NOVEMBER 18, 2021 - Canada Behind Bars: A Conversation on Immigration Detention

The Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) is pleased to partner with Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights (CLAIHR) to present this online event:

Canada Behind Bars: A Conversation on Immigration Detention

Canada incarcerates thousands of people, including those fleeing persecution and seeking protection, on immigration-related grounds every year in often abusive conditions. A recent report from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International documents how people in immigration detention are regularly handcuffed, shackled, and held with little-to-no contact with the outside world. Those with mental health conditions experience discrimination throughout the process. With no set release date, they can be held for months or years. The Canada Border Services Agency remains the only major law enforcement agency in Canada without independent civilian oversight. Join us for this insightful conversation, moderated by Samer Muscati, about what is happening in Canada and how we can collectively push for an end to these abusive practices with Hanna Gros, Molly Joeck and João Velloso.


Thursday, November 18, 2021
Noon to 13:30

Event in English. | Free and open to all.
RSVP required to receive the link: REGISTER HERE.

About the Speakers

Hanna Gros is a consultant in the Disability Rights Division, and works on issues related to immigration detention and mental health in Canada. Previously, Hanna worked as a researcher and advocate at the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law. She authored five major reports on immigration detention, focusing on children, persons with mental health conditions, and issues of evidence testing and procedural fairness. Hanna also previously worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Toronto, focusing on children’s rights in immigration detention. Hanna practices immigration and refugee law in Toronto, and she is working on a resettlement project focusing on survivors of torture and gender-based violence. Hanna holds a law degree from the University of Toronto, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from McGill University.

Molly Joeck is an immigration lawyer with Edelmann & Co who specializes in the intersection of criminal law and immigration law, with a focus on immigration detention. She is also a PhD student at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Catherine Dauvergne. Her research focuses on the intersection of gender, risk, and immigration detention in the Canadian context.

João Velloso is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section at the University of Ottawa. Professor Velloso works in the areas of critical criminology and socio-legal studies, more particularly sociology and anthropology of law. His empirical research focuses on conflict management in comparative perspectives. Domestically, he approaches criminal justice in relation to other normative systems, mainly administrative law-based regimes (e.g. immigration and refugee law). Internationally, he focuses on criminal justice in adversarial and inquisitorial systems (more specifically in Brazil, France and Canada). He is particularly interested in the governance of security through the use of administrative law and the deterioration of rights resulting from these penal configurations that operate alternatively and in addition to criminal justice.

The conversation will be moderated by Samer Muscati Associate Director of the Disability Rights Division at Human Rights Watch since 2019. A lawyer, documentary photographer, and former journalist, Samer has extensive experience monitoring and documenting rights abuses particularly during human rights crises including situations of armed conflict, massive civilian displacement, and large-scale killings. He also worked at the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s faculty of law, where he was director and clinical lecturer for four years. Under Samer’s leadership, the clinic produced a series of reports on Canada’s immigration detention of children and persons with mental health conditions; a landmark report on Canada’s use of predictive analytics in its immigration system; and a book featuring the resilience of Rwanda’s survivors of sexual violence.

The Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) is celebrating its 40th anniversary during the academic year 2021-2022! This event is part of a diverse and rich programme developed to highlight this major milestone.

Red individuals seated in a row behind bars and white maple leaf.
Back to top