The Canadian government recently amended the “Immigration and Refugee
Protection Ac” in an attempt to address the long processing times facing refugee
claimants and the high cost of the system. Bill C 31, enacted in 2012, was designed
to reduce the number of false refugee claimants and, thereby, reduce the backlog of
claims and associated costs. A particularly controversial component of the 2012
reform was the Designated Country of Origin (DCO) Policy, which establishes a list
of “safe” countries for whose residents it will be much more difficult to claim asylum
in Canada. This study reviews the DCO policy, setting it in comparative context, and
providing a preliminary assessment of its effectiveness. The study also reviews the
significant controversy that the DCO policy has attracted. Although the policy is
unlikely to be dismantled, as many critics suggest, one can glean from both the
criticisms and the international comparisons, that some areas have room for
improvement. The study thus concludes with several recommendations for fine-
tuning the DCO policy.
Ratushniak, Jessica. (2013). The Designated Country of Origin Policy: Help or Hindrance to Canada's Refugee System? ( Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.