The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) is an independent administrative tribunal responsible for making well-reasoned decisions on immigration and refugee matters, efficiently, fairly and in accordance with the law.
The IRB is not responsible for developing public policy, delivering programs/initiatives or services on refugee and immigration matters, as this falls under the mandate of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency. When consulted by government on impacts that proposed government policy may have on the IRB’s work, the IRB includes GBA Plus considerations in its input as appropriate.
The IRB can establish operational policy instruments that aim to fill gaps in guidance provided by the Board’s enabling legislation, the
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and are intended for use internally by the IRB’s decision-makers and support personnel. This includes documents such as the
Chairperson’s Guideline 9: Proceedings before the IRB Involving Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE Guideline) and the
Chairperson’s Guideline 4: Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-Related Persecution (Gender Guideline). GBA Plus is used during the development, monitoring and review of these internal policy instruments.
In 2019–20, the IRB completed a review of the use of the SOGIE Guideline by IRB members and personnel. The resulting report includes recommendations to further enhance the sensitive treatment of SOGIE diverse individuals. The IRB also started the research for the review of the Gender Guideline in 2019–20.
In 2019–20, the IRB has started to raise awareness among IRB staff of GBA Plus, by highlighting GBA Plus Awareness week on the website, and sending several staff members on GBA Plus trainings so as to grow the IRB’s GBA Plus capacity. Discussions were also started about ways GBA Plus can be integrated more into the IRB’s work.