News: Refugee Rights

Keep up-to-date with the latest news and views from CPJ on refugee rights by reading the articles written by CPJ staff and citing CPJ’s work.
A paper plane stuck in barbed wire of a detention centre.

Letter to PM calls for immediate end to migrant incarceration

Since the launch of the #WelcometoCanada campaign in 2022, CPJ has partnered with Human Rights Watch to call for an end to immigration detention in Canada. Since then, eight provinces have cancelled their immigration detention contracts with Canada Border Services Agency. However, some provinces have been transferring detainees to other provinces rather than releasing them,…

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The back of the Parliament Building in Ottawa, Canada. The Peace Tower is in the background and the Library is in the foreground.

Budget 2023: A Meaningful Step Forward, But Is It Enough?

The 2023 Federal Budget was announced at a time when Canadian residents share deep concerns about affordability, access to health care, and the ever-accelerating climate crisis. The question that CPJ asks around every federal budget cycle remains the same: Does this budget prioritize systemic solutions that could eradicate poverty, uphold the rights and dignity of…

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The Blue Water Bridge at the border of United States and Canada. The bridge connects Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario.

Busting Myths About the Safe Third Country Agreement

“The Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) has been receiving increased attention as Canada recently announced an additional protocol that came into effect on March 25, creating significant barriers to those seeking asylum in Canada,” writes Rena Namago, CPJ’s Public Justice Intern. “This article responds to common misconceptions around the agreement and elaborates on its impacts…

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GBV Policy Brief report cover

A Call to Strengthen Canada’s Protection to Central American Survivors of Gender-Based Violence

We at International Justice Mission (IJM) Canada and Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) are committed to supporting national and international policies that strengthen protection to survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV). During these 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, we want to draw special attention to the initiatives that Canada can support to provide protection…

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Health Care Report cover

Work, Study, Pay Taxes, But Don’t Get Sick

Universal access to health care is perceived as a fundamental Canadian value, with roots that trace back to the first province-wide universal health care plan in Saskatchewan in 1947. Likewise, Canada purports to be a world leader in providing a fulsome welcome to refugees and migrants, with plans to grant permanent residence status to at…

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Budget 2022 Prioritizes the Status Quo

Budget 2022 was announced in a moment of multiple overlapping crises. In Canada and across the world we are living with rising costs of living, social and political unrest, and an ever-accelerating climate crisis, all in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. Ahead of the budget, CPJ called for an approach that would reflect the…

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Airplane flying over an immigration detention centre

Faith-based groups call on Canada to abolish immigration detention

Between April 2019 and March 2020, 138 infants and children were held in immigration detention. A recent report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International Canada found that Canada’s refugee system has been tarnished over the last decade by the incarceration of tens of thousands of individuals in immigration detention, many of them in provincial jails. Immigration…

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#WelcomeToCanada - the Catalyst cover illustration

Handcuffs, Shackles, and Jail Bars: What a Canadian Welcome Ought Not to Be

Canada prides itself on setting historic immigration targets and agreeing to resettle more refugees than most other countries. But Canada also continues to restrict asylum eligibility and increase restrictive border control measures, including holding asylum seekers in detention centres. Can Canada truly claim to be a safe haven while simultaneously transgressing the rights of those…

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Team of Surgeons Operating in the Hospital

Is Canadian Healthcare Truly Universal? Health Inequities Based on Immigration Status

Canadian communities are comprised of individuals with different immigration status, coexisting in the same spaces and sharing similar experiences and realities. For some, the attributes of “permanence,” that Citizens and Permanent Residents have, or “transience,” for those with expiry dates on their Canadian documents, bear little significance in the realms of community and daily living—we…

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Immigration detention Canada

Interfaith call to action: Ending human rights violations in immigration detentions in Canada

We come together as representatives of Baha’í, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh faith traditions out of a shared concern for the dignity and humanity of refugee claimants and other newcomers to Canada. Our diverse faiths urge us to uphold the human rights of those seeking safety or a better life, and to denounce instances…

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