What is No Fly List Kids?
No Fly List Kids (“NFLK”, www.noflylistkids.ca, est. Jan 2016) is a group of hundreds of Canadians with children or grandchildren whose names are falsely flagged by Canada’s “no-fly list” (Passenger Protect Program). NFLK’s sole interest is to ensure that the Charter Rights of all Canadians, including those wrongly affected by the PPP, are protected.
Who is affected?
- Canadian kids from newborn infants to 17 years old who come from a variety of diverse backgrounds.
- According to security protocol, passengers are not to be told they are flagged by the list. Based on this fact, hundreds and perhaps thousands of Canadian families affected by this issue remain completely unaware.
- Not only children but hundreds of Canadian veterans, cabinet ministers, Canadian senators, senior citizens, students, Armed Forces personnel, airline employees and CEOs continue to be affected.
Why is this a problem?
- False-positives of the no-fly list raise serious privacy rights implications and also affect the Charter- protected mobility rights of Canadians of all ages, including children.
- National security is compromised because false data about Canadian citizens is continues being shared with foreign security / foreign jurisdictions on a no-fly list managed by commercial airlines.
- False-positives not only hurt families, but also the Canadian economy, by hindering business travel.
- Canadians risk the real possibility of being falsely associated in foreign countries with acts they did not commit, resulting in detention, false imprisonment or torture, as has happened in the past.
- Some families have had passports confiscated or temporarily detained by foreign governments.
- Having a child falsely flagged routinely results in travel delays, inability to check-in online, increased scrutiny by security personnel, and stigmatization – queuing up the next constitutional issue.
Teenagers of NFLK have expressed a fear of traveling due to their stigmatization and missed out on travel for school, extra-curricular, sports and/or leisure purposes due to being flagged. All families fear that this mistreatment and security checks will get worse when their children become adults.
How can this issue be resolved?
- The US has its own No Fly List, but anyone who is falsely flagged can seek redress. NFLK families have applied, but unfortunately because their names are on the Canadian list, it has not helped.
- Canada offers no such redress process for false positives of the Passenger Protect Program. A functional redress system would solve this issue, allowing affected travelers (not just children) to avoid being falsely flagged every single time they travel.
What has been done?
- In June 2016, spurred on by NFLK, Public Safety Canada created the Passenger Protect Inquiries office (PPIO). However, despite applying, no families of NFLK have had their problem resolved by the PPIO.
- The Standing Committee on Public Safety & National Security issued a report recommending: “the Government of Canada create an expeditious redress system to assist travelers erroneously identified as a person on the Specified Persons List (known as “false positives”) and that it continue to work with foreign governments in order to assist Canadians whose names appear on these governments’ lists.” (http://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/42-1/SECU/report-9/page-105#29)
- Public Safety Canada requested funding in 2017 Federal Budget to create a redress system, but the required funds were not allocated. We request funding be provided in the 2018 Federal Budget.
- Funding to address the problem of false positives of the Passenger Protect Program was included in Budget 2018!
What needs to happen?
A Canadian redress system for the Passenger Protect Program (funded in Budget 2018, but not yet implemented) becomes reality, not only to stop mistreatment of children but to also increase the efficiency and security of our air travel.