Media Release

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.

The full report is available at (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