Enforcing Idealism: The Implementation of Complementary International Protection in Canadian Refugee Law
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This thesis evaluates Canada‘s compliance with human rights-based complementary international protection. Through an analysis of the roots of international refugee protection, it first links the evolution of the latter with the development of human rights law instruments. It then defines complementary protection as the corpus of legal bases for asylum claims outside of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. It uses various human rights instruments to outline international protection obligations, which take three different forms of complementary protection. The first one consists in independent protection mechanisms outside of the Refugee Convention, the most important being the formulation of non-refoulement in the Convention Against Torture. The others are rights that expand the application of existing protection mechanisms, and protection mechanisms established by the UNHCR outside of existing international treaties. This thesis argues that Canada‘s application of these norms reflects partial compliance with its obligations, as it acknowledges important humanitarian concerns regarding international protection, while attempting to preserve its prerogative to exclude individuals based on national security.