The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic gave evidence in a Federal Court challenge to the Designated Countries of Origin (DCO) provisions of the immigration and refugee act. The challenge, which was brought by three affected refugee claimants and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL), argued that the changes are discriminatory and fails to consider that some groups with intersecting vulnerabilities face harm in many countries, even those that are otherwise thought of as “safe”, including women who experience violence, gay, lesbian and trans people, and others.

We are ecstatic to share that on July 23, 2015, the Federal Court struck down the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) bar for Designated Countries of Origin (DCO) claimants on the basis that is discriminates on the ground of national origin. The Court declined to suspend its judgment so effective immediately DCOs are entitled to RAD.

Read The Federal Court’s Ruling


Check Out These Related News Items


1. Toronto Star – Court rules denial of appeals for ‘safe country’ refugees unconstitutional

By: Nicholas Keung Immigration reporter, Published on Thu Jul 23 2015

In a major blow to the Harper government, the Federal Court has ruled that denying appeals to refugees from countries on Canada’s so-called “safe countries” list is unconstitutional.

In a ruling Thursday, the court said Ottawa’s designation by country of origin or DCO discriminates against asylum seekers who come from countries on this list by denying them access to appeals.

“The distinction drawn between the procedural advantage now accorded to non-DCO refugee claimants and the disadvantage suffered by DCO refugee claimants . . . is discriminatory on its face,” wrote Justice Keith M. Boswell in a 118-page decision.

“It also serves to further marginalize, prejudice, and stereotype refugee claimants from DCO countries which are generally considered safe and ‘non-refugee producing.’

“Moreover, it perpetuates a stereotype that refugee claimants from DCO countries are somehow queue-jumpers or ‘bogus’ claimants who only come here to take advantage of Canada’s refugee system and its generosity.


2. Toronto Star – UN alarmed by Canada’s immigration detention 

By: Nicholas Keung Immigration reporter, Published on Thu Jul 23 2015

The UN report also criticized the denial of appeals to rejected refugees from Ottawa’s so-called safe countries which could expose them to persecution and danger if deported to their home countries. It asked Canada to review this policy.”


You can also check out End Immigration Detention Network for info and resources on ending immigration detention. Their campaign is demanding an inquest into the death of Abdurahman Ibrahim Hassan (Abdi), a 39 year old Somali refugee died in immigration detention custody at Peterborough Regional Hospital. He is the 12th person to have died in immigration detention custody since 2000.