Former UN human rights chief calls Canada’s handling of child refugees ‘inhumane’

Canada should change the way it treats child refugees and their families. That’s the conclusion of a former UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, who says Canada’s policy blocking child refugees from reuniting with their parents is both “inhumane and degrading.”

“Being deprived of your parents by the law for no other reason than an immigration violation, which is not a criminal offence, is akin to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment,” said François Crépeau, a law professor and director of McGill University’s human rights centre.

Crépeau’s remarks come following a series of Global News reports that exposed how Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada denies child refugees the right to reunite with their families in the same way adult refugees reunite with their children and spouses.

Because Immigration Canada doesn’t consider the parents and siblings of children as “family members,” child refugees who come to Canada alone and whose claims are accepted are prohibited from adding parents and siblings to their permanent residency applications once.

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Text by Brian Hill