Inland Protection

International mechanisms for human rights and the new Human Rights Council

Resolution number: 
2
June 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: 

IRB regional offices

Resolution number: 
1
June 2006
Whereas: 
  1. The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) is closing its regional offices at yearend;
  2. This will result in further reduction in quality of access to protection;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Call upon the Canadian government and the IRB to enable the continued operation of these regional offices;
  2. Request that the IRB provide full access to their resources and facilities to all claimants in all regions.
Subject: 
Working Group: 

Exclusion of claimants at the POE

Resolution number: 
10
November 2006
Whereas: 
  1. There have been many documented cases where CBSA officers at the Port Of Entry (POE) have issued removal orders against people seeking refugee protection in Canada before they were able to state their intent to claim refugee status.
  2. The consequence of this is to deprive a claimant of access to the Immigration and Refugee Board.
  3. There is no stay of removal pending an application for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) once a removal order has been issued.
  4. As a result there are documented cases of people being removed without any risk assessment.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on the government to issue regulations or guidelines that would require POE officers to ask persons subject to removal if they fear persecution in their country of origin or of habitual residence before issuing a removal order.

    

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Arming of border guards

Resolution number: 
9
November 2006
Whereas: 
  1. A decision has been made by the government of Canada to arm the officers of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
  2. The CCR has raised its concerns to the Prime Minister in this regard.
  3. Arming CBSA is absolutely unnecessary with negative impacts on refugees who have gone through persecution, mental trauma and torture.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR oppose the arming of CBSA and advocate to overturn the decision.

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Automatic issuance of “protected status" documents

Resolution number: 
8
November 2006
Whereas: 
  1. It is important for protected persons to settle meaningfully in Canada through education, employment, etc.
  2. Presently, protected persons need to submit a special “protected status” document to be registered in certain programs.
  3. It takes 8 weeks for CIC to issue these documents.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on CIC to issue“protected status” documents at the time the person is accepted by the IRB.

Working Group: 

Torture legislation

Resolution number: 
7
November 2006
Whereas: 
  1. The Arar Commission has identified Canadian complicity in Maher Arar’s rendition to torture in Syria;
  2. The Canadian government continues to argue that there may be circumstances under which individuals could be returned to a country where there may be grounds to believe they may be at risk of torture;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That:

  1. The CCR call on the government to enact legislation that unequivocally and absolutely prohibits the use of torture under any circumstances by any person, but in particular by any government official or persons acting in a government-related capacity;
  2. This legislation prohibit the use of information garnered as a result of torture;
  3. This legislation prohibit actions, including the sharing of information, that might reasonably be expected to place any person at risk of torture.
Working Group: 

Migrant agricultural workers and other temporary work permit holders

Resolution number: 
6
November 2006
Whereas: 
  1. Migrant agricultural workers and other temporary work permit holders are living in a situation of segregation which prevents them from having effective recourse to justice;
  2. Migrant workers who have suffered an injustice are often deported before they can seek a legal recourse;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR demand that the status of worker be maintained during the period necessary to seize a tribunal of the matter and to await its resolution.

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Detention on identity grounds

Resolution number: 
5
November 2006
Whereas: 
  1. According to IRPA, there is no independent review of: a) the decision of an officer to detain a foreign national because their identity has not been established. b) the Minister’s opinion that identity has not been established. c) once identity has been tendered, the decision that it is insufficient;
  2. According to international human rights law, detention without independent review constitutes arbitrary detention;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR demand that IRPA be amended to require that the Immigration Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board conduct an independent review of 1 a), b) and c).

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Persons with mental health issues before the IRB

Resolution number: 
9
May 2007
Whereas: 
  1. The needs of persons with mental health issues are not being adequately addressed by any of the divisions of the IRB;
  2. The guidelines for vulnerable persons do not meet these needs;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR advocate for the creation and implementation by the IRB of specialized mental health tribunals modelled upon the mental health courts in the criminal justice system.

