For immediate release
1 May 2006

Canadian Council for Refugees addresses UN Committee

Montréal – The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) today addresses the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, drawing attention to Canada’s failure to respect the basic rights of non-citizens.

Chantal Tie is in Geneva to represent the CCR as the Committee begins its examination of Canada’s compliance with the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  Speaking at the Committee’s NGO hearing, Ms Tie highlighted family separation as one of the key problem areas for Canada.  Immigration policies and practices keep children separated from their parents for years, sometimes forever, in violation of Canada’s obligation to protect families.  Among the barriers to family reunification are regulations which exclude certain family members (an issue already identified as a concern by the Committee), slow processing and denial of family reunification to those who are poor and to separated refugee children.

The examination of Canada by the Committee is scheduled to begin on Friday 5 May.

The CCR has submitted a written report to the Committee.  It notes that discrimination against non-citizens underlies the problems highlighted and in itself represents a violation of the right to non-discrimination.  The report also documents how some non-citizens are denied government benefits and services, such as the Canada Child Tax Benefit Supplement, leaving children in poverty.  Another topic highlighted is Canada’s failure to respect the rights of temporary workers to organize and bargain collectively.  The report can be found at: and supporting background information at

Speaking notes for presentation to United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights can be found at


Janet Dench, Executive Director, (514) 277-7223 (ext. 2)
Colleen French, Communications and Networking Coordinator, (514) 277-7223 (ext. 1) to organize an interview with a person directly affected by points raised in the report

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 170 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 TEL.: (514) 277-7223 FAX : (514) 277-1447