Insights & Analyses

Typo on birth document could cause Canada to deport refugee – One World Identity

October 12, 2016

A court in Ottawa has denied refugee status to a Nigerian woman, due to the fact that her government birth documentation misspelled her name, emphasizing the need to securely, accurately and fairly identify people.

Canada could now deport 32-year-old Gift Daniel from the country at any time after a court overturned a decision to grant her refugee status, according to the Toronto Star. The main issue lies in her birth document: Her name was incorrectly spelled “Gife,” while her license correctly says “Gift.”

From there, officials found other discrepancies, including driver’s licenses that Canada’s Refugee Appeal Division could not verify were legally obtained.

Daniel originally arrived in Canada seeking refugee status in February of 2015 with a false Canadian passport. She was temporarily granted it after she remained in a holding center for three months.

But the Canadian government ultimately appealed, arguing that the woman’s identity was not properly established upon entering the country. The appeal won, her refugee status was overturned, and Daniel’s asylum in Canada is now in question.

Complicated cases like this underscore the struggles that will continue to emerge in identity verification, particularly amidst crises like the refugee exodus from Syria. Such incidents have led to increased concerns across the globe about the vetting and verification of those seeking asylum.

The issues are compounded when the prospective refugee hails from a third-world country, such as Daniel from Nigeria, where documentation is not necessarily accurate or reliable.