In recent years, Canada has adopted both progressive refugee policies and restrictive border control measures, including agreeing to accept more refugees than other countries while at the same time adopting policies that restrict asylum eligibility. Canada’s immigration detention system has also continued to attract criticism, particularly because of its persistent use of prisons for immigration purposes, the carceral environments of its dedicated immigration detention centres, and its failure to adopt a maximum time limit for immigration detention, leaving some detainees facing indefinite detention. […]
Notions of the unwanted “other,” the “illegal” migrant, and the “bogus” refugee are increasingly prominent in public discourse, lending support to stringent border control policies whereby states are increasingly relying upon the use of detention to control the movement of foreigners. The detrimental impact of these trends on the health and wellbeing of migrants and […]
Although Canada has experienced increasing immigration pressures, including receiving in 2017 the highest number of asylum claims in its history, the country has not witnessed the same acrimonious public debate over immigration seen elsewhere. It has adopted important reforms, including the introduction of a National Immigration Detention Framework aimed at improving detention conditions and reducing […]
The right to personal liberty is one of the oldest recognized rights in liberal democracies, which raises fundamental constitutional questions about the use of detention as an immigration measure. However, as this GDP Working Paper highlights, in common law countries, lengthy immigration detention on a large scale has become the norm and is largely regarded as constitutional. […]
We should be shocked that so many countries fail to provide even basic details about their immigration detention practices. And yet, for those who have worked on this issue over the last two decades, the absence of public accountability about detention comes as no surprise.
The Canadian Border Services Agency’s official responses to information requests submitted by the Global Detention Project and Access Info Europe in 2013 as part of a joint project to map access to migration-related detention data in several dozen countries in Europe and North America. The results of the investigation were reported in the joint publication, […]
The Canadian Parliament is currently considering controversial “anti-smuggling” legislation which, if adopted, will “put a lot of emphasis on putting people behind bars before they get due process,” in the words of one member of Parliament. The legislation is part of a larger public debate in Canada regarding its social attitudes and legal responses to […]