Warning from UN experts: Canada lacks oversight for border agency and safeguards for incarcerated individuals


“Canada Slammed by UN Experts for Failing in Justice and Detention Practices”

Canada’s justice system is under scrutiny as a panel of United Nations experts highlights several key areas where the country is falling short. From trial delays to issues with initiatives aimed at reducing the number of Indigenous people behind bars, there are pressing concerns that need to be addressed.

Failure in Equitable Justice

One of the major criticisms from the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is the lack of equitable justice in Canada. The panel points to trial delays and problems with initiatives meant to lower the rate of Indigenous people in detention as key areas of concern. The need for a cap on how long foreigners can be detained without charge is also emphasized, urging Ottawa to take action to rectify these injustices.

Accountability and Oversight

The panel also raises alarm over the lack of oversight within the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). With border guards interacting with some of the most vulnerable populations in Canada, the absence of an official oversight body is a glaring oversight. Without proper accountability measures in place, there is an increased risk of mistakes and potential abuses occurring. Oversight and accountability are essential in upholding international law and ensuring that human rights are respected.

Failure in Indigenous Justice

Another critical issue highlighted by the UN experts is the inadequacy of initiatives meant to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in Canada’s justice system. The panel points to the ineffective implementation of Gladue reports, which are meant to provide courts with a better understanding of how colonization has impacted offenders’ lives. The process of crafting these reports is described as ineffective and traumatizing for accused individuals, underscoring the urgent need for reform in this area.

Conclusion: A Call for Action

As Canada faces criticism from the United Nations on its justice and detention practices, it is clear that urgent action is needed to address these systemic failures. From improving oversight and accountability within the CBSA to better supporting initiatives aimed at reducing Indigenous incarceration rates, there are crucial changes that must be made to ensure a fair and just justice system for all Canadians. It is time for Canada to listen to the recommendations of the UN experts and take concrete steps towards building a more equitable and inclusive society.



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