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Refugee Protection in Canada

    Canada is viewed as a global leader with respect to refugee protection.  It has signed the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees other human rights instruments which protect refugees.  Canada was the first country to set out guidelines for considering the refugee claims of women, and has taken an active role globally in the resettlement of refugees through both government and private sponsorship programs.  However, Canada like many other countries,  also creates barriers for people seeking safety and security.

    Amnesty International is concerned as to how easily the debate around asylum seekers and refugees in Canada can be framed by myths and misconceptions. Refugees do not commit a crime when they cross a border in search of safety. The right to seek asylum is embedded in the Universal Declaration for Human Rights and other human rights instruments. States have an obligation to respect this right and not turn refugees away from their borders to a country where they face persecution. 

    Amnesty International continues to advocate for the rights of refugees in Canada and globally, in order to ensure that governments live up to their human rights obligations to protect refugees, and to ensure that refugees and migrants are treated fairly and with dignity.


    Federal Court grants organizations standing in legal challenge of Safe Third Country Agreement 12 December 2017

    An End to Immigration Dentention of Children? (29 November 2017)

    Tell Your MP the U.S.A. isn't safe for Refugees (31 January 2017 Blog)

    Immigration Detention: No Life for a Child (22 September 2016 Blog and Report)

    Champions. Prevention. Solidarity. Rights. Empowerment (June 20 Blog)

    Independent oversight needed to monitor border agency, advocates say (31 March CBC News)

    Amnesty International Supports Call for CBSA Accountability Mechanism  (31 March 2016)

    Death in Immigration Custody Sparks Calls for CBSA Oversight  (March 2016)

    Canada: Refugee Children Should Not be Detained (February 2016)

    Immigration Detention: Canada's Black Hole (June 2015)

    One Less Life in Limbo.  Luis Alberto Mata has been granted permanent resident status in Canada after more than 12 years. (May 25, 2015). Read more about Luis' story here (April 16, 2015)

    My Door is Open To Refugees (blog) 21 August 2014

    Amnesty International welcomes recent Federal Court decision regarding refugee health care (public statement) 8 July 2014 (with November 2014 update).

    Doors Open to Maran but Closed to so Many Others (blog) 19 June 2014

    New citizenship revocation powers in Bill C-24 should be withdrawn, says Amnesty International (news release) 10 June 2014

    Response to the Bogus Rhetoric about Bogus Refugees (blog) 28 March 2014

    Amnesty International intervenes at the Supreme Court of Canada

    Human Smuggling and Refugee Rights February 2015 Public Statment  Amnesty International Factum

     Ezokola v. Canada January 2013

    Ezokola: Great News for Refugee Protection in Canada  July 2014

    Febles v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration March 2014

    Amnesty International disappointed in the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in the case of Febles v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.  (Public Statement) 30 October 2014

    Recommended Links

    Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act

    Information on Government programs for the protection of refugees

    The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

    Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers

    Canadian Council for Refugees

    Refugee Hearing Preparation Guide (Kinbrace)

    Refugee Sponsorship

    Toronto Resources for LGBTI Refugees

    Get Involved