Les politiques publiques affectant négativement les familles demandeuses d’asile avec des jeunes de 0 à 5 ans au Québec

Desharnais-Préfontaine, N.; Pisanu, S.; Bellemare, A.; Merry, Lisa (2020)

Canadian Journal of Public Health

In 2019, 30,615 asylum claims were made in Quebec, representing almost half of the claims made in Canada. Asylum-seeking families with young children (0 to 5 years) represent a significant proportion of this population. Canada, as well as Quebec, have a responsibility to protect asylum seekers and to ensure that public policies promote health and well-being, especially among children. However, certain existing public policies exclude asylum seekers and are negatively affecting families. This commentary seeks to raise awareness among all those involved in policymaking, especially decision-makers, regarding asylum-seekers and three policy domains that are contributing to poverty, social isolation, and reduced access to care among asylum-seeking families with young children. These include the lack of eligibility for child benefits, the limited access to affordable daycare, and barriers to accessing family doctors. Consequently, both parents and children suffer impacts to their health and well-being. We are calling on our governments to assume their responsibilities and eliminate these inequities, and to ensure that the health of asylum seekers is considered in all policies.