Political Asylum

What is it?

Noun, a political status.

Political asylum is the protection and allowance given by one country to a citizen of another country who has left as a political refugee, often because of life- or right-threatening conditions.

People who qualify for political asylum (political refugees) are able to reason that they are somehow at risk for poor treatment, or worse, in their own country, based on things like religion, political opinion, lifestyle, or sexual identity and/or orientation.

Political asylum is a human right, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and of international human rights law.

Why should you know?

Every society has their norms and ideals. Unfortunately, in places where one ideology is the majority and/or the preference, citizens who disagree are at risk for opinion-based confrontation.

Political refugees, those who have yet to be granted asylum, flee due to the fear or threat of persecution; often, concerns of human rights violations or being a victim of politically motivated violence.

Why now?

For decades, refugees from third-world or developing countries have found asylum in developed ones, such as Canada, the United States, or coastal European countries.

Historically, reasons of oppression, mutilation, or abuse, have driven refugees to seek asylum in places that have laws in place to protect such rights. In 2016, boats full of Turkish citizens washed up on Greek shores, hoping to escape their war-torn homes. More recently, though, there has been a large increase in American political refugees seeking asylum in Canada, having been victims of Trump-inspired hate crimes.

Some Americans are risking their lives by walking tens, even hundreds of kilometres in well-below freezing prairie temperatures to seek asylum upon entrance into Canada.

For example:

  • In the early hours of the morning, two political refugees crossed the border in Emerson, Manitoba.
  • A political refugee, whom entered Canada on foot earlier this year, was granted political asylum.
  • Martha sought political asylum in America after fleeing her home country.

 

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