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Expanding Refugee Ineligibility: Canada’s Response to Secondary Refugee Movements
In 2019, Canada introduced legislative changes that made asylum seekers ineligible for protection if they have made a previous refugee claim in a country that Canada shares an information-sharing agreement with. Such agreements are currently in place with the US, Australia, the UK, and New Zealand. This article offers a critical assessment of the newineligibility ground, arguing that the policyis designed to deter secondary refugee movements, particularly those across the Canada–US border which have considerably intensified since 2017. Based on the ‘first safe country’ rule, the new ineligibility ground enables Canada to exclude some asylum seekers from refugee protection without offering any alternative effective protection in Canada. This article demonstrates that the policy is inconsistent with Canada’s obligations under international refugee law.