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Legislation

Canada’s exclusion of irregular migrants from health care violates international law

By Y.Y. Brandon Chen      

At present, people living in Canada with irregular legal status generally receive no health benefits whatsoever and must pay out of pocket for health needs and emergencies or rely on charitable care. It’s time that changed.

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, pictured with staffers. Should migrants living in Canada without legal authorization be entitled to health care? The answer, according to a decision issued by the United Nations Human Rights Committee in August, was clearly yes, especially if lack of health care threatens migrants’ lives. Sadly, the Government of Canada has yet to respond, writes Y.Y. Brandon Chen. The Hill Times photographs by Andrew Meade

OTTAWA—Should migrants living in Canada without legal authorization be entitled to health care? The answer, according to a decision issued by the United Nations Human Rights Committee in August, was clearly yes, especially if lack of health care threatens migrants’ lives. Sadly, the Government of Canada has yet to respond.

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