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CCLA’s voice was heard and recognized in the Federal Court decision released in the case of Abdoul Abdi. Mr. Abdi is a former child refugee and recent Crown ward in Nova Scotia, who Canada was trying to deport. In the Federal Court decision, Justice Ann Marie McDonald stated that the government “failed to properly consider” Mr. Abdi’s Charter rights; nor had it considered international law norms, as required by Canada’s immigration act.

CCLA was an intervener in the case fighting for the equality rights of individual Crown wards to have a meaningful path to citizenship. Mr. Abdi is a young man who was brought to Canada at the age of 6 as a refugee from Somalia. Shortly after arriving in Canada, Abdi was taken into care in Nova Scotia. There, he was moved between foster homes 31 times, and never granted Canadian citizenship. Unfortunately, according to reports, his experience in care deprived him of a stable home environment. Indeed, reports have it that not only did the state not meet its obligations to Mr. Abdi, it actually prevented his aunt from making an application for him due to his being a ward of the state.

Mr. Abdi has been wronged by the government. Individuals who obtain refugee status can generally become Canadian citizens. A child refugee who becomes a ward of the state should have this same opportunity.  The government had a responsibility for Mr. Abdi’s education and safety, to regularize his status, and to create for him a meaningful path to citizenship.  Canada failed him in every way. CCLA calls on the government to correct past wrongs for Mr. Abdi, and ensure that he too can obtain citizenship without further obstacles or delay.

Read the decision here.
Read CCLA’s factum here.

In the News:

CBC: Abdoul Abdi no longer facing deportation hearing, for now
CTV News: Judge overturns deportation of child refugee from Somalia
Global News: ‘He’s ready to live life in peace’: Federal Court overturns Abdoul Abdi’s deportation but future still uncertain
Halifax Examiner: Judge sets aside decision to deport Abdoul Abdi

About the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

The CCLA is an independent, non-profit organization with supporters from across the country. Founded in 1964, the CCLA is a national human rights organization committed to defending the rights, dignity, safety, and freedoms of all people in Canada.

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