Canadian Human Rights Commission urges Canada to respect the rights of migrants and refugees in detention

OTTAWA, Sept. 14, 2015 /CNW/ - The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) is calling on Canada and other governments to improve access to justice for migrants and refugees.

According to a 2015 report by the University of Toronto's International Human Rights Program, thousands of migrants are arbitrarily detained in Canada each year. Nearly one third are held in facilities intended for criminals, sometimes for years at a time, in violation of international human rights law.

In a video address to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today, CHRC Chief Commissioner Marie-Claude Landry called on Canada to adopt new international guidelines to ensure access to justice for people deprived of their liberty, and to protect the most vulnerable: children, women and girls, persons with disabilities, migrants, asylum-seekers, refugees and stateless persons.

Chief Commissioner Landry urged Canada to ensure that detention is not used arbitrarily or routinely and that migrants, once detained, are given access to the courts to seek release.

Below is an excerpt from her statement:

QUOTES

"Each year, thousands of migrants are detained in Canada. While some migrants are detained due to past criminality, most are not. Migrants may be detained because they are deemed a flight risk, their identity cannot be confirmed, or they are otherwise deemed to be a danger to the public. Many are detained in facilities intended for a criminal population. 

"Migrant detention has a significant negative impact on mental health, particularly for individuals with mental disabilities and victims of torture.

"The CHRC acknowledges Canada's right to detain people of unknown identity or who may be considered a risk. However, detention must be shown to be truly necessary rather than routine, and must be regularly reviewed in a meaningful way.

"The CHRC urges governments, and especially the Government of Canada, to adopt these principles and guidelines. The CHRC also recommends that the focus on the vulnerability of migrants, asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons be maintained."

Marie-Claude Landry, Ad. E., Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission

ASSOCIATED LINKS

"We Have No Rights" Arbitrary imprisonment and cruel treatment of migrants with mental health issues in Canada – 2015: International Human Rights Program, University of Toronto Faculty of Law

Basic Principles and Guidelines on Remedies and Procedures on the Right of Anyone Deprived of His or Her Liberty by Arrest or Detention to Bring Proceedings Before Court

STAY CONNECTED

Follow us on Twitter @CdnHumanRights and Facebook.

Watch us on Youtube

 

SOURCE Canadian Human Rights Commission

For further information: Media Relations , 613-943-9118, www.chrc-ccdp.gc.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.chrc-ccdp.ca

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890