Up to 150 International AIDS Conference Delegates Filing Refugee Claims
September 1, 2006
The Toronto Sun reported today that up to 150 of the 24,000 delegates to the 16th International AIDS Conference have filed claims for refugee status to remain in Canada. The 150 refugee claims figure was confirmed Thursday by Canadian immigration spokesperson Karen Shadd-Evelyn. Most claimants have HIV/AIDS; they include numerous women from South Africa, and people from El Salvador, Eritrea, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Many are staying at hostels awaiting hearing dates before an immigration board, said officials. Upon arrival, Amanuel, 32, managed to escape Eritrean government minders after his passport was processed at the Pearson airport, and he sped away in a car driven by men he had arranged to meet. "It feels good to be free," said Amanuel, founder of Eritrea's 6,000-member association for people living with AIDS. "I was only allowed to leave the country for 10 days. The government didn't want me to leave the country."
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.