Hundreds of Canadian children held in immigration detention, report shows

February 23, 2017

By Joe Friesen, Globe and Mail |

More than 200 Canadian children have been held in immigration detention in recent years, according to a new report from the University of Toronto’s International Human Rights Program.

Between 2011 and 2015, 241 Canadian children were held at the Toronto Immigration Holding Centre alone, according to the report. Normally Canadian citizens cannot be subject to detention under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. These children became de facto detainees because they were in the care of a parent who was detained and is a foreign national or permanent resident. The children cannot, however, have their own detention review hearings. As a result they become “legally invisible,” according to the report.

“It’s a clear violation of international law for these kids not to have their best interests taken into account as a primary consideration,” said Hanna Gros, the report’s author and a senior fellow at the University of Toronto. “It’s quite shocking that Canadian citizens are treated this way.”

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