What Is Canada`s Safe Third Country Agreement

Following the publication of the judgment, the public interest parties involved in the case asked the federal government not to appeal the court`s decision and to stop sending individuals back to the United States as part of the agreement. Section 102 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) authorizes the designation of safe third countries for the purposes of co-responsibility for refugee applications. Only countries that respect human rights and offer a high level of protection to asylum seekers can be designated as safe third countries. Under the agreement, refugee claimants must apply for refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in, unless they are entitled to a waiver from the agreement. McDonald suspended his decision for six months to give Parliament a chance to respond. The agreement is maintained during this period. Refugee lawyers who had been turned back at the Canadian border questioned the pact and said the United States was not considered «safe» under President Donald Trump. The agreement helps both governments better manage access to the refugee system in each country for people crossing the land border between Canada and the United States. The two countries signed the agreement on 5 December 2002 and came into force on 29 December 2004. The agreement means that Canada must reject anyone arriving at an official U.S. place of entry to prevent them from applying for refugee status in Canada, as the United States is considered a «safe country» to make such an application. The Canadian government defended this measure on the basis of the argument that the United States has adopted a refugee rights policy similar to Canada`s (although Canada accepts more rights).

The agreement had dramatic consequences: in 2005, Canada received just over 4,000 applications at the border, compared to about 8,900 applications filed in 2004. In addition to meeting the exemption criteria under the agreement, applicants must meet all other eligibility criteria for immigration legislation for the country in which they apply for status. Although refugees entering Canada at official border crossings are generally returned to the United States, they would not be returned if they crossed at locations between designated ports of entry; In this case, their demands will be heard and many immigration experts see it as a loophole within the agreement. [6] [7] Safe third country conventions are not explicitly mentioned in the 1951 Refugee Convention or the 1967 Refugee Status Protocol.

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