For years, government actors defended the Designated Countries of Origin (DCO) policy as a necessary tool to curb the alleged abuse of Canada’s refugee determination system. The DCO policy, however, had garnered a lot of criticism over its restrictive provisions which have targeted nationals of specific countries, making it harder for them to obtain refugee status in Canada. As a result of these conflicting perspectives, the following working paper will explain that the DCO policy was an exclusionary refugee policy that unjustly limited the ability for nationals of DCO countries (DCOs) to obtain refugee status in Canada. It will demonstrate that actors of the Canadian Government, through mainly the former Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism (the Minister), reinforced discourses of exclusion to justify the DCO policy’s implementation as necessary. By exemplifying the DCO policy’s impact on the Romani people of Hungary, this paper will expose how exclusionary refugee policies, and the discourses that substantiate them, represent the widely embedded and deeply discriminatory belief that some refugee claimants are less desirable than others.
Koumantaros, J., & Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement. Discourses of Exclusion and Undesirability: The Designated Countries of Origin Policy and its Impact on
Hungarian Romani Refugee Claimants. Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement.