Gender-based Analysis Plus

​​Section 1: Institutional Gender-based analysis plus Capacity

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB or the Board) 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 or for delivering programs, initiatives or services relating to refugee and immigration matters, as this falls under the mandates of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency. When consulted by the government on the impact that proposed government policies may have on the IRB's work, the IRB includes Gender-based analysis plus (GBA Plus) considerations in its input, as appropriate.

The IRB can establish operational policy instruments to complement the guidance provided by the Board's enabling legislation, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, that are intended for use internally by the IRB's decision‑makers and support personnel. This includes documents such as the Chairperson's Guideline 4: Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-Related Persecution ​and the Chairperson's Guideline 9: Proceedings Before the IRB Involving Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC). GBA Plus is used during the development, monitoring, and review of these internal policy instruments.

In 2021–22, the Chairperson's Guideline 4: Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-Related Persecution was revised following an in-depth review. To ensure high-quality adjudicative decision-making across all four divisions, the modernized guideline reflects developments in the jurisprudence and in the social sciences regarding gender-related issues and the impact of trauma. In advance of the publication of the revised guideline, now called the Chairperson's Guideline 4: Gender Considerations in Proceedings Before the Immigration and Refugee Board​, IRB members received enhanced training on gender-based violence, trauma-informed adjudication, and revisions to the Guideline.

In the Board's ongoing efforts to ensure that SOGIESC individuals appearing before it are consistently treated with sensitivity and receive fair hearings and decisions of high quality, the IRB continued to implement recommendations from the review of the Chairperson's Guideline 9. A revised Guideline 9 with strengthened concepts and updated terminology was published in December 2021. This included changing the Guideline's name to include “sex characteristics” to reflect the inclusion of intersex individuals. Further recommendations implemented throughout the fiscal year included the development of enhanced training and orientation materials for IRB members and staff, designated representatives, and interpreters.

During the fiscal year, the Board reviewed the Immigration Appeal Division Rules and proposed to revoke them and replace them with new rules. The objectives of the proposed rules include decreasing processing times and enhancing access to justice for those involved in immigration appeals, with particular attention to self-represented and vulnerable appellants. The GBA Plus considerations were summarized in the proposal's Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 156, Number 24: Immigration Appeal Division Rules, 2022).

Section 2: Gender and Diversity Impacts, by Program

Core Responsibility: Adjudication of immigration and refugee cases

Program Name:

  • Admissibility and Detention Decisions
  • Immigration Appeal Decisions
  • Internal Services
  • Refugee Appeal Decisions
  • Refugee Protection Decisions

Target Population:

  • Admissibility and Detention Decisions: foreign nationals and permanent residents
  • Immigration Appeal Decisions: immigration appellants
  • Internal Services: Board members and IRB personn​el
  • Refugee Appeal Decisions: refugee appellants
  • Refugee Protection Decisions: refugee claimants

GBA Plus Data Collection Plan:

A GBA Plus policy statement, which demonstrates the Board's commitment to GBA Plus and relevant data collection, was published in March 2022.