Stand up for human rights, rescind the 'Safe Third Country' agreement.

Call on Canada to rescind the 'Safe Third Country' agreement immediately.


Executive Orders signed in the United States violate the human rights of refugees. 

Thousands of men, women and children are being arrested and detained by immigration authorities, merely for seeking asylum.


In 2017 Executive Orders were issued that blatantly violate international refugee and human rights legal obligations, including under the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture. 

Two of the Executive Orders (EOs) include calls for a new regime of large-scale detention, expanded expedited removal without due process, deputizing of state and local officials to detain individuals suspected of immigration violations, and aggressive criminal prosecution for unauthorized entry, a means by which many seek access to asylum protection.

The April 2018  ‘zero-tolerance’ policy separates and detains asylum seeking children and parents, and intentionally inflicts severe mental suffering on families for coercive purposes. 

The ‘Safe Third Country Agreement’ between Canada and the United States means that, in most cases, asylum seekers in the USA must make their refugee claim there, instead of in Canada – since it assumes the US is a ‘safe’ country which upholds international human rights and the Refugee Convention. There is an exception for those who do not cross at official border crossings, which is why so many people have made the difficult – and often dangerous – decision to cross into Canada irregularly.

The US practices and policies curtail asylum seekers’ ability to meaningfully pursue refugee claims in the United States, and greatly increase the risk that individuals with viable refugee claims will be deported to countries where they face persecution.


Canada must act immediately to distance its refugee policy from the USA and rescind the Safe Third Country agreement so that refugees who turn to Canada are able to do so.

Learn more: 

The US is less safe for refugees than ever, evidence filed in court challenge shows (July 4, 2018)

Amnesty International: Canada must strip USA of “safe third country” designation for refugee claimants

Tell your MP:  America isn't safe for refugees

We Will Fight Trump’s Effort to Close U.S. Borders

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Dear Minister Hussen, 

Executive Orders, detention practices and family separation in the United States demonstrate a total disregard for the rights of refugees.  Crucial principles with respect to non-discrimination, non-refoulement, arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, fair trials and the rights of children are being infringed.   

The Canada-USA “Safe Third Country Agreement” assumes that both Canada and the United States respect refugee rights, and bars most refugees already in the United States from seeking protection in Canada.  

The United States cannot be considered “safe” for the purposes of refugee protection.  Thousands of people have been arrested and detained by immigration authorities, for no other reason than seeking asylum.  

I call on you to immediately rescind the designation of the United States as a ‘safe third country.’