Raise your voice to see the Safe Third Country Agreement rescinded once and for all.
A large number of refugee claimants that have arrived in Canada from the U.S. throughout the past year. The Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) allows the Canada Border Services Agency to return refugee claimants to the U.S. under the premise that refugees should make their claim in the first "safe" country in which they arrive. But as U.S. border officials continue to separate migrant children from their families, there is much reason to believe that the U.S. is no longer safe.
CPJ's new advocacy resource, "Reclaiming Protection," details how the STCA has restricted access to refugee protection and how you can call for it to be rescinded.
Ask the government to uphold the rights of refugees and:
Refuse to mischaracterize refugee claimants as 'illegal' border crossers
Restore access to refugee protection at the Canada-U.S. border
Rescind the Safe Third Country Agreement with the U.S.
Ask your MP to fully waive travel loan repayment for resettled refugees!
For many years, refugee advocates have called for amendments to the Immigration Loans Program, which provides new immigrants and refugees with loans to cover the costs of their relocation to Canada. Refugees make up 98% of Immigration Loans Program users, and the burden of repaying these loans has often hindered their ability to settle in Canada.
In February, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada amended the program to discontinue the practice of charging interest on loans and extend the loan repayment period. While these changes were commendable, the continued requirement for refugees to fund their travel to Canada will still leave many with significant financial burdens.
A Half Welcome: Advocacy Package
CPJ conducted a survey of Sponsorship Agreement Holders in Canada, to determine the policy challenges necessary to improve their sponsorship work. The results of this survey formed the basis of CPJ’s new report, “A Half Welcome: Delays, Limits, and Inequities in Canadian Refugee Sponsorship.”
Four main challenges emerged from SAHs’ responses. Of the SAHs we polled, about 97% raised concerns about how long it takes to process applications. What’s more, 94% of SAHs expressed overall concern with the long processing times for non-Syrian cases, while 88% found current allocation limits to be troubling for private sponsorship today. Lastly, about 75% of SAHs are concerned with the travel loans refugees must repay upon resettlement in Canada.
We have developed this advocacy resource to assist anyone who would like to learn how to advocate on refugee issues in ways that bring about meaningful change. The package provides advocacy tactics and information centred around the four issues raised in CPJ's report. However, it can be used to advocate on other refugee-related issues (such as the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement and the challenges it poses for refugees and refugee claimants).
Advocacy is integral to social and political change. CPJ believes that Canadians have a responsibility to support members of society who cannot speak for themselves.
We have organized the advocacy resource into sizeable pieces. You can select any section you may need at any time out of the package.
1. Introduction: Why Advocacy?
2. Doing Research
3. Formulating Objectives
4. Choosing Tactics
5. Forming Relationships with Policy-Makers
6. Calling your MP
7. Sample Letter
8. Sample One Page Brief
9. Petition to improve refugee settlement!
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