The “safe” country list is profoundly unsafe for QLGBT refugees.

Bill C-31 will give the Minister of Immigration power to designate countries, without considering their human rights record or consulting with human rights experts.

People from a Designated Country of Origin (DCO)

  • have no right to appeal
  • have only 45 days before their case is heard

This creates a two-tiered refugee system, violating principles of equality before the law. It leaves a life or death decision in the hands of one person.

The DCO is dangerous for QLGBT refugees.

In many countries massive gaps exist between laws on paper, and on the ground conditions for QLGBT people. Brazil hosts the largest pride parade in the world, it also has the highest rate of homophobic and transphobic murders in the world.  South Africa has legal same-sex marriage, yet, NGOs there report that “corrective rape” of lesbians is common, and rarely investigated by police. It is precisely when laws and societies are in transition that decisions are most complex, and the right to an appeal most critical.

Access to appeal for all refugee claimants is essential—anything less risks returning people to face torture, imprisonment, or ongoing violence and extortion.

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