Tuesday April 14, 2009 at 10 pm ET/PT on CBC Newsworld
Four asylum seekers who escaped war, persecution or rape in their homeland are now stuck in Canada's slow-moving refugee review system. Seeking Refuge is a provocative look at their plight.
Some 30,000 people will make refugee claims in Canada this year, and 40 to 45 percent will be accepted as refugees. Seeking Refuge looks at our refugee system and those whose lives lie in the balance. The film plunges into the experiences, hopes and struggles of four asylum seekers as they navigate their way through Canada's refugee system.Leyla and the U.S. - Canada border
Esly escaped the violent street gangs of Honduras where her common-law husband was murdered and she was the victim of sexual violence. Najia was a human rights activist in Afghanistan, but had to leave after she received death threats and two colleagues were killed. Leyla fled the Democratic Republic of Congo, with her young daughter, to escape the sexual violence she had experienced at the hands of soldiers. But during her expedited refugee interview, questions are raised surrounding her identity. And Fouad, a Palestinian from Lebanon has fallen through the cracks of the system. While his brother has been accepted into Canada, his claim is rejected and he now faces deportation.Najia was an activist in Afghanistan
From border crossings to refugee shelters, Seeking Refuge follows each claimant as they meet with lawyers and advisors, go to hearings, and then wait anxiously to find out if they'll be granted asylum. A negative result would mean deportation. For most of them, the film ends with a final decision about their status in Canada.Seeking Refuge was directed by Karen Cho in collaboration with Ian Oliveri and produced by Nathalie Barton and Ian Quenneville (InformAction Films, Montreal) in association with CBC Newsworld.