This person cannot speak on behalf of the refugee claimant or disrupt the procedure during the interview and cannot delay the process. The Safe Third Country Agreement is the first time that legislative authority has been exercised to designate a safe third country, both in Canada and the United States. The Safe Third Country Agreement is an agreement between the governments of Canada and the United States to better manage the influx of refugee claimants at the shared land border. Conventions relating to safe third countries are not explicitly mentioned in the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees or in the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees. Instead, their legality derives from Article 31 of the 1951 Convention, which states that a refugee should not be punished for illegal entry into a country when arriving directly from a country where he or she was threatened. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has itself warned against overly broad an interpretation of safe third country agreements, but acknowledges that they may be acceptable in certain circumstances. [22] Such ambiguities have led some jurists in Canada to question the legality of the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement. [23] To date, the United States is the only country considered a safe third country by Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The Agreement does not apply to U.S. citizens or ordinary residents of the United States who are not nationals of a country (“stateless”).

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