Canada Stops Famillies from Reuniting

Printer-friendly version

The CCR Youth Network demands that Canada ensure children can quickly reunite with their parents.

 

“Can Canadians themselves accept being separated from their children and their wives for 2 or 3 years?  Dad, ask one of the officials who is married and has children if he could bear such a thing.”

The eldest son of Irénée, who has been waiting to be reunited with his wife and six children.

Many children are left behind when their parents come to Canada as refugees.  Once the parents are granted refugee status, they apply to bring their children.  But the processing often takes years. Refugees, including refugee children, often wait for years in very dangerous situations overseas until they can be reunited with their parents in Canada. Children may be at particular risk due to insufficient food, inadequate health care, lack of access to schooling for children, forced recruitment of child soldiers and sexual exploitation and rape. This is extremely hard for the children. It also violates (goes against) Canada’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to deal with family reunification in a “positive, humane and expeditious manner.”

 

What the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child says about family reunification:

Art 10 (1) ... applications by a child or his or her parents to enter or leave a State Party for the purpose of family reunification shall be dealt with by States Parties in a positive, humane and expeditious manner.

 

 

These are some of the problems:

  • Canada has HUGE backlogs in its offices in some parts of the world, especially in Africa.
  • The definition of family is too narrow, excluding non-biological children
  • Some families, especially Africans and Haitians, are forced to do DNA tests, which are expensive and time-consuming.
  • Parents cannot sponsor their children if they are receiving social assistance in Canada

 

 

What should the government do?

 

The CCR Youth Network demands that Canada ensure children can quickly reunite with their parents.

 

Want to learn more about this issue and how to get involved? 

The CCR has a campaign for speedy family reunification called “Wish you Were Here...” Visit the website to get started!