In September 2017, the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) launched a pilot project to limit the requirement for accompanied minor refugee claimants to be present at RPD hearings. The pilot project has proven successful and, as a result, the RPD has issued a Practice Notice to continue those procedures on a permanent basis effective March 11, 2019.
This Practice Notice implements procedures whereby children who are under the age of 12 on the date of the hearing are not required to appear before the RPD unless the presiding member requires their attendance. All children 12 years of age or older on the date of the hearing and all unaccompanied minors (i.e. not making a claim with an adult), regardless of age, are required to attend their hearing without further notice from the RPD.
When a member determines that it is necessary for a child to attend the hearing, the claimant will be informed at the earliest possible opportunity so families can make necessary arrangements.
These procedures ease the burden on families with young children without compromising the RPD's mandate of rendering well-reasoned decisions in accordance with the law.
For more details, please consult the Practice Notice.