Recommended Changes in Canada's Refugee Status Determination Procedure:
A Brief to the Hon. Bud Cullen, Minister of Employment and Immigration
Publisher: Inter-Church Committee on Human Rights in Latin America, Toronto, Canada
Year Published: 1979
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX907
Abstract: This brief was presented to the Minister of Immigration on the occastion of a visit with him of the delegation noted above. It reviews the process by which a claimant to refugee status enters the country, makes their claim,and then has the claim processed. Each step of the process is reviewed in some detail in order to point out difficulties refugees have often encountered. A total of twelve recommedations are made for both legislative and procedural change. Many of these are based on four prnciples, namely that the refugee should:
1. have the right to know and to respond to information which can be used against him;
2. have the right to appear in person and present his/her case before the people who make the decision;
3. Know the reasons for the deision his/her case;
4. be assisted to obtain competent legal counsel.
Many of the difficulties encountered by refugee claimants stem from the incapacity of officials of the Immigration Department to unerstand the psychological state of claimants and the implications for an interrogation, as well as coditions in the country of origin. Translation and typing of manuscripts, as well as withholding of the transcript have also cased serious difficulties.
The brief suggests legislative changes to allow for a more humane process for treatment of family claims, travel,and processing claims at any time. As things now stand, claims are processed initially according to a section that is designed for illegal immigrants and, in the case of visitors a claimant must become illegal before their claim will be heard.