Canadian Refugee Procedure/Definitions, objectives, and application of the IRPA
IRPA Section 2Edit
Section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act reads:
Interpretation Definitions 2 (1) The definitions in this subsection apply in this Act. Board means the Immigration and Refugee Board, which consists of the Refugee Protection Division, Refugee Appeal Division, Immigration Division and Immigration Appeal Division. (Commission) Convention Against Torture means the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, signed at New York on December 10, 1984. Article 1 of the Convention Against Torture is set out in the schedule. (Convention contre la torture) designated foreign national has the meaning assigned by subsection 20.1(2). (étranger désigné) foreign national means a person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, and includes a stateless person. (étranger) permanent resident means a person who has acquired permanent resident status and has not subsequently lost that status under section 46. (résident permanent) Refugee Convention means the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, signed at Geneva on July 28, 1951, and the Protocol to that Convention, signed at New York on January 31, 1967. Sections E and F of Article 1 of the Refugee Convention are set out in the schedule. (Convention sur les réfugiés) Act includes regulations and instructions (2) Unless otherwise indicated, references in this Act to “this Act” include regulations made under it and instructions given under subsection 14.1(1).
The RPD Rules have a definitions section: Canadian Refugee Procedure/Definitions. See also the following more general discussions of terms, acronyms, and definitions related to refugee procedure: Canadian Refugee Procedure/Glossary.
IRPA Section 3Edit
Section 3(2) and 3(3) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act read:
Objectives — refugees (2) The objectives of this Act with respect to refugees are (a) to recognize that the refugee program is in the first instance about saving lives and offering protection to the displaced and persecuted; (b) to fulfil Canada’s international legal obligations with respect to refugees and affirm Canada’s commitment to international efforts to provide assistance to those in need of resettlement; (c) to grant, as a fundamental expression of Canada’s humanitarian ideals, fair consideration to those who come to Canada claiming persecution; (d) to offer safe haven to persons with a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group, as well as those at risk of torture or cruel and unusual treatment or punishment; (e) to establish fair and efficient procedures that will maintain the integrity of the Canadian refugee protection system, while upholding Canada’s respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all human beings; (f) to support the self-sufficiency and the social and economic well-being of refugees by facilitating reunification with their family members in Canada; (g) to protect the health and safety of Canadians and to maintain the security of Canadian society; and (h) to promote international justice and security by denying access to Canadian territory to persons, including refugee claimants, who are security risks or serious criminals. Application (3) This Act is to be construed and applied in a manner that (a) furthers the domestic and international interests of Canada; (b) promotes accountability and transparency by enhancing public awareness of immigration and refugee programs; (c) facilitates cooperation between the Government of Canada, provincial governments, foreign states, international organizations and non-governmental organizations; (d) ensures that decisions taken under this Act are consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including its principles of equality and freedom from discrimination and of the equality of English and French as the official languages of Canada; (e) supports the commitment of the Government of Canada to enhance the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada; and (f) complies with international human rights instruments to which Canada is signatory.
For a discussion of these legislative provisions, see: Canadian Refugee Procedure/Principles for the interpretation of refugee procedure#IRPA ss. 2 and 3: Interpretation principles as derived from the Act.