Minor International Students in Canada: Does the Legal Framework Matter?
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As Federal and provincial governments invest to “ help secure Canada’s long – term prosperity and economic success” (DFATD, 2014; Scott et al. 2015) through increased international student recruitment and retention, there is a steady increase in international student numbers with a proportionate increase in international students under age of 18. This MRP examines the implication of this growth particular among minor international students (18 and younger) in a policy context in Canada where there is contradiction between provincial age of majority regulations and no requirement for guardianship for incoming minor international students. Unlike Canada two other jurisdictions, namely Australia’s and the UK’s which have also invested in increasing international students numbers, have established frameworks to ensure the safeguarding of international minors. This MRP will offer a comparative lens to examine frameworks in three jurisdictions with reference to minor international students and provide recommendations for Canadian regulatory framework. The legal protection of international students minors is a human rights issue with ethical implications for the Canadian government and institutions that are equally invested in recruiting international students. Thus this study recommends Canada must take responsibility in aligning federal immigration and legal provincial systems to better protect minor international students. These actions are necessary to protect Canada’s reputation, and ensure that the immigration of international students will continue to grow in Canada.