In Response to: The Balanced Refugee Reform Act (BILL C-11)
April 2011

Written by: Lobat Sadrehashemi
For: Battered Women’s Support Services

Gender Persecution and Refugee Law Reform in Canada

Our refugee system is going to fundamentally change over the next year to 2012.  Battered Women’s Support Services has identified that the changes will make it more difficult for women fleeing gender-related persecution.

The amendments to IRPA under Bill C-11 and the proposed regulations is a major shift in our refugee determination process. There are many changes. Key changes include:

  • INTERVIEW INSTEAD OF WRITTEN NARRATIVE: There will no longer be a Personal Information Form (“PIF”) where a claimant can explain in writing the basis of their fear of return. Instead the initial step after an eligibility determination will be an interview with an official from the IRB; a transcript of this interview will be provided to the Member hearing the refugee claim.
  • FAST TIMELINES  : The timelines are fast for all steps in the process, from interview, through to hearing, and then appeal at the new Refugee Appeal Division.
  • DIFFERENT TIMELINES FOR DIFFERENT COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN: For the first time claimants from particular countries that have been designated by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada will be subject to quicker timelines for their refugee hearings and for decision from their appeals to the Refugee Appeal Division.
  • RIGHT OF APPEAL: Both the claimant and the Minister have a right to appeal refugee decisions to a new body, the Refugee Appeal Division.

Read the entire article here.