Refugee protection is an exceptional form of surrogate protection reserved for those who are outside of their country of origin and who have a ‘well-founded’ fear of experiencing persecution upon return (Refugee Convention, 1951). The vast majority of countries in the world – 145 – are signatories to the International Refugee Convention (1951) which recognizes the rights of refugees, the responsibilities of states to provide protection to refugees, and the necessity of international cooperation to strengthen access to protection for refugees globally. In the absence of a legally binding framework however, states are able to interpret through domestic legislation the quality and extent of their participation in the international refugee regime (Milner, 2016). In this Spotlight on Migration, we discuss how the discourses of ‘safe’ countries and ‘fraudulent’ refugees underpinning past and current refugee policies, including the Safe Third Country agreement, the Designated Country of Origin policy, and recent changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act through Bill C-97, have been used to limit access to Canada’s refugee system.
Spade, C., McDermott, T., & Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement (2020). ‘Safe’ countries and ‘fraudulent’ refugees: Tools for narrowing access to Canada’s refugee system. Toronto: Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement.