Migrants Detained in Canadian Provincial Jails Suffer in Abusive Conditions, Rights Group Says
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Canada’s provincial governments need to sever contracts with the national government to house detained migrants to halt a litany of abuses in provincial jails where immigrants face abuses in maximum security prisons, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said on Thursday.
“Immigration detainees are handcuffed, shackled, and held with little to no contact with the outside world. In provincial jails, many are confined in dangerous environments where they may be subjected to violence,” a joint press release issued by the two rights groups said.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International obtained copies of the contracts between the federal government and six provinces - British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan - which allow authorities to hold immigration detainees in provincial jails, including maximum security facilities.
Canada’s practice of incarcerating immigration detainees in provincial jails is a violation of international human rights law because incarceration in these facilities is inherently punitive in nature and not suited nor permitted under international standards for use in immigration detention, the release said.
The groups have written to all provinces urging premiers and corrections ministries to stop using provincial jails and other incarceration facilities for immigration detention, and to cancel all contracts and informal arrangements between the federal and provincial governments that allow authorities to transfer immigration detainees to these facilities, the release added.