Friday, 31 July 2009

Let's Bring The EU Into The Safe Third Country Agreement.

On July 25th Canada effectively closed its door to alleged asylum seekers if they landed in the United States first. Read about it here.

Effective today, Canada will stop letting in asylum seekers from some of the world's most volatile and dangerous countries if the would-be refugees first landed in the United States.

Refugee claimants from Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe – countries that have so-called temporary suspension of removal (TSR) status due to their volatile political conditions – will no longer be able to come to Canada from the United States and then seek asylum, unless they have family already here.

Until now, an exemption had been allowed under the bilateral Safe Third Country Agreement that bans people from making asylum claims in both countries.

This move is in accordance with the UN convention on refugees and Canada had this right all along. To prevent what is called asylum shopping refugee receiving countries could turn away asylum seekers if they arrived via a safe third country especially if that nation is a signatory nation to the convention of which the United States is. And so are many of the countries that make up the European Union which is why the EU should be part of the Safe Third Country Agreement.

This is not a call to relieve Canada of its commitment to refugees. It is a call to shield Canada from bogus ones. This is why Canada should return to a system of vetting refugees abroad.

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