CIMM - Additional Information - International Relations
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Additional key points/issues:
- Around the world, there are more migrants than ever before. Since 2000, the total number of international migrants has increased by over 50%, from 173 million people in 2000 to nearly 272 million people in 2019.
- While this number is high, it is important to remember that most migration takes place through regular pathways. These include immigrant selection systems - economic, family reunification and refugee resettlement programs - in countries like Canada, the US, Australia, and New Zealand.
- As result of these international trends, Canada’s international engagement is becoming increasingly important in global migration policy and provides opportunities to advance Canada’s international interests and priorities while demonstrating Canadian leadership on well managed migration and refugee protection.
- Canada engages constructively with other countries to advance our migration and refugee protection priorities, to tackle shared challenges and to learn from each other.
- Canada's reputation as an inclusive and welcoming nation has led several countries to seek to learn from our managed migration system, including our successful settlement and integration model, visa policy, and regular migration pathways.
- A growing number of countries are keen to learn about Canada's approach to migration. Canada has organized study tours for a variety of delegations, including from Chile, Jamaica, France and Turkey.
- Canada’s strong and long-standing relationship with the US continues to provide a solid foundation for continued constructive engagement on issues that matter to Canadians and to Americans, such as border security, information-sharing and asylum within the North American perimeter.
- Safe Third Country Agreement modernization remains a top priority for Canada. Canadian officials are regularly in contact with US counterparts to discuss migration issues of mutual concern.
- Canada is working with partners to address the unprecedented levels of migration in the Americas caused by instability in Central America and the crisis in Venezuela, which alone has caused over 4.5 million people to migrate or flee, largely to neighbouring countries. Venezuelan asylum claims rank 10th in Canada as of September 2019, with over 904 asylum claims in 2019.
- Canada is an active member of the International Organization for Migration, the lead UN agency on migration, providing $63M in contributions in 2019. Membership in the International Organization for Migration allows Canada to monitor and influence the strategic direction of the Organization, and ensure that its mandate and operations align with Canada’s interests.
- Canada is demonstrating leadership and delivering concrete results by chairing three prominent international forums: the Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees; the Migration Five; and the Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement.
- IRCC actively engages with multilateral partners to support the delivery of its mandate. Through forums such as the Five eyes Ministerial meetings and supporting Migration 5 officials meetings, UN organizations such as the IOM and the UNHCR, the Global Forum on Migration and Development, the Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, IRCC advances global migration policies in support of Canada’s immigration and humanitarian objectives.
- To promote regular migration, IRCC works to identify and implement capacity-building initiatives with both source and host countries, as a positive incentive to strengthen their migration systems.
- IRCC manages the International Migration Capacity Building program, a grants program that funds migration-related capacity-building projects and multilateral forums. Anticipated spending is $4 million for FY 2019/20 and $10 million for FY 2020/21. Examples of projects include:
- World University Service of Canada (“WUSC”) received $115,000 to develop new education pathways for refugees from Syria. WUSC and its local implementing partner have relocated Syrian refugee student youth to Mexico. The project is ongoing, and during the Global Refugee Forum the Government of Mexico pledged to resettle an additional 100 refugees through the program between 2020 and 2024.
- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) received $30,000 to provide training to passport and border officials to build the understanding by countries in the Americas of the importance of effective visa systems and screening. The intent is to improve border management so as to combat irregular migration in the Americas.
- The IOM received $95,000 to host 100 participants from 30 countries to provide capacity building on international labour recruitment regulation. The intent is to enhance ethical recruitment practices, protect migrant workers, and better monitor the private recruitment industry.
- Project outcomes further Canada’s domestic and international interests by strengthening global migration and refugee protection systems to facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration and deter irregular migration.
- IRCC shares its experience in private sponsorship of refugees with other countries helping them to create similar programs, expanding available resettlement spaces globally. Since the establishment of the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative in December 2016, an estimated 1,000 new protection spaces have been created with Canadian assistance worldwide.
The Global Compact for Migration
Why has Canada signed on to a UN document that constrains our ability to manage our own borders and migration management?
- The Global Compact for Migration is a non-binding framework that provides practical guidance to states on migration in all its dimensions, including developing temporary and permanent regular migration pathways, integration, border management, returns, and combatting human trafficking and smuggling. The Compact is rooted in the principle of national sovereignty and does not create any obligations for Canada.
- The Global Compact for Migration was adopted by 152 countries and provides a framework to facilitate the sharing and promotion of best practices and innovative approaches for states to consider to strengthen their migration systems and promote safe, orderly and regular migration.
- Canada remains concerned with the deepening crisis in Venezuela. The number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants continues to grow beyond 4.8 million, and is expected to surpass the number of Syrian refugees and reach 6.5 million by the end of 2020. Approximately 80% of Venezuelan refugees and migrants are hosted in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
- From a Canadian perspective, as of December 31, 2019, Venezuela ranks 12th on the list of top source countries for asylum claims in Canada. From 2015 to 2019, there was a 467 percent increase in Venezuelan asylum claimants (308 to 1,437). The approval rate in 2019 was 87 percent.
- So far, Canada has provided over $53 million in humanitarian and development assistance, as well as stabilization support.
- Canada is among the top donors in response to the Venezuelan crisis.
- IRCC’s current approach to the crisis includes recognizing expired Venezuelan passports, funding regional capacity building projects to respond to the migrant crisis, promoting our existing regular pathways of migration to Venezuelans and considering those who are referred through the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to be resettled in Canada.
- An Administrative Deferral of Removals (ADR) is currently active for Venezuela and has been in place since January 2019. A Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) bar exemption was also implemented on August 19, 2019.
Responsive only – Resettlement in Canada and/or special programs
- Canada relies on UNHCR to refer the most vulnerable refugees globally for resettlement to Canada.
- Canada will continue to give due consideration to UNHCR-referred refugees for resettlement, and will collaborate with UNHCR to ensure that Venezuelan migrants are aware of the program streams that currently exist for immigration to Canada.
- Canada has no plans to initiate any special temporary measures for Venezuelans and is not considering any dedicated resettlement efforts, however, existing immigration programs, including family reunification visas and economic programs, remain available for Venezuelans who qualify.
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