Date of Award
Major Research Paper
Master of Arts (MA)
Immigration and Settlement Studies
This project considers the role that evidence plays in determining a refugee's identity within Canada's refugee adjudication process. Its main contention is that Canada's refugee determination system works within a framework that values legalistic and categorical principles, which ignore the complexity of a refugee's identity. Since Canada's refugee system excludes claimants who do not fit designated categories, it encourages them to modify their identity in order to meet the strict criteria for qualification. This project is based on interviews with individuals involved in the refugee process, including refugee decision-maker(s), community activist(s) and refugee lawyer(s). Using important historical and contextual analysis, this paper demonstrates the restrictive nature of refugee definitions and policies that act as barriers that exclude claimants. Moreover, the role of institutions within the Immigration and Refugee Board also operate to restrict claimants. A case study on the IRB Documentation Centre illustrates how evidence, as the determining factor of identity, is one specific method of restricting claimants.
Smith, Adrienne C., "Determining a refugee's identity by means of categorical principles : the role of evidence in the refugee determination process : a case study of the Immigration & Refugee Board Documentation Centre" (2007). Theses and dissertations. Paper 287.