Refugee lawyers speak out on federal election campaign rhetoric

Candidates and party leaders should commit to civil discourse when discussing refugees, letter says

Refugee lawyers speak out on federal election campaign rhetoric
Maureen Silcoff

Lawyer Maureen Silcoff, president of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, was among signatories featured in an Amnesty International letter about how immigrants may be characterized during the federal election.

Silcoff said in the letter that candidates and party leaders should “commit to civil discourse when discussing refugees and migrants in the upcoming election.”

“Canadians expect the ideas and words expressed to reflect respect for our shared humanity,” Silcoff’s statement said.

Among other concerns, the letter says that “Canada has legal obligations to respect and uphold the human rights of those fleeing persecution.” The letter was sent by more than 150 organizations to all federal parties in June and released by Amnesty International on Sept. 12.

Black Legal Action Centre also signed the letter, as did a Vancouver -based law group.

“We welcome thoughtful discussion on complex issues related to migration, and recognize that there are many legitimate perspectives,” said the letter. “We are also conscious that refugees and migrants are easily victimized in political debates. In many countries around the world, especially during election campaigns, refugees and migrants have been talked about in ways that insult their dignity and humanity, contribute to xenophobia and racism, and are frequently grounded in distortion and misinformation.”

Related stories

Free newsletter

Our newsletter is FREE and keeps you up to date on all the developments in the Ontario legal community. Please enter your email address below to subscribe.

Recent articles & video

Invoking notwithstanding clause, Ford Government passes amendments to Election Finances Act

International lawyer and professor Payam Akhavan wins Law Society’s 2021 Human Rights Award

New national study will evaluate well-being in legal profession

Taxi company’s insurer not liable for accident victim’s statutory accident benefits

Human Rights Tribunal extended protected ground of citizenship to include permanent residency: Court

Second ruling on whether a COVID-related layoff is constructive dismissal produces opposite result

Most Read Articles

Second ruling on whether a COVID-related layoff is constructive dismissal produces opposite result

Ontario Court of Appeal split over sobriety check of driver which occurred on private driveway

Human rights commission urges province’s justice sector to keep prison population low amid COVID-19

Queen’s Law professor Cherie Metcalf receives grants for climate change research