Historically, Canada has been known for its excellence in refugee protection. In 1986, the UN’s annual Nansen Refugee Award was given to the “people of Canada” in honour of outstanding service to the cause of refugees. Canada remains the only country-as-laureate in the award’s 60-year history.
Canada has received global recognition for the successes of our private sponsorship of refugees program. Many country representatives from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States have visited Ottawa to learn more about Canada's private sponsorship program.
CPJ works to educate the public — especially churches — on the ever-changing landscape of refugee legislation in Canada. Through research, policy monitoring, and publishing, we bring attention to the impact of legislative change on refugees and claimants, and on the groups who sponsor and support them to come to Canada.
We speak out against policies that disregard the rights and pre-migration experiences of refugees and newcomers to Canada. We also engage with parliamentarians to bring a public justice and human rights framework to the issues.
In 2013, CPJ helped get Canadian church leaders involved in the Human Rights Day Statement on refugee rights, a powerful letter signed by 47 prominent Canadians urging the government to return to its strong tradition of refugee protection.
In April 2017, we released A Half Welcome, our report on private sponsorship issues in Canada which highlights refugee sponsorship agreements holders' top concerns with federal government policy.
With our latest report, Reclaiming Protection, CPJ calls for an overhaul to the Safe Third Country Agreement, a policy that allows the Canada Border Services Agency to refuse most refugee claims made at the Canada-U.S. border. By rescinding the policy, Canada can better uphold its international obligations to refugees, as well as the rights of refugees to receive due process.
CPJ provides timely analysis and research onrefugee rights. Contact Joe Gunnfor more information.
Read CPJ's statements and letters defending the rights of refugees and newcomers in Canada.
Canadians take pride in our country’s multiculturalism. To truly embrace it, we need a new approach to how we treat those who seek refuge within our borders. Public justice means enacting policies that promote refugee resettlement and supporting refugees after they arrive in Canada.
Want to take concrete steps towards defending the rights of refugees?
Use our advocacy resources to call for just refugee policies in Canada, including an end to the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the U.S. and the removal of travel loan repayment for resettled refugees.
We’re grateful to our supporters and donors, those who have participated in our initiatives and those who have financed them. To those who have asked hard questions, and those who have helped us to answer them. Those who have advocated for change, and to the politicians that made it happen!
Working for policy change is more akin to a marathon than it is to a sprint, except that there are also hurdles! We’re grateful that as 2018 comes to a close, the finish line is in sight on some important policy gains. (Read on to learn more!)