Jamaican granted refugee protection in Canada

By Sukhram   Ramkissoon  

Sukhram Ramkissoon

A 28-year-old male from Jamaica was recently granted refugee protection status in Canada as he established that there is a risk to his life on a Convention Refugee Ground. His claim was accepted by the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration Refugee Board (IRB) from the Bench.

For the purposes of this article, the claimant has asked me to refer to him as “Ricky”, and has given me permission to write about his circumstances. Ricky was represented by me and during his recent virtual hearing he testified that he is single and has a child in Jamaica. He was a driver for hire and a part time musician.  He received threats and attacks on his life by a drug dealer and did not receive police protection.

Ricky testified about the attempts he made to relocate within his country, but these attempts were not permanent solutions to his problem, given the vindictiveness of drug dealers in his country and his inability to relocate permanently so he may live freely. He also testified about his delay in making his claim after arriving in Canada, and he also provided evidence from various family members which further supported his claim.

The RPD Member, after considering all the evidence, including country reports, newspaper clippings about crime and drug problems in his country, found that Ricky established that there is a risk to his life, on a balance of probabilities in a forward-looking capacity, under the law that deals with risk to life.

On the issue of State Protection, the Member found that there was no state protection available, based on the documentary evidence, which was provided, including the corruption of the police and judiciary, elements of the drug trade, gangs being active with friendly politicians, fears that police are in cooperation with the drug gangs, gang violence and murders, as well as Ricky’s own unsuccessful attempts to seek protection.

On the issue of Internal Flight Alternative –  the Member found that based on his present understanding of Ricky’s country of birth, and based on Ricky’s testimony, as well as country documentation on corruption, there was no safe place in that country for Ricky to safely reside. The member found that Ricky would not have a viable internal flight alternative, as Ricky would continue to face risk in every part of that country.
In conclusion the Member stated that for all the above reasons, he found that Ricky has a well-founded fear of persecution in terms of risk to his life and found he is a person in need of protection under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

 It should be noted that whenever a person is found to be a Convention Refugee and obtains permanent residence as such, that person cannot return to the country from which he/she fled persecution.

In the event a Convention Refugee returns to his/her country of birth or former nationality, in which they fled and obtains a passport from that country, CBSA may initiate enforcement proceedings against that person, if that person is not already a Canadian citizen.  CBSA will bring an application for Cessation of Refugee Protection before the Immigration and Refugee Board. This means, if the IRB finds that the claimant returns to the country for which he received refugee protection, permanent resident status may be revoked and he will be ordered removed from Canada.

Good luck Ricky. Now you can finally be reunited with your child on a permanent basis!

SUKHRAM   RAMKISSOON   is a member of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants and specializes in Immigration Matters at No. 3089 Bathurst Street, Suite 219A, Toronto, Ontario, Phone 416 789 5756.