Ottawa, June 20, 2018 – The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs; and the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development, today issued this statement on World Refugee Day:
Refugee Rights Day is a day to create awareness in the public consciousness about the rights and protection of refugees in Canada. Celebrated on April 4th, this day is significant particularly for refugee claimants, because it brings attention to the advances made in the protection of refugee rights in Canada as a result of the Supreme Court’s 1985 Singh Decision. In this decision, the Supreme Court found that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the fundamental rights of refugees. The Court decided that ‘everyone’ includes refugee claimants in the sentence: ‘Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.’
The United Nations declared June 20thWorld Refugee Day in 2000. The focus of this year’s World Refugee Day is the impact of war on families. Muslim Link asked Ottawa resident Sina N. to share her thoughts on this day.
Sina N.: My family and I came to Canada in 1990. We were originally from Afghanistan but had flown to Canada from India. On this day I reflect on a question that I constantly come across. That question is: “Why come to this country and still want to be rooted in your culture? You come to Canada, therefore you should be so happy.”