20 November 2004
Canada is failing refugee and immigrant children
Victoria. The Canadian Council for Refugees today released a report, Impacts
on children of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, documenting
how the Canadian Government fails to protect the best interests of some refugee
and immigrant children.
“Since children’s voices are often not heard, especially those of refugee
and immigrant children, we want the public to know about the negative impacts
on children of Canada’s immigration legislation. Today is International
Children’s Rights Day, a time to look at how we treat children, and a time
to address our mistakes,” said Nick Summers, President.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child has established the principle
that the best interests of the must be a primary consideration in all decisions
involving children. Even though Canada is a signatory to the Convention,
Canada’s immigration and refugee law and practice in many ways falls short
of this principle.
The report documents how Canada frequently overlooks the best interests of
the child and fails to respect their rights. For example:
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has criticized Canada, in 1995
and again in 2003, for not living up to several of its obligations towards
refugee and immigrant children.
- Children are held in detention, even though they have done nothing
- Children wait years overseas, sometimes in danger, to be reunited with
their parents in Canada.
- Children are separated from their parents by the deportation of their
father or mother.
- Refugee children are discouraged from applying for permanent residence
due to fees that are particularly high for separated children.
- No protection is provided to child trafficking victims in Canada.
The full report is available at www.web.ca/~ccr/children.pdf
(or from the “What’s New” page)
Nick Summers, President, (709) 682-9329
Janet Dench, Executive Director (514) 277-7223 (ext. 2)
The Canadian Council for Refugees is a non-profit
umbrella organization committed to the rights and protection of refugees
in Canada and around the world and to the settlement of refugees and immigrants
in Canada. The membership is made up of over 180 organizations involved in
refugee sponsorship and protection and in newcomer settlement. The CCR serves
the networking, information-exchange and advocacy needs of its membership.
6839 Drolet, #302, Montréal,QC, Canada H2S 2T1 TÉL.: 514 277-7223
FAX : (514) 277-1447
E-MAIL: email@example.com WEB SITE: www.web.ca/~ccr/