The Right to Have Rights


Event March Event 12 2015Statelessness, Citizenship and Belonging

download posters as pdfs: English; French.

Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 6pm
Carleton University, Dunton Tower, #2017

Tickets: 10$ (students), 20$ (community members). Available online here.

Refreshments will be served.

Speakers: Daiva Stasiulis (Professor of Sociology, Carleton University); Alex Neve (Secretary General, Amnesty International); Yavar Hameed (Human Rights and Constitutional Lawyer).

This Event is Moderated by: Dr. Monia Mazigh (a human rights and social justice activist who is best known for her efforts to free her husband Mahar Arar from a Syrian prison)

Sponsored by: NUPGE, CCLA, Amnesty International, Opirg Carleton, GRIP Ottawa U, Carl, CPEP, CUPE National, CUPE 4600, CUPW, UNIFOR, PSAC.

Nationality, Statelessness and the Case of Deepan Budlakoti

Monday, March 9, 2015 – 13:05, Amnesty International

by Alex Neve, Amnesty International Canada’s Secretary General. Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexNeveAmnesty.

Most of us (sic) never give it a second thought; our nationality.  We were born with it or may have gained a second or third nationality by moving to another country, through our ancestry or by marriage.  We are usually proud of it.  We enjoy, need and may boast about it when we travel.  But we don’t often think about what it would be like not to have it or to lose it.

Continue reading

‘Completely cruel and unnecessary': Deepan Budlakoti fights for healthcare

Metro News, Joe Lofaro, 24 February 2015

Deepan Budlakoti, a Canadian-born man who was told more than four years ago he is not a Canadian citizen, is not giving up a fight to get his life back.

The 25-year-old has been in and out the courts trying to restore his citizenship after being convicted of drug charges and selling a hunting rifle to an undercover police officer.

The federal government argues Budlakoti did not become an automatic Canadian citizen at birth in 1989 as his parents worked for the Indian High Commission in Ottawa.

Read full article here.

Ottawa man ordered deported fighting for access to OHIP

Niagara Falls Review, Dani-elle Dubé, February 25, 2015

An Ottawa-born man ordered deported to India after a stint behind bars is now fighting for access to OHIP.

In September 2014, Deepan Budlakoti, 25, lost a bid to have a federal court judge declare him a Canadian citizen which he vowed to appeal.

In addition, the man’s legal woes have denied him access to provincially-funded health care.

Read here article here. This article also appears in the Ottawa Sun.

Pack the courtroom! Deepan Health Hearing

Tuesday, 24 February 2015 at 1:45pm
170 Laurier Street West, Ottawa, Ontario


As you may have heard, Deepan was forced to buy private health insurance to obtain health coverage. However, he is challenging the Ontario government for refusing to provide him with a health card and access to basic medical services that everyone in Canada should be able to access.

One of the many hoops Deepan must go through to challenge the provincial government’s decision is a constitutional hearing in front of the Health Services Appeal and Review Board where Deepan will argue that his Charter rights have been infringed.

The Justice for Deepan committee is asking for as many supporters as possible to observe and show their support during this part of the adjudication process. Please come out and help us pack the court!

Meet in the main lobby of 170 Laurier (room still unknown) at 1:45. Hearing starts at 2pm. Someone will be downstairs for a while to let people know which room it is in.

CCLA to Minister of Immigration

“We are writing today to follow up on our letter to you of October 31, 2013 regarding the case of Deepan Budlakoti. […] The Canadian Civil Liberties Association respectfully requests that you recognize the Canadian citizenship of Deepan Budlakoti. […] Mr. Budlakoti meets the legislative requirements of a Canadian citizenship and does not fall under the exemptions. Canada should not seek to oust or deny the Canadian citizenship of Mr. Budlakoti. In denying Mr. Budlakoti Canadian citizenship, Canada has rendered him stateless, a breach under the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness …” – Sukanya Pillay, Executive Director and General Counsel, Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

Download full letter here.