Duty of Confidentiality

Confidentiality is an important principle in the context of the Detention Monitoring Program.

Immigration detainees are often in vulnerable situations. They are deprived of their liberty and their movements are closely controlled. Those who have experienced traumatic events in their country of origin may be more vulnerable. Immigration detainees may also face difficult challenges as newcomers to Canada, including lack of social support and language barriers.

By following a strict policy of confidentiality, the Canadian Red Cross is able to gain the trust of immigration detainees. As such, Red Cross staff and volunteers will not pass on information given by a detainee to the authorities or a third party without the explicit consent of the detainee.

Exceptions do exist, specifically when there are reasonable suspicions of child abuse or credible information that a detainee is considering hurting him/herself or someone else in the facility, both of which would override any duty of confidentiality.