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Amnesty International endorses campaign to bring 200 refugees on Manus and Nauru to Canada

    August 08, 2019

    Amnesty International is proudly supporting a new project, Operation #NotForgotten, which will sponsor up to 200 refugees living on the isolated Nauru and Manus Islands. 

    The campaign is an initiative of Canada Caring Society and MOSAIC, which are working with partners in Australia to raise $3.3 million to bring 200 refugees to Canada. Hassan Al Kontar, an advocate and Syrian refugee who lived in the Kuala Lumpur airport for seven months and was detained in a Malaysian detention centre for two months, is also leading this project. Since moving to Vancouver, BC last year, Al Kontar has wished to help other refugees resettle in Canada.

    “For years, refugees and asylum seekers have been detained in desperate and inhumane conditions in Australia’s cruel offshore detention policy,” said Justin Mohammed, Human Rights Law and Policy Campaigner with Amnesty International Canada. “This resettlement project will finally offer hope to those who have essentially been living in open air prisons, with little freedom to move and a lack of appropriate healthcare.”

    Nearly half of the men and women still being detained on these islands have been accepted for resettlement to the United States, but almost 200 refugees are still waiting with no other alternative in sight. All funds raised through Operation #NotForgotten will support the sponsorship and settlement of these 200 refugees. MOSAIC will hold and disburse the funds and all donors will receive a charitable tax receipt. 


    Since 2013, Australia has been sending refugees who attempt to reach its shores by boat to be ‘processed’ on Nauru or Manus Islands in Papua New Guinea. On these remote islands, thousands of people have endured years of detention and abuse while their refugee claims are assessed.

    To arrange an interview, please contact:

    Laurie Cooper
    Canada Caring Society

    Saleem Spindari
    Senior Manager
    Refugees and Migrant Workers Programs

    Hassan Al Kontar
    Refugee Advocate