into problems of racial bias and institutional racism at the IRB.
Working Group: 

Permanent residence for persons from countries to which Canada does not deport

Resolution number: 
12
May 2001
Whereas: 
  1. Citizenship and Immigration Canada maintains a list of countries to which Canada does not generally deport individuals from those countries;
  2. A significant number of people from those countries, who are subject to deportation, have now been in Canada for many years and have no avenue to resolve their situation;
  3. Living in this limbo situation causes great hardship and suffering, including long term separation from immediate family members;
  4. It is very difficult for persons in this situation to be accepted for permanent residence through the Humanitarian and Compassionate stream;
  5. This situation will continue to prevail after the implementation of the new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Bill C-11);
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR write to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration urging that a process be established which will facilitate the granting of permanent residence to all individuals who have been in Canada for more than three years and who are from countries on the list.

 

Working Group: 

National detention standards

Resolution number: 
11
May 2001
Whereas: 
  1. National Detention Standards remain at a draft stage but function as de facto guidelines;
  2. It is acknowledged that there are no management oversight boards for detention facilities within the CIC structure and no satisfactory complaint mechanisms;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR urge CIC to:

  1. Amend and adopt the draft National Detention Standards in line with NGO proposed amendments;
  2. Establish management oversight boards for CIC detention facilities and an effective complaint mechanism for detainees and NGOs;
  3. Adopt national detention standards for persons detained in non-CIC facilities.
Subject: 
Working Group: 

Detention monitoring

Resolution number: 
10
May 2001
Whereas: 

The Canadian Red Cross is about to sign a Detention Monitoring Agreement to monitor CIC detention facilities;

Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR urge CIC to disclose the findings of the Red Cross reports as fully as possible consistent with the principles of the Red Cross including confidentiality.

 

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Interdiction and airlines

Resolution number: 
9
May 2001
Whereas: 
  1. The CCR opposes interdiction and has affirmed in Resolution 13 of May 93 and in the report of a task force published in May 1998 and entitled Interdicting Refugees its commitment to the right to seek asylum in Canada, but notes that the practice of interdiction continues;
  2. The International Air Transport Association Control Authority Working Group Code of Conduct for Immigration Liaison Officers of October 1998 provides that Liaison Officers should direct requests for asylum to the office of the UNHCR or to the appropriate diplomatic mission (paragraph 2.3);
  3. Interception of refugee claimants en route to Canada is normally effected by airline staff or subcontracted security firms who are not subject to the code of conduct and not by governmental Liaison Officers;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR ask all airlines with offices in Canada transporting passengers to Canada to adopt a code of conduct for their airline staff, the staff of any allied airlines acting as their agents, and subcontracted security firms effecting interceptions which would provide that intercepting employees provide information to every person intercepted about:

a) the refugee claim procedure in the country of interception.

b) the local office of the UNHCR.

c) the diplomatic mission of the country of destination in the country of interception.

d) local non-governmental organizations that could assist the person in making a refugee claim.

Working Group: 

Jubilee from CIC

Resolution number: 
8
May 2001
Whereas: 
  1. In the past when the immigration system has undergone a substantial change the government has allowed those caught up in the older system to receive landing under relaxed criteria;
  2. There are a substantial number of protection claimants caught up at various stages in the present immigration system;
  3. The Canadian Government is proposing a complete overhaul of the present system through Bill C-11;
  4. It is undesirable to burden the new immigration system with a substantial caseload from the old system;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR ask the Government of Canada, as part of the implementation of Bill C-11:

  1. To allow all those caught up in the present protection determination system at its various stages to apply for landing in Canada under relaxed criteria;
  2. That all decisions in response to these landing applications be made forthwith.
Working Group: 

Exclusion clause guidelines

Resolution number: 
7
May 2001
Whereas: 
  1. The UNHCR exclusion clause guidelines of December 1996 provide that: a) in principle, the applicability of the exclusion clauses should be considered only after the adjudicator is satisfied that the individual fulfils the criteria for refugee status (guidelines 9). b) an assessment of a claim requires that the nature of the crime and the claimant’s role in it be weighed against the gravity of the persecution feared (guideline 9). c) the exclusion clauses need to be interpreted restrictively (guideline 8);
  2. The Federal Court has said that: a) it is not legally necessary to decide inclusion before exclusion, but it is desirable to do so. b) the refugee definition does not require that the gravity of the crime be balanced against the gravity of the persecution feared. c) the Board must be extremely cautious in its application of the exclusion clauses, but also that the standard of proof is less than the balance of probabilities;
  3. The Immigration Act gives the Chairperson of the Immigration and Refugee Board power to issue guidelines to the Board;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR ask the Chairperson of the Immigration and Refugee Board to issue guidelines to its Refugee Division on the exclusion clauses that would include the principles that:

