In a recent ruling, Canada’s federal court has declared the Safe Third Country Agreement as unconstitutional.
A Canadian judge found through the stories of people that America’s treatment of refugees violated basic human rights.
Criticizing such an act, the judge has argued that the STCA with the U.S. breaches the Charter of Human Rights that Canada follows. Because when Canada returns the asylum seekers to the U.S., it expects that the refugees will undergo a fair process. However, on the contrary, they are “immediately imprisoned” and bound to face inhumane conditions.
Safe Third Country Agreement is an agreement that is established between two countries in order to regulate the flow of asylum seekers and refugees at their border.
The U.S. and Canada signed their first Safe Third Country Agreement in 2002. It is a treaty between the countries to manage the claim of refugees at the shared land border.
Under this treaty, refugee claimants are required to make their claim in the country in which they first arrived, unless an exception is applied.
The point of the fact is that the asylum-seekers will not be allowed to enter Canada if they had first crossed through the U.S. (a country that has human rights protections). So, any refugees entering Canada are returned to the U.S.
In a judgment on July 22, as per the stories told by the people who faced harsh conditions in America, the Canadian judge, Ann Marie McDonald, has pronounced the STCA invalid because the U.S. does not seem to support the human rights of refugees – “life, liberty, and security”
Now, the justice department of Canada has 30 days to file an appeal. If there is no appeal from the government’s side, the decision of the federal court will be implemented within six months.
On the other hand, if the government appeals, this ruling will be put on hold and can be overturned if the federal government wins the appeal.
However, if the appeal is dismissed, the asylum-seekers coming at the border of Canada will not be sent back to the U.S.