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Open Letter: Amnesty International calls on Public Safety Minister to Address “No Fly List Kids”

    November 14, 2017

    Dear Minister,

    We are writing, on behalf of the 400,000 supporters of Amnesty International across Canada – in every province and territory – to urge the federal government, and your Ministry in particular, to take steps to ensure funding is made available on an urgent basis to develop and implement a robust redress system for the “No Fly List Kids” and other individuals affected by false positives under Canada’s Passenger Protect Program (PPP).

    Minister, we know that you are aware of the tremendous injustice, inconvenience and indignity experienced by children, and their families, who regularly experience being erroneously flagged under the PPP, because they have the same name as someone else who is listed.  This is not an aberration, it effects hundreds of families on a regular basis; and beyond the impact on children and their families undoubtedly impacts thousands of adults who similarly are wrongly singled out for screening and delays when they are flying.  The embarrassing and frustrating impact has become so trying for some of the children, families and adults who go through this, that they quite simply no longer travel by air. 

    These concerns have been known and discussed for over a decade.  There is wide agreement that it is unacceptable and must be addressed.  The failure to do so is reflective of wider concerns that the approach to ‘no fly lists’ in general is shrouded in secrecy and there is a notable lack of due process in correcting, challenging or appealing names that are listed.  The human rights protections that are at stake are numerous, including freedom of movement, the right to leave and re-enter one’s country of nationality, due process, equal treatment before the law and non-discrimination.

    Amnesty International is a strong supporter of the campaign mounted by the No Fly List Kids coalition, which is now endorsed by well over half of all Members of Parliament (across all political parties), two thirds of the Federal Liberal Caucus and at least 18 Cabinet Ministers.  Their request is straightforward, that the federal government put in place a redress system that will reliably distinguish between people with the same name by using a unique personal identifier, and allow “false-positive” individuals to be removed from the list.   We support the associated call that you ensure that full funding for such a system will be a top priority for the government in the 2018 Federal Budget.  This injustice has gone on for far too long.  It must come to an end without any further delay.

    Minister Goodale, Amnesty International thanks you for your attention to this important human rights concern.  Your efforts to move rapidly to address the request made by No Fly List Kids is deeply appreciated.

    Sincerely,

                    

    Alex Neve                                            Béatrice Vaugrante

    Secretary General                               Directrice Générale

    Amnesty International Canada           Amnistie internationale Canada francophone

    (English branch)

     

     

    cc:          Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

    cc:          Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau