Claim Types in Canada’s Refugee Determination System

An Empirical Snapshot (2013–2021)




Canada, refugee law, empirical, quantitative, political opinion, gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, ethnicity


This article overviews outcomes in different types of refugee claims in Canada. It critiques standard legal research methodologies in the refugee law field due to skews in publication practices. To address these skews, the article employs empirical quantitative research methods using administrative tribunal data and computational methods. It provides a snapshot of refugee claim numbers, countries of origin, claim categories, and outcomes. The article then underscores the benefits of supplementing doctrinal legal research with empirical quantitative research methods, outlines barriers to the adoption of such methods, and offers guidance and tools to assist other researchers in overcoming those barriers.


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Author Biography

Sean Rehaag, Centre for Refugee Studies & Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada

Sean Rehaag is Director of York University’s Centre for Refugee Studies, Director of the Refugee Law Laboratory, and Associate Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. He can be reached at


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How to Cite

Rehaag, S. (2024). Claim Types in Canada’s Refugee Determination System: An Empirical Snapshot (2013–2021). Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 40(1), 1–29.

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