Supreme Court ruling could alter landscape for refugee advocates

The Toronto Star published an article on March 14, 2015 by Debra Black in which she outlines the Supreme Court ruling on advocating for refugees. Advocates have said that the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act is written far too broadly and puts people who legitimately help refugees at risk of prosecution. Section 117 makes it illegal to “organize, induce, aid or abet the coming into Canada of one or more persons knowing that, or being reckless as to whether, their coming into Canada is or would be in contravention of this Act.”

Francisco Rico, co-director of the FJC Refugee Centre in Toronto says “We do it being aware of the daily risk,”

Still, many challenging the law worry in a political climate increasingly hostile to refugees, it could criminalize the work of all advocates and humanitarians, says Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees. Lawyer Lorne Waldman, who represented one of the appellants in a Supreme Court case, said if the law stands, it “will be a strong disincentive against people helping refugees to try to come to Canada.”

You can read the entire article by clicking here.

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