  1. Inclusion should precede exclusion;
  2. The gravity of the offence should be balanced against the gravity of the persecution feared;
  3. The standard of proof should be higher than a balance of probabilities.
Subject: 
Working Group: 

Data collection and sharing

Resolution number: 
33
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. CIC officials frequently acknowledge that the Department does not adequately collect and report statistical data on its programs;
  2. There has been an increase in detentions since September 11, 2001, and accurate data has been impossible to obtain to date;
  3. The CCR, the Centre for Refugee Studies, the Maytree Foundation and independent consultants hired by the Immigration Department have attempted repeatedly to obtain data from CIC on the population of refugees in limbo and have been unsuccessful;
  4. Bill C-11 will shortly come into effect and will have a significant impact on detention, refugee determination and the landing process;
  5. Collection and analysis of data are key components of good public policy and democratic accountability;
Therefore be it resolved: 

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

  1. Develop, in consultation with the CCR, a process for the regular and timely collection and reporting on issues including: a) Detention of refugee claimants; b) Eligibility determinations and suspensions for eligibility; c) Refugees in limbo due to security and identity issues;
  2. Report these statistics to the CCR and the UNHCR by number, length of time, country of origin, gender, age and region in Canada.
  3. Ensure that high standards of confidentiality are respected.
Working Group: 

Anti-terrorism legislation

Resolution number: 
32
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. Violations of human rights are among the causes of refugee flows in the world;
  2. Promotion of human rights is one of the few tools to prevent refugee flows;
  3. Anti-terrorism legislation in several Western countries including Canada compromises the established emergency basis for limiting human rights in international human rights law;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR oppose the anti-terrorism legislationC-36 and C-42 because of the negative effects that it has had and will have on refugees and immigrants.

Working Group: 

Against profiling based on identity

Resolution number: 
31
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. Security concerns now require more intensive examinations of travellers at borders;
  2. Profiling based on identity has been used in the past;
  3. Profiling based on identity is highly demeaning for those involved and discriminatory;
  4. A serious public concern warrants the necessary costs and a broader sharing of the inconveniences;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR urge the government of Canada not to use profiling based on identity for border examinations and to ensure on-discrimination, by, if necessary, examining whole travelling populations.

Working Group: 

Detention

Resolution number: 
30
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. A number of resolutions, especially Res. 35, June 1994, have raised problems of accountability of immigration officials who abuse the rights of non-citizens in detention;
  2. These problems persist;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR renew its request for the urgent establishment of an independent ombudsperson’s office, for complaints about Immigration practices, especially on detention issues.

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Training and terms of reference for CIC officers

Resolution number: 
29
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. There are expanded grounds for inadmissibility that will impact on eligibility to make a refugee claim in Bill C-11;
  2. Eligibility decisions will be made during front-end processing by CIC officers many of whom will be newly recruited employees to meet the enhanced resource needs under the new bill;
  3. There have been previous resolutions calling on CIC to provide training and to invite NGO participation in the training of their staff;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Call on CIC to ensure that appropriate and regular training and orientation are provided to officers including clearly defined guidelines and terms of reference for decision making, sensitivity training specific to gender, race, LGBT, children and victims of torture;
  2. Request CIC to access community and NGO expertise in the provision of the training;
  3. Request CIC for an accountability framework for eligibility decisions.
Working Group: 

Gender-based analysis

Resolution number: 
28
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. The Gender Based Analysis Unit of CIC has completed a gender based analysis of C-11;
  2. The analysis has identified areas of potential negative gender impacts;
  3. Bill C-11 requires gender-based reporting to Parliament;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Call on CIC to post the full text of the gender based analysis of Bill C-11, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, on their website;
  2. Request CIC to ensure that the action items identified in the analysis document are implemented;
  3. Request CIC to ensure that the Gender Based Analysis Unit of CIC is provided with adequate resources to carry out the research, data collection and monitoring functions of the unit.
Subject: 
Working Group: 

Canadian sovereignty and US security

Resolution number: 
27
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. There are currently negotiations and policy discussions on adopting common security arrangements with the USA;
  2. Canada has a tradition of supporting international law and fundamental human rights (and this tradition may be abandoned in the current context).
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Oppose the creation of a common security perimeter and policy with the United States;
  2. Re-iterate to the Canadian government our support for respecting the fundamental rights of refugees and migrants in accordance with international law and our international human rights obligations without discrimination;
  3. Ask the Canadian government to fully protect Canadian sovereignty in immigration and refugee matters and ensure access for all refugee claimants to the Canadian refugee determination system.
Working Group: 

Notice of right to legal counsel

Resolution number: 
26
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. Refugee claimants are often not advised by CIC that they have the right to legal counsel at various points in the claimant process;
  2. Failure to advise has caused harm to some claimants;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR request that the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration ensure that those in the process of making a refugee claim be clearly advised, without bias, of their right to legal counsel in the refugee process and, where available, be provided with information on the ways to procure legal counsel.

Working Group: 

Transitional measures

Resolution number: 
25
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. A significant number of people refused as Convention Refugees under the present Act may be returning to Canada to make second claims under C-11;
  2. In the past, a high proportion of second claims has been accepted as Convention refugees by the IRB;
  3. C-11 provides for a wider definition of persons needing protection, an appeal on the merits and an improved Pre-Removal Risk Assessment;
  4. There is no article in C-11 dealing with persons refused under the present Act who may be returning to Canada to make a new claim under the enhanced protection provisions of this new Act;
  5. Part 5 of C-11 (Article 201) stipulates that “the Regulations may provide for measures regarding the transition between the former Act and this Act, including measures regarding classes of persons who will be subject in whole or in part to this Act or the former Act....”
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR strongly urge CIC to make provisions in the C-11 Regulations which ensure that persons refused as Convention Refugees under the present Act who return to Canada to make a second claim after C-11 comes into effect will have that claim dealt with as a first claim under C-11.

Working Group: 

Trafficking in women

Resolution number: 
24
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. Canada has made an international commitment to combat trafficking in women and children and to extend protection to the victims of trafficking through the protocol on trafficking in persons;
  2. Canada and Canadians are complicit in perpetuating trafficking in women and children as a receiving country and as customers;
  3. Some women and children may be eligible for refugee status but others do not obviously qualify because the human rights abuses have occurred in Canada, not the country of origin;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on the Canadian government to offer protection to the women and children who have suffered human rights violations as a result of trafficking, through access to permanent residence, not depending on cooperation with law enforcement officials.

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Networking with PEN Canada

Resolution number: 
23
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. Literature has a great impact on public awareness;
  2. There has been inadequate involvement of Canadian writers, poets and people of arts and letters in refugee issues;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR write to Pen Canada with the aim of:

  1. Sensitizing Pen Canada to the plight of refugees in Canada and the need for their support;
  2. Inviting Pen to get involved with the CCR in its educational programs.
Working Group: 

Torture

Resolution number: 
22
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. Following the September 11th tragedy, articles have appeared in mainstream media on the justification of the use of torture under exceptional and emergency conditions;
  2. The use of special drugs (truth serums) is recommended by some enforcement elements against suspected terrorists and this recommendation has been reflected by media;
  3. The Canadian government has reaffirmed its commitment to the Convention against Torture through C-11;
  4. Refugees and other uprooted people are more vulnerable to torture and other cruel, inhumane and degrading treatments and punishments;
  5. The level of public education on the scourge of torture is low and CIC and IRB officials need special training on the subject;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on the government of Canada to:

  1. Reaffirm its commitment not to use torture under any emergency condition whatsoever;
  2. Work for the prevention and eradication of torture and the prosecution of torturers at the international level;
  3. Reaffirm its commitments to UN principles of medical ethics and assure that no drugs will be used on prisoners or detainees except for the purposes of healing;
  4. Allocate a budget and work with NGOs and specifically the CCR towards organizing public education programs and special education programs for CIC and IRB officials;
  5. Assure that other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatments and punishments will not be used in Canadian prisons and detention centres;
  6. Closely collaborate with the UN Committee against Torture with the aim of strengthening the Committee and responding to its concerns;
  7. Increase its financial contributions to the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture.
Working Group: 

Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC)

Resolution number: 
21
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. In June 2000, CCR called for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and CIC to immediately implement the recommendations in the SIRC report concerning three complaints made by people suffering delays in landing for security reasons, and the responses to CCR by both the Solicitor General and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration noted that “decisions on admissibility rest with CIC”, not with CSIS;
  2. The recommendations of SIRC appear to have had no effective role in modifying CSIS recommendations to CIC in this case;
  3. Although one of these complainants has been responded to positively, the other two cases remain unresolved at the present time;
  4. Bill C-36 greatly expands the ability of Canadian authorities to deem someone a “terrorist” and an organization a “terrorist organization;”
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Call on the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to introduce legislation to expand the authority of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) to review security certificates issued not only against Canadian citizens, but also those issued against permanent residents, Convention refugees and refugee claimants;
  2. Call on the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to instruct her officials that, where SIRC has heard a complaint against CSIS and issued a report, the report be given primacy in the Department’s decisions with regard to admissibility;
  3. Call on the Solicitor General to introduce legislation to expand the authority of SIRC such that SIRC be empowered to review and issue binding reports on the government’s listing of “terrorist organizations” under Bill C-36.
Working Group: 

Minors in detention

Resolution number: 
20
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. The CCR called in Resolution 20, November 1993 for an end to the detention of refugee children;
  2. Minor refugee claimants continue to be detained in Canada;
  3. In the case of trafficked minors the government justifies such detention on the grounds that detention protects minors from their traffickers and is in the best interests of children;
  4. The CCR recognizes that in certain cases there is a need for the protection of minors but unequivocally opposes the detention of minors as detention is never in the best interests of children;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on CIC, in the case of refugee children in need of such protection, as an alternative to detention, to implement other protection models such as “safe houses.”

Working Group: 

Separated children in BC

Resolution number: 
19
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. The Province of BC has in place an appropriate model for the protection, care and guardianship of all separated children;
  2. The current BC government is now considering reduction of these services and lowering the age limit for such services;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on the BC government to maintain or improve the current level of protection, care and services for separated refugee children in BC.

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Separated children over 16 years of age

Resolution number: 
18
December 2001
Whereas: 

It has been recognized that the situation of separated refugee children in some provinces (notably Ontario where the largest number of such children arrive) is particularly critical due to the province’s general failure to provide appropriate child welfare services to separated refugee children, and due to the province’s breach of its international obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child in defining children to include only those under 16;

Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on all provincial governments to immediately take responsibility for all children under 18 years in their jurisdiction and in need of protection and care, in accordance with their international obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Separated children: UNHCR report

Resolution number: 
17
December 2001
Whereas: 

The UNHCR has recently produced a report on the situation of separated refugee children in Canada and has made a series of recommendations to the IRB and to the federal and provincial governments to address the protection needs of these children;

Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR adopt the UNHCR report and recommendations and call on the IRB and the federal and provincial governments to implement these recommendations.

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Separated children: jurisdiction

Resolution number: 
16
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. The increasing number of separated refugee children in Canada has drawn attention to the protection gaps existing in Canada, in particular the inconsistent practices regarding care and guardianship of separated refugee children in different provinces;
  2. Canada has obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on the federal and provincial governments to immediately resolve the jurisdictional issues and put into place measures that are consistent across Canada to fill the gaps in protection, care and guardianship of these vulnerable children, in accordance with Canada's international obligations.

Subject: 
Working Group: 

People without status

Resolution number: 
15
December 2001
Whereas: 

The CCR has adopted Resolution 12 of May 2001;

Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Adopt the principal demand of the Comité d’action des sans statut [Action Committee of the People without Status] which calls on the Canadian government to grant automatic landing to those persons refused refugee status who are from one of the five moratorium countries (Afghanistan, Algeria, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda) three years after they made their refugee claim in Canada. This is a way of regularizing the status of people who currently are without status.
  2. Undertake to advocate for and promote this position to the Canadian government authorities in order to urge them to adopt a policy on the lines of the above demand.
Working Group: 

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