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UN Report Says Refugee Detention Up In Canada

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported that the number of refugees being detained in Canada is continually increasing. The number of refugees detained increased from 4,475 in 2004 to 5,961 in 2008, with an average of 5.4 percent of the detainees being held for at least 90 days.

A study done by Delphine Nakache, a University of Ottawa professor in international development and global studies reveals that inadmissible migrants and failed asylum seekers are being detained in provincial jails alongside the criminal population.  Statistics show that about 27 percent of refugees are detained in penal institutions when only 6 percent of this group are suspected of criminality and posing risk or danger to the public.  From 2004 to 2008, the percentage of refugee detainees in jail for “Security/danger reasons” has dropped to 4.7 percent from 7 percent in 2004.

Canada Border Services Agency has three immigration holding centers in Toronto, Laval and Vancouver, but uses provincial jails to house immigration detainees when a person shows signs of mental health or behavioral problems.

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