The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada’s (IRB or the Board) Annual Report on Complaints 2020 completed in accordance with the IRB’s Procedures for Making a Complaint About a Member is now available.
During the reporting period of January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, 542 decision-makers (members), rendered over 44,482 decisions across the Board’s four Divisions. The report provides information on complaints finalized in 2020, detailed case summaries of the complaints finalized and information on how complaint trends are influencing the priorities of the Board.
The IRB recognizes the importance of an effective complaint mechanism and is committed to continuous improvement. Important changes to the IRB’s complaints process have been implemented to strengthen accountability and transparency.
In 2020, the IRB undertook a third-party independent evaluation of its complaints process, including the 2017 Procedures for Making a Complaint about a Member. The evaluation considers the design of the complaints process, including its implementation and efficiency, and the need for independence. These were assessed through the credibility, impartiality and procedural fairness of the process. While the evaluation focuses on the process for making a complaint, it also captures some outcome findings related to its effectiveness. The evaluation covered the period between December 2017 and March 2020 and included interviews with key informants (including parties to a complaint) from July to October 2020. The final report will be published in 2021.
Further, to address the commitments from the 2019 reporting period, the Board pursued several initiatives related to gender-related refugee claims. This included mandatory training, the establishment of a dedicated team for gender-related refugee claims, and updates to the Chairperson’s Guideline 4: Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-Related Persecution and the Chairperson’s Guideline 9: Proceedings Before the IRB Involving Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE Guideline).
Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board continues to build on the results of this report while ensuring that our processes and procedures remain of the highest caliber.