Canada’s solidarity with Refugees

The North American country is accepting Syrian refugees at a spectacular rate owing to their sponsorship system

July 04th, 2016

Currently the most cited topic in international politics is the refugee issue. The Canadian government is among those countries which have taken the initiative to assist those who have been forced to flee their countries of origin. The Canadian refugee system, in addition to support from public reception programs, relies heavily on private sponsorship and provides a link between Canadians and refugee families.

"We felt at home and highly respected as humans," said one of the first refugees to arrive in Canada in early December to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. More than half a year later, 27,580 Syrian refugees have already found asylum in Canada. Meanwhile, in the European Union, only 2,000 refugees have been relocated in any of the Member States of the 160,000 that were agreed upon in September.

It appears that the Canadian asylum system is partly responsible for this success. The mechanism dates from the 1970s, and thanks to it tens of thousands of Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians have found a new home in Canada after fleeing terrible conflicts in their home countries.

Basically, the system allows citizen groups or associations to raise money for refugee families and to assist in their integration into Canadian society; guidance in employment and education etc. But mainly, this private sponsorship guarantees that someone will be present to assist the refugees, who do not always speak the language of the host country.

There is such a demand from the sponsors that the Canadian government, which has sent officials to the refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey to conduct interviews and safety-checks can no longer keep up with the inflow. The Immigration Minister, John McCallum, stated: “I cannot provide enough refugees to all Canadians who want to become sponsors. "

Of course, there is always room for improvement and self-criticism. The president of the Council for Refugees recalls that although the 27,580 Syrian refugees who have been received in the country during the last six months is indeed good news, there are many more Syrians and asylum seekers from other countries that need help.


Cultural Diplomacy News
Nicolás Pan-Montojo, CD News