Refugee Rights


Transitional Justice in Contemporary World

At the beginning of May, I attended a one-week course at York University on refugees and forced migration. One of the topics discussed was transitional justice. This form of justice moves away from our traditional focus on punishing perpetrators of a crime to prioritizing the emotional healing of the victims. It is restorative in nature...

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Syrian Women

Faith Leaders Defend Syrian Muslim Refugees

From The Catalyst Spring 2015

Near the end of 2014, reports emerged indicating that the Government of Canada planned to prioritize religious minorities when resettling refugees from Syria. This came amid increasing criticism of the government’s failure to meet even its dismal target of resettling 1,300 Syrian refugees by the end of the year. 


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Refugees, including children, would not immediately be able to access social assistance programs when they arrive in Canada.

Provinces response to refugee social assistance cuts

Provinces not jumping to cut refugee social assistance access Originally published in Embassy News. Late last year, the federal government passed Bill C-43 allowing provinces and territories to restrict access to social assistance.  It is now up to each province and territory to decide whether an individual must reside there for a certain period of...

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Syrian Refugees

Churches left in the dark on changes to refugee policy

In November 2011, a church submitted an application to sponsor a family of eight to come to Canada. At first, things were moving along well. The family was interviewed less than a year later, in July 2012. But now, more than two years since that interview and three years since the application was submitted, not...

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Syrian Refugees

Letter: Canada to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees

January 2015
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CPJ called for Canada to live up to its ongoing commitment to welcome one out of every 10 of all resettled refugees globally.

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Syrian Refugees

Canada: Only a refuge for religious minorities?

Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and Sikh leaders in Canada stand up for Syrian Muslims seeking asylum On December 12th, CBC News reported that the government is considering prioritizing religious minorities from Syria when deciding which refugee claims to approve. Such a policy would leave Sunni Muslims, who compose the majority of the Syrian population, without any chance...

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Syrian Refugees

Syrian Refugees: Discriminating by religion is unacceptable

Inter-faith Statement on Syrian Refugees.

December 2014
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Faith groups, including CPJ, responded today to 
reports that the Canadian federal government is only looking to resettle Syrian refugees from the country’s religious minorities. In their statement today on Syrian refugees, faith leaders supported the Canadian Council of Refugees in affirming and insisting that discriminating by religion is...

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Protecting the Vulnerable

Brief to the Citizenship and Immigration Committee on Bill C-43

Submission to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration 

November 2014

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“Protecting the Vulnerable” outlines the severe impact of these changes on persons with non-permanent status in Canada. It...

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Letter: Budget Bill Restricts Social Assistance for Refugees

November 2014
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160 organizations from across Canada have come together to oppose parts of federal Bill C-43. An open letter was sent to Finance Minister Joe Oliver calling for the withdrawal of sections 172 and 173 in this Bill.

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Sunset behind a refugee boat on Lake Tanganyika

Welcoming the Stranger

Imagine that you suddenly hear a massive explosion. Close enough that you can see buildings collapsing and dust filling the air. You can hear the screams of those nearer to the epicentre. This is followed by another explosion, and another, each one closer than the last. Now imagine that this is a daily occurrence. You live...

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