Refugee & Migrant Rights

CPJ conducts policy analysis and public justice framing on a range of refugee and migrant rights issues to promote and advance human rights-based Canadian immigration policies. Through high quality research, policy monitoring, and publishing, we bring attention to the impact of legislative change on migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, and on the groups that privately sponsor them to come to Canada. We also advance national advocacy campaigns, and regularly meet with Members of Parliament and other Government officials to help inform policy developments.

In 2022, CPJ released Work, Study, Pay Taxes, But Don’t Get Sick, a report written in collaboration with Tracy Glynn from the Canadian Health Coalition. This report delves into the barriers to healthcare in Canada based on immigration status.

CPJ has also long advocated for an end to the US-Canada Safe Third Country Agreement, including through the recent report: A Call to Strengthen Canada’s Protection to Central American Survivors of Gender-Based Violence (2022).

CPJ’s refugee and migrant rights work is currently focused on the following areas:

  • Calling for an end to immigration detention in Canada
  • Advocating for a broad regularization program to grant permanent status to all migrants
  • Calling for the Safe Third Country Agreement with the US to be repealed
  • Advocating for refugee and migrant access to healthcare

While there are areas of Canadian response to refugees and migrants to celebrate, it is crucial to recognize that Canada’s immigration system has been a key tool for colonization. Immigrants have been placed in hierarchies of desirability based on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, ability, and “skill” level, among other categories. In accordance with CPJ's Equity & Anti-Oppression Statement, our work seeks to understand these dynamics through an intersectional, rights-based, and anti-oppressive lens. We communicate the impact of immigration policies on refugees and migrants, particularly those who are disproportionately impacted by systems of oppression, and advocate for an immigration system rooted in human rights.

CPJ is a member of the Canadian Council for Refugees, a national umbrella organization committed to the rights and protection of refugees and other vulnerable migrants in Canada.

(CPJ does not provide refugee resettlement services. The Government of Canada maintains a list of Sponsorship Agreement Holders for private refugee sponsorship.)

Stephen Kaduuli

Stephen Kaduuli

We are saddened to inform you that Stephen passed away on April 15, 2021.

CPJ, along with Stephen’s family, wish to honour his dedication and passion for refugee rights by establishing a permanent fund to help enhance and deepen CPJ’s refugee work.

To make a donation, visit The Stephen Kaduuli Memorial Refugee Rights Fund.


CPJ has been working on a book, edited by Emilio Rodriguez, and dedicated to Stephen’s legacy. The book will be an inspiring volume written by prominent academics and activists, centering the voices of those most impacted by immigration policy, and those who walk with them. Readers will learn about some of the barriers in public policy that refugees and migrants face, be invited on a journey towards systemic change, and imagine what the Canadian immigration system would look like if it were rooted in human rights. The book is set to be published in 2024 by McGill-Queen’s University Press.


CPJ conducts research on a range of issues that explore the ever-changing landscape of refugee and migrant policy in Canada. Our research highlights the concerns of refugees, migrants, advocates, and Sponsorship Agreement Holders in Canada.

Policy Statements

Canadians take pride in our country’s multiculturalism. To truly embrace this value, we need a new approach to how we treat refugees and migrants within our borders.

Church Resources

Want to help your church engage with refugee issues in Canada and beyond? Use these resources to highlight current issues involving refugees today, create discussion points, engage in direct action, and gain a deepened understanding of the Biblical call to welcome the stranger.

Take Action

CPJ’s latest report on refugee and migrant rights explores barriers to protection for Central American survivors of gender-based violence both in their countries of origin, as well as Canadian refugee protections. Through the unique collaboration between CPJ’s expertise in Canadian policies, and IJM’s work and expertise internationally, specifically in the Northern Triangle of Central America (NTCA), we issue a call to the Federal Government on two fronts. Learn more.


Keep up-to-date with the latest news and views from CPJ on refugee and migrant rights by reading the articles written by CPJ staff and citing CPJ’s work.

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