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Bill C-31 will re-victimize women refugees and their children
The Barbra Schlifer Clinic, METRAC, and LEAF have presented their concerns about the bill to the Commons Committee on Bill C-31.
Bill C-31, the Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act, will result in the arbitrary detention, intimidation, failure to protect, and ultimate re-victimization of highly vulnerable people who seek asylum in Canada, especially the most vulnerable among them, women and children.
If the changes proposed under Bill C-31 are passed into law, a significant number of women will never have their own risk of persecution or hardship assessed, prior to being deported from Canada.
The Barbra Schlifer Clinic, METRAC, and LEAF, three organizations dedicated to women's equality and to ending violence against women, presented their concerns about the Bill in a written Submission to the Commons Committee on Bill C-31, which concluded hearings this week.
Among other concerns, they say that designating certain countries as 'safe', will result in women being deported back to violent situations. "These provisions fail to recognize that women may experience systemic discrimination and unchecked gender-based violence in countries that are otherwise considered safe," says Barbra Schlifer Clinic Executive Director, Amanda Dale. "We regularly work with women who have been abused, without state protection, in the home countries they fled, such places as Portugal, St. Vincent and Mexico, to name but a few. Under Bill C-31, they would likely be forced to return to that violence."
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