Today's major win for refugee rights is thanks to you. | View in browser [[link removed]] .
I have wonderful news to share with you! Today, the Federal Court of Canada
ruled that sending refugee claimants back to the United States under the
Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) violates the Canadian Charter of
Rights and Freedoms.
The Court found that sending refugee claimants back to the United States
violates their rights to liberty and security under section 7 of the Charter
because they face an almost certain risk of being arbitrarily detained in the
United States in immigration detention centres or county jails, often in
atrocious conditions and in clear contravention of international standards.
This is a major victory, long in the making.
Amnesty has been actively working to suspend or overturn the STCA for more than fifteen years , intensively so since the Trump Administration came to office and launched a
full out assault on refugee and migrant rights in the United States.
It is thanks to the support and tireless efforts of people like you that we are
celebrating today. It is thanks to Amnesty Canada’s donors, activists and supporters who refused
to give up that we have been in court twice, campaigned, rallied, sent more than
54,000 messages to the government, researched, written reports and op-eds, done
countless media interviews, taken our concerns to the UN, been in front of
Parliamentary committees, met with MPs and Ministers, and so much more.
We have done so in close partnership with our tremendous partners, the Canadian Council for Refugees and the Canadian Council of Churches .
And most importantly, we have been led and inspired by eight courageous refugee claimants from El Salvador, Ethiopia and Syria , who were prepared to initiate this court challenge, and whose experiences of
human rights abuse in their home countries and in the United States feature
prominently and movingly in the ruling.
Now we need to make sure that today's victory lasts. The Court has given the government six months grace before the ruling takes
effect. We are pressing the government to instead immediately stop sending
people back to the United States under the STCA, and not to appeal the decision.
We are also continuing our call for the immediate revocation of the government’s
ban on refugee protection claimants entering Canada from the United States as
part of Canada’s COVID-19-response.
The STCA has been the source of grave human rights violations for many years,
unequivocally confirmed in this ruling. It's impact is of even greater concern
now given the prevalence of COVID-19 in immigration detention in the United
States. Today’s ruling can bring that to an end. All eyes are now on the federal
government to do the right thing.
You can share this great news on social media here >>
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To learn more, you can read today's press release.
Today is a good day for human rights. Together, we have prevailed. Thank you for
being part of this long and significant struggle for refugee rights in Canada.
With deepest appreciation,
Amnesty International Canada