Promoting the rights of immigration detainees

The Canadian Red Cross provides independent monitoring of detention facilities holding immigration detainees to promote a protective environment in which detainees are treated humanely and where their human rights and their inherent dignity are respected. This includes visiting federal immigration holding facilities and/or some provincial correctional facilities in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba (as of 2019).

Detention monitoring is part of the Canadian Red Cross’ humanitarian mandate to assist vulnerable people in Canada and around the world. The Canadian Red Cross has been involved in detention monitoring activities since 1999, following a request from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to assess the conditions of Chinese asylum seekers detained on the West coast. Following this request, the Red Cross signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CIC in 2002 and later with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in 2006. In 2017, an agreement was signed with the CBSA allowing for expansion of immigration detention monitoring activities.

Contact us

If you are interested in learning more about the how the Immigration Detention Monitoring Program works, please email -  IDMPinquiries@redcross.ca.


Who are immigration detainees?

Who are immigration detainees?

People detained under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act are not detained because they are facing criminal charges, but rather due to an immigration-related issue.  

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Monitoring detention centres

Monitoring detention centres

The Canadian Red Cross visits detention centres on a regular basis to make an assessment based on domestic and international standards.

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A visit to a detention centre

A visit to a detention centre

Teams of trained and dedicated volunteers and staff, with a background in public health, social sciences or law, conduct visits to detention facilities.

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Duty of Confidentiality

Duty of Confidentiality

The Canadian Red Cross adheres to a strict policy of confidentiality when speaking with people detained under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

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