People hold signs at rally for refugee rights Credit: Anne Woolger/Matthew House

Fight Back Against the Safe Third Country Agreement Expansion


Call for an end to the Safe Third Country Agreement, which puts refugees at risk.

The Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) puts refugees at risk, which is why Amnesty and our partners have been fighting against it since it came into effect in 2004. This fight took us all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada in October 2022, where we argued that it violates refugees’ rights to equality, and life, liberty and security of the person. A decision from Canada’s highest court is pending.

Under the STCA, many refugee claimants are forcibly returned to the US, where they are at risk of arbitrary detention and potential return to their country of origin, where they could face persecution or death. Until March 25, the STCA only applied at official ports of entry, which is why many were forced to cross irregularly to seek refugee protection in Canada, at places like Roxham Road. Instead of reducing the need for irregular crossings by withdrawing from the Safe Third Country Agreement, the government has expanded it to apply across the entire border. The expansion will not eliminate irregular crossings, but will push refugees to more perilous situations, such as relying on smugglers or crossing in remote areas. It is unconscionable that the government has taken this step, which will harm refugees, particularly when the constitutionality of the agreement is still under review by the Supreme Court of Canada. 

What can you do?

If you have a moment, join thousands of people in calling on Minister Fraser to withdraw from the Safe Third Country Agreement.  

Call on Minister Fraser to

Withdraw from the safe third country agreement

If you have more time, consider planning or attending a protest on Parliament Hill or in front of MPs’ constituency offices! You can target key decision makers, like Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Fraser (Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship) or your local MP. Brings signs, let media know, and make lots of noise!

Advocates have already planned a daily noon hour protest outside of Minister Mendocino’s constituency office in Toronto. If you would like to attend, please use this sign up sheet to help organizers get a sense of how many people will attend each day (feel free to not provide your full or real name).

Key Date: June 20 is World Refugee Day and is a great day to coordinate action with friends, family, and community members. Every day is a good day to stand up for refugee rights!