Idil Atak, Associate Professor, Department of Criminology, Ryerson University
Over the past decade, Canada’s refugee protection system has been the subject of important changes. The previous Conservative Government (2002-2015) made regulatory changes and adopted legislations amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) (S.C. 2001, c. 27). The Balanced Refugee Reform Act (Bill C-11, 2010) and the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act (Bill C-31, 2012) have introduced a number of measures in Canada’s refugee status determination system which include: the “designated country of origin” criteria, “designated irregular arrivals”, new procedural framework, such as expedited refugee claim hearings and restrictions to legal recourses. Based on the results of a research project that involved interviews with over 60 participants in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, this presentation explores some of the practical and human rights implications associated with these measures. It is argued that the new measures have resulted in violations of asylum seekers’ human rights. They have had a detrimental impact on third parties involved in the refugee protection system, such as legal counsels and service providers. In addition, these measures are likely to increase irregular migration in Canada. The presentation highlights the urgent need for policy changes.
Idil Atak is an Associate Professor and the Graduate Program Director in the Department of Criminology of Ryerson University. She is Editor-in-Chief of International Journal for Migration and Border Studies and a member of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration’s (IASFM) Executive Committee.
Guest speaker: Nergis Canefe,
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, York University
More details to follow
Guest speaker: Bushra Beegom, Assistant Professor in Sociology, University of Kerala (India)
India is a land of human displacement as it is going through various phases of development. More than sixty million people have been displaced since independence due to infrastructural and various developmental projects. People are deprived of their livelihood, resources and amenities due to land acquisition for development projects which effects radical changes in the existing power structure, community consciousness and social relations of the affectees in the region. Beyond that the cultural and psychological trauma associated with human displacement is endless. As it is a developing country, acquisition of land for implementing development project is inevitable. India followed until recently the draconian Land Acquisition Act of 1894 which permitted acquisition of land for public purposes. Even though there are amendments made to the Act and in 2013 a new Act was formulated for land acquisition and rehabilitation, there are still many problems faced by the people in association with human displacement and debates on ‘public purpose and fair compensation’ still goes on. Concepts like resettlement or rehabilitation have been neither properly perceived nor fulfilled in the proposed or finished projects. With the emergence of private sector and capitalistic aims, this augmented the deprivation and disruption of socio cultural structure. There are many issues related to land acquisition, fair compensation and rehabilitation of affectees. I examine the Indian experience of displacement, resettlement and rehabilitation by selecting two cases in the southernmost state in India, Kerala. The case of the Vizhinjam International Fishing Harbour project deserves global attention. The second one is the ICTT Project (International Container Transhipment Terminal). I intend to present the history of the projects, nature and extent of people displaced, challenges associated with ‘fair’ compensation and the failure of social policy to recognise the problems of affectees. The finding explicitly shows how the state perpetuates and shapes the lives of marginalised people.
Bushra Beegom is an Assistant Professor in Sociology at the University of Kerala (India) . Her research interests are in the sociology of development, development induced displacement, and rehabilitation of affectees . She was the Director of a research project funded by the Indian Council of Social Science Research and University Grants Commission, India. She also explored gendered dimensions of displacement and the rehabilitation of women specifically.