Working Group: 

Legal guardianship

Resolution number: 
14
May 2007
Whereas: 

Some countries do not allow for adoption and thus persons from those countries are excluded from emigrating with or sponsoring their “de facto” family members.

Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR advocate for the promulgation of IRPA regulations on legal guardianship.

Working Group: 

Access to Vancouver detention facility

Resolution number: 
13
May 2007
Whereas: 

CBSA has refused to grant NGO access to their Vancouver airport detention facility;

Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR demand that CBSA ensure NGO access to this facility.

Subject: 
Working Group: 

NGO access to detention centres

Resolution number: 
12
May 2007
Whereas: 
  1. NGO access to CBSA Immigration Detention Facilities is necessary;
  2. NGO access has become increasingly difficult given strict requirements for security clearance;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR demand that NGOs that visit or provide services within immigration detention facilities not be required to pass security clearance

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Automatic issuance of work permits

Resolution number: 
11
May 2007
Whereas: 
  1. Eligible refugee claimants are required to apply for work permits from CIC;
  2. Work permits are issued if applied for after the medical examination processing is completed;
  3. Completion of the medical examination process is not announced to refugee claimants, and they are never sure when to apply for their work permit, and work permits are required for applying for the SIN cards and for working legally in Canada;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR request that CIC issue the first work permits automatically, without claimants having to apply, to all adult eligible refugee claimants, upon completion of the medical examination process.

Working Group: 

Mailing PIFs

Resolution number: 
10
May 2007
Whereas: 
  1. The IRB offices are now located in only 3 cities (Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto);
  2. PIFs must be received within 28 days;
  3. Claimants living in cities far from IRB offices have seriously reduced time to complete their PIFs because mailing can take 7 to 12 days;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR urge the IRB to change the 28 days rule for PIFs to the date the PIF is posted, not the date it is received (even when it becomes possible electronically).

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Best interests of the child

Resolution number: 
10
November 2007
Whereas: 
  1. There are serious problems with the understanding and application of the notion of “Best Interests of the Child” by CIC officials;
  2. The practice with regard to “ Best Interest of the Child” has strayed far from the “substantial weight” required by the Supreme Court in Baker and the “primary consideration” mandated by the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call upon the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to conduct a departmental review of the understanding and application, by CIC officials, of the notion of “Best Interests of the Child”; that the CCR, the UNHCR and other members of civil society be consulted as part of this review, and that the results of this review be made public.

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Refugees with HIV/AIDS or terminal illnesses

Resolution number: 
9
November 2007
Whereas: 
  1. Refugees and other uprooted people who have HIV/AIDS or terminal illnesses are struggling with multiple complex issues with a sense of urgency;
  2. Refugees and other uprooted people who live with HIV/AIDS or suffer from terminal illnesses lack family support in Canada, which is crucial to their wellbeing and support for children in the case of their death;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR advocate for:

  1. Fast-track processing of the refugee claims of people living with HIV/AIDS or a terminal illness;
  2. Fast-track attempts to reunite family members of those who live with HIV/AIDS or suffer from a terminal illness and Temporary Residence Permits to be provided to their relatives where sponsorship is not an option.
Subject: 
Working Group: 

War resisters

Resolution number: 
8
November 2007
Whereas: 
  1. US Military personnel (War Resisters) have come to Canada seeking protected person status based on their deeply held political and moral convictions opposing the US-led War in Iraq;
  2. There is evidence that US military War Resisters who have spoken out publicly from within the United States about their opposition to the war in Iraq have experienced differential and more severe punishment by the US military than US military personnel who have gone AWOL but who have not publicly opposed the war;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Express support for all War Resisters from any country who refuse to engage in armed conflict that is contrary to international humanitarian law;
  2. Recommend to Minister of Citizenship and Immigration that they should be allowed to remain in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, if they are facing removal to a country where they would face punishment for their refusal to participate in such an armed conflict;
  3. Urge the IRB to provide War Resisters with fair, impartial and politically unmotivated hearings.
Working Group: 

