Your life is not in danger just because you’re a Tamil who has been sent back to Sri Lanka, says a new policy introduced by Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).
The “persuasive decision,” a note aimed at maintaining consistency in IRB rulings, said meaningful changes in Sri Lanka suggest Tamils – particularly young males – won’t be persecuted because of their social group or political opinions, the Globe and Mail reported yesterday (10 Jan).
The IRB pointed to improvements in the country’s human-rights situation, among other factors.
Although refugee board adjudicators aren’t forced to follow the new guideline, the IRB said such notes “are offered to members as models of sound reasoning that may be adopted in appropriate circumstances.”
The IRB’s decision was released last month, just before the holidays. Persuasive decisions derive from individual cases that are identified as being of persuasive value in developing guidelines.
The case cited in the new IRB policy involved a 25-year-old Tamil male from Sri Lanka. (He did not arrive in Canada on either of the high-profile boats.)
The claimant told the refugee board that “he has been and will be persecuted by the Sri Lankan army, government officials and paramilitary agents associated with the Sri Lankan government if he returns to Sri Lanka.”
The IRB, an independent administrative tribunal, rejected his refugee claim in November. It was cited in the persuasive decision four weeks later.
“The claimant is not a person in need of protection in that his removal to Sri Lanka would not subject him personally to a risk to his life,” the refugee board adjudicator said in the ruling.
The persuasive decision said protection is limited to those who face a specific risk that is not faced generally by others in or from the country.
Melissa Anderson, an IRB spokeswoman, said the decision “reflects the fact that changed conditions in the country of alleged persecution have an impact on the determination of whether or not a claimant faces a serious possibility of persecution.”
Ms. Anderson added each refugee claim, including those made by Tamils from Sri Lanka, is determined on its own merits by applying the law to the facts of the particular claim.