Canada violated rights of irregular migrant: UN Human Rights committee

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OTTAWA — The federal government is reviewing a decision of the UN Human Rights Council that concluded Canada violated the rights of an undocumented irregular migrant by denying her access to essential health care.

As part of its non-binding ruling, the council says Canada has an onus to provide the woman with compensation for the harm she suffered after developing serious health conditions that required medical treatment.

The council further says the Canadian government should review its national legislation to ensure that irregular migrants have access to essential health care.

The government says it will closely review the council’s decision and issue a formal response within the allotted 180-day time frame.

But a government official also notes that the council’s views on individual complaints are not legally binding in either international or domestic law.

Nell Toussaint of Grenada had been living in Canada for nine years when she developed several conditions that required medical treatment for which she had no coverage as an undocumented migrant; her application to the interim federal health program for refugees was denied because she did not have an active refugee claim.

The Canadian Press