Extradition of refugees

Resolution number: 
7
May 2008
Whereas: 
  1. The Canadian government has proceeded with extradition requests against Protected Persons, putting them at risk of return to the country where they have a well-founded fear of persecution;
  2. In some cases the extradition request seems to be based on evidence that may be motivated by racism;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR ask the Government of Canada to give full respect to obligations under the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the Convention Against Torture, and not to proceed with extradition requests against Protected Persons unless status has been vacated or extradition would be justified under the Conventions.

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Paternal consent for children

Resolution number: 
6
May 2008
Whereas: 
  1. Women who have been accepted as refugees or permanent residents in Canada and who are seeking family reunification with their children overseas are required to produce a signed consent form from the father, or a custody order if the parents have separated;
  2. This creates an unfair burden on women in some cases, especially in cases of domestic violence;
  3. Such demands are leading to delays which, in some cases, compromise the best interests of children affected;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR request that the Canadian Government find alternative solutions, which correct gender imbalance and respect the best interests of the child, in such cases.

Working Group: 

Advocacy and training re Trans issues

Resolution number: 
8
November 2008
Whereas: 
  1. The CCR adopted a resolution in November 1994 in regard to education and guidelines on sexual orientation for the IRB;
  2. The 1994 resolution does not address specific training with the IRB in regard to trans communities, nor does it recognize education and training for CIC and CBSA employees;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Ensure from now on that all CCR policies regarding sexual orientation reflect the diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transexual, queer, questioning and intersex communities;
  2. Advocate with the IRB, CIC and CBSA to include education and training on trans specific, transphobia and homophobia issues.
Subject: 
Working Group: 

Priority processing for H&C applications involving best interests of the child

Resolution number: 
4
November 2008
Whereas: 
  1. Canada is signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
  2. Timely family reunification and a full and timely assessment of a child’s best interest are fundamental elements of Canada’s obligations under the said Convention;
  3. In February 2005, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration implemented a program to reduce the processing times of sponsorships of spouses living abroad and to prevent, where possible, the separation of spouses in Canada;
  4. A child’s interests and rights are of equal or greater concern;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR advocate in favour of a policy providing that:

  1. A humanitarian and compassionate application involving the best interests of any child facing removal, or whose parents face removal, receive a full and proper assessment prior to potential removal from Canada;
  2. Applications for permanent residence based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, made either inland or abroad, that invoke the best interests of a child living abroad be processed in priority; an accelerated priority should be given to those applications which invoke risk concerns to the child living abroad.
Working Group: 

Canadian Commissioner for the Rights of Children

Resolution number: 
3
November 2008
Whereas: 
  1. Canada is signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
  2. The Final Report of the Standing Senate Committee On Human Rights, published in April 2007, concluded that “...one of its primary proposals should be the establishment of a children’s Commissioner at the federal level in Canada...” (p. 202).
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR promote the establishment of a children’s commissioner at the federal level, responsible for, among others, the welfare of immigrant and refugee children.

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Detention of minors – presumption of age

Resolution number: 
14
May 2009
Whereas: 
  1. Detention is a recourse of last resort;
  2. Detention of minors must be an exceptional measure;
  3. The best interests of the child must be taken into consideration by the government and its tribunals;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR recommend that, when a person who alleges to be a minor is detained for reasons of identity, they must be presumed to be a minor, until otherwise established.

Working Group: 

Children in Detention

Resolution number: 
13
May 2009
Whereas: 
  1. Section 60 of IRPA says that detention of children should be a measure of last resort;
  2. Regulation 249 obliges the consideration of alternatives to detention where children are concerned;
  3. The Convention on the Rights of the Child obliges Canada to give primary consideration to the best interests of the child;
  4. Children are held in detention centres in Canada either because they are detained or because they are accompanying their detained guardians;
  5. CBSA and IRB do not give primary consideration to best interests of the child in their decision-making with regards to detention of children;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR demand that:

  1. CBSA not detain children by considering all possible alternatives;
  2. IRB and CBSA respect their obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and give primary consideration to the best interests of the child when making decisions on detention of children or of adult guardians of children, which affects their children.
Working Group: 

Concurrent processing of family members of persons accepted on H&C grounds

Resolution number: 
12
May 2009
Whereas: 
  1. Concurrent processing of family members of persons accepted on H&C grounds in Canada was abolished in 2004;
  2. This has resulted in a significant delay in family reunification for persons accepted on H&C grounds;
  3. Many of these people have compelling humanitarian and compassionate considerations and/or were wrongly refused refugee status;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR recommend an amendment of the Regulations to restore provision for concurrent processing of family members of persons accepted on H&C grounds.

Working Group: 

Appeal to IAD of protected persons in concurrent processes

Resolution number: 
11
May 2009
Whereas: 
  1. Family Class applicants can appeal a negative visa officer’s decision to the Immigration Appeal Division, including on humanitarian and compassionate grounds;
  2. Dependants of protected persons being processed concurrently can only appeal a visa officer’s decision by way of judicial review in the Federal Court;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR recommend an amendment to the Act and Regulations to permit protected persons to appeal decisions on family reunification to the Immigration Appeal Division of the IRB on all issues of fact and law, and on all the circumstances of the case including humanitarian and compassionate considerations.

Working Group: 

Detention of non-status persons

Resolution number: 
10
May 2009
Whereas: 
  1. There are a large number of persons without status who have submitted different forms of requests to regularize their situation;
  2. The main way to ask for a decision on humanitarian grounds or other grounds while a person is underground and the subject of an arrest warrant is to present themselves to the Canadian authorities;
  3. People without status who present themselves to the Canadian authorities in order to regularize their status are often detained;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR advocate with the Minister of Public Safety, CBSA, and the Immigration and Refugee Board that persons presenting themselves voluntarily for regularization should benefit from a favourable presumption that they do not normally represent a flight risk and that they therefore should not be detained.

Working Group: 

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy

Resolution number: 
2
June 2010
Whereas: 
  1. Law enforcement agencies have been widely known to engage in the practice of asking for the immigration status of detained and non-detained individuals;
  2. There has been a CBSA presence during and after police raids;
  3. It is widely known that racial profiling is an established practice of law enforcement agencies;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Call for all relevant law enforcement agencies to adopt a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy;
  2. Denounce racial profiling during raids in geographic areas that house immigrant and refugee communities.
Subject: 
Working Group: 

Decision-making on H&C applications

Resolution number: 
6
November 2010
Whereas: 
  1. H&C applications are the only applications for permanent residence in Canada in which the best interests of the child and the right to family unity are taken into account;
  2. Canada has legal obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to provide effective remedies to ensure the respect of these rights;
  3. Delays in processing of H&C applications are leading to more and more people being removed from Canada prior to the examination of pending H&C applications;
  4. Under Bill C-11, it is the government’s intention to remove failed claimants very quickly following their refusal;
  5. Bill C-11 provides for fixed timelines for every stage of the refugee process;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR advocate for a commitment from CIC to rule on H&C applications within a fixed time frame of four months from the time of filing of the H&C application or, if a removal date is set before that, prior to the scheduled removal date.

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Referral to services post-eligibility

Resolution number: 
5
November 2010
Whereas: 
  1. Bill C-11 will create very tight timelines;
  2. Claimants will need assistance in understanding and preparing for the process;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on CIC and CBSA to adopt as a standard operating procedure the referral of claimants to appropriate and willing community agencies, such as an immigrant serving agency or legal aid, in a city or area of choice of the claimant, immediately after eligibility has been determined.

Working Group: 

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