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Refugee and rights organizations release proposal for a strong Canadian response to the Syrian refugee crisis

    September 11, 2015
    Wadih, 25, and Shan, 4, from Syria play at a refugee accomodation facility in an exhibition hall on September 7, 2015 in Munich, Germany. Photo by Philipp Guelland/Getty Images

    With pressure on the federal government mounting, from Canadians from all walks of life and all corners of the country looking for Canada to do much more to assist Syrian refugees, twelve organizations have today released a comprehensive set of recommendations that should form the basis of Canada’s response to the crisis.

    The organizations have decades of wide-ranging experience in refugee resettlement, protection and advocacy, and include the Syrian Canadian Council which has been at the forefront of highlighting the pressing needs of Syrian refugees in Canada and abroad.

    Canada has the experience and the capacity to make a substantial response to the Syrian refugee crisis and Canadians have shown they have the will. We are proposing clear recommendations to make the response a reality,” said Loly Rico, President of the Canadian Council for Refugees. “They include measures to reunite families, a substantial boost in the country’s resettlement commitments, and removal of barriers to speedy private sponsorship.  And none of that will be effective without a dramatic increase in the human, financial and logistical resources needed to ensure refugee cases are processed quickly.”


    “Canadians are talking about this with their friends and neighbours.  Their faith leaders, mayors and premiers are coming forward with innovative suggestions and generous commitments.  The federal government must follow suit",”

    -  Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada’s English Branch  

    There have been so many offers and proposals over the past week.  Now is the time for the federal government to step up and make it all happen.  That means political leadership, will and – above all else – action.”

    See full list of recommendations


    Recommendations for a strong Canadian response to Syrian refugees has been endorsed by:

    • Canadian Council for Refugees
    • Amnesty International Canada (English branch)
    • Amnistie internationale Canada francophone
    • Syrian Canadian Council
    • The Council of the Canadian Refugee Sponsorship Agreement Holders Association (SAH Council)
    • OCASI- Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
    • Table de Concertation des organismes au service des personnes Réfugiées et Immigrantes (TCRI)
    • AMSSA (Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Services Agencies of BC)
    • Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA)
    • Manitoba Immigrant and Refugee Settlement Sector Association (MIRSSA)
    • CISSA –ACSEI The Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance- Alliance canadienne du secteur de l’établissement des immigrants (CISSA-ACSEI)
    • Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL)

    Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations, Amnesty International Canada, 416-363-9933 ext 332
    Colleen French, Communication Coordinator, Canadian Council for Refugees, 514-277-7223, ext. 1,


    Recommendations for a strong Canadian response to Syrian refugees