Barriers to Integration

Social Exclusion Among Refugees in Canada

December 2019
Download the report (PDF)

Barriers to Integration explores the socio-economic challenges and barriers that refugees face in integrating into Canadian society.

In this report, Halima Abdille unpacks some of the forms of discrimination faced by refugees and immigrants, particularly when it comes to seeking employment. The report combines historical and quantitative research with a community-based study of the lived experiences of refugees.

Most often, Canadians regard themselves as caring and quite accepting towards “others,” of different races, religions and ethnicities. There is, however, another side of our society, one that is not as good as we would like to think of: an uncaring side of Canadians when it comes to refugees.

Many refugees find themselves in limbo after their arrival in Canada, facing both cultural and socio-economic barriers to fully integrate into the Canadian society.

This research paper investigates the socio-economic factors that hinder refugees from reaching their potential in this country and achieving their dreams: 

  1. Difficulty in attaining work permits
  2. Discrimination in the 900 series of Social Insurance Numbers
  3. Cuts to Legal Aid in Ontario
  4. A lack of education and foreign credential recognition
  5. Underemployment and skill matching
  6. A lack of social capital


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