What is being done to end the 'Safe Third Country Agreement'

Image from Flickr, by miguelb https://www.flickr.com/photos/mig/343837586

After the Trump government first came into power, many of us were horrified by the inhumane attacks on people of colour, immigrants and asylum seekers.  We were further disturbed by the fact that the Canadian federal government continued to stand by the 'Safe Third Country' agreement.  Many petitions are circulating asking for action: from a temporary suspension of the agreement to a complete overhaul of the immigrant detention system.

This month the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR), Amnesty International (AI) and the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC) completed filing extensive evidence in Federal Court to support a legal challenge, in conjunction with a family from El Salvador, of the designation of the United States as a safe third country for refugees.  

Sign the petition supporting this initiative and donate to these organizations because a legal precedent could help provide additional ways to support people being harmed by this agreement.
 
What is the ‘Safe Third Country Agreement’

The Safe Third Country Agreement was signed by the US and Canada in 2002 and came into effect in 2004.  It basically means a person claiming refugee status in the United States or Canada must apply in the first safe country in which they arrive.   Only the United States and Canada are designated as ‘safe countries’.   This designation is subject to a review of human rights “and only countries which respect human rights and offer a high degree of protection to asylum seekers may be designated as safe third countries’.   Given the recent Supreme Court ruling upholding the immigration ban, the anti-immigrant policies in the US as many permanent residents are now second class citizens, and the border detentions, an important message to the US would be to take away the ‘safe third country’ status of the US and end this agreement. 

The campaign to end the Safe Third Country agreement has been going on since 2009.  There are now tens of thousands of Canadians demanding that the agreement be suspended. 

Thank you for reading this story...

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all. But media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our only supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help.

If everyone who visits rabble and likes it chipped in a couple of dollars per month, our future would be much more secure and we could do much more: like the things our readers tell us they want to see more of: more staff reporters and more work to complete the upgrade of our website.

We’re asking if you could make a donation, right now, to set rabble on solid footing.

Make a donation.Become a monthly supporter.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.