CONSEIL CANADIEN POUR LES RÉFUGIÉS
CALL FOR A SOLUTION FOR NATIONALS OF MORATORIA COUNTRIES LIVING IN LIMBO
Ottawa – Parliamentarians and activists joined together today for a Day of Action on Parliament Hill to call for a solution for thousands of people living in legal limbo in Canada. Members of Parliament Meili Faille (BQ), Marlene Jennings (Lib) and Bill Siksay (NDP) added their voices to representatives of advocacy groups and persons from moratoria countries calling on the government to grant permanent residence to persons from countries to which Canada has suspended removals and who have been here for three years or more.
“I wish that the government could do something,” says Dorothy Dube, who has been in Canada for more than six years and is one of the thousands of people affected. “I need to see a change. We need regularization. Our children can’t go to school after the age of 18. What will happen to my son?” Several thousand people like Ms Dube are forced to live in limbo in Canada – protected from deportation, but without access to essential rights and services.
MPs will table a petition signed by thousands of supporters across Canada calling for regularization for moratoria nationals. Activists will be visiting MPs through the day to explain the problem of “lives on hold”.
Living in limbo causes serious hardships. People without permanent residence cannot reunite with family members, even spouses and children, who were left behind. They have limited employment prospects because of their precarious status. Children cannot access higher education. Only emergency healthcare is available. The effects of living in this situation are described in the Canadian Council for Refugees report, Lives on Hold (available online at www.web.ca/ccr/livesonhold.htm)
Canada imposes a moratorium on removals to certain countries because of a situation of generalized insecurity. Nationals from these countries are spared deportation, but many are unable to obtain permanent residence. As a result, families like Dorothy Dube’s remain for years – sometimes more than 10 years – in a legal limbo.
The Day of Action is organized by a coalition made up of the Canadian Council for Refugees, the Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes, the Ligue des droits et libertés, and the communities of the moratoria countries: Afghanistan, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Liberia, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.
For more information about this campaign, please go to: www.web.ca/ccr/livesonhold.htm
Colleen French, CCR Communications and Networking Coordinator, cell (514) 835-2046 (on 9 May)
Permanent contact number: 514-277-7223 (ext. 1)