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Take Action for World Refugee Day

Posted in: Activism Guide
    Thursday, May 2, 2019 - 16:59

    On 20 June, people around the world celebrate World Refugee Day. It commemorates the strength and resilience of refugees around the world, as well as the important contributions they make in their new communities. It is also a time to reflect on the 24.4 million refugees and 3.1 million refugee protection claimants globally.

    Here in Canada, there are a number of recent developments that are threatening the rights of refugee claimants, and it is important for provincial and federal governments to know that these changes will not go unnoticed. The omnibus Bill C-97 threatens to create a two-tier system of refugee status determination by removing access of some refugee claimants to the independent Immigration and Refugee Board. In Ontario, it appears almost certain that legal aid will be practically eliminated for refugee protection claimants in that province, despite the fact that people depend on such services to navigate the complex legal system.

    When it comes to refugee rights, there are many things you can do to demonstrate your solidarity with refugees. To get you started, here are some ideas: 

    Learn more about refugee experiences

    >>> Watch Seidu’s testimony here (start at 15:20 minute marker)

    >>> Listen to an interview with Mohammad here

    Learn more about private sponsorship

    Did you know that a group of five or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents can sponsor a refugee who is living abroad to come to Canada? You can learn more about what the program entails here.

    Sign our e-petition

    >>> Sign our e-Action calling on Canada to Rescind the Safe Third Country Agreement

    Cuts to Legal Aid

    Read our letter to Ontario Minister of Justice and Attorney-General Caroline Mulroney expressing concerns over cuts to legal aid coverage for immigration and refugee cases.

    Bill C-97

    Read our letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking that changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act be removed from the proposed omnibus Budget Implementation Act.

    >>> Take action now by calling on the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration to reject these changes. 

    Get Active on Social Media

    Amnesty International, the Canadian Council for Refugees, Canadian Council of Churches and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers will be implementing a social media campaign in the coming weeks. Check back for updates in May!

    Attend a World Refugee Day Event

     World Refugee Day events happen in communities across the country. Join an event near you or let us know about an event in your community by emailing

    Ottawa - Bridges Not Borders: Indigenous Migrant Solidarity Workshop 

    Ottawa - The 2019 Trebek Forum: Humanizing Migration

    Toronto - Christie Refugee Welcome Centre Event 

    Toronto - Matthew House World Refugee Day Celebration Dinner 

    Vancouver/Abbotsford/Burnaby - List of Events