IRCC Deputy Minister Transition Binder 2019 – Key International Stakeholders
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- Migration is an inherently international issue, increasingly becoming politically charged following a rise in the numbers of mass migration movements and increased anti-migrant sentiment.
- With no one State alone being able to address the complexity and multifaceted dimensions of the current unprecedented level of human mobility, there is greater overall willingness for multilateral, regional and bilateral cooperation, demonstrated by the adoption of the Global Compacts for Migration and on Refugees.
- Canada is acknowledged as an international leader in managed migration and refugee resettlement, and as such, these programs are important components of Canada’s foreign policy toolkit.
- Multilateral and bilateral engagement as well as international capacity building are the primary means by which Canada can demonstrate leadership in the international migration context and participate in the development of global solutions.
- Canada is a key participant in a number of international forums and maintains close bilateral engagement with key countries, including the United States, Mexico, and others, in support of the Department’s objectives.
- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) works on migration policy jointly at the National Headquarters and across the Department’s International Network, which is comprised of 9 area offices, 60 overseas offices, 3 regional medical offices, and 153 Visa Application Centres in 104 countries.
- The Department also closely collaborates with Global Affairs Canada, which is responsible for operating missions and supporting IRCC’s international presence.
- Key upcoming international policy engagement opportunities include:
- October 2019: Trans-Atlantic Council on Migration meeting, to be held in Western Europe (location TBC) on October 10-11, 2019.
- November 2019: Migration Five meeting of Heads of Delegation will take place in Auckland, New Zealand in November, 2019.
- December 2019: The Global Refugee Forum will take place in Geneva on December 17-18, 2019.
- Two senior officials meetings in December 2019 (Geneva) and May 2020 (Ottawa)
- Two multidisciplinary workshops scheduled to take place in winter and spring 2020.
- Country specific travel, including to the US, should also be considered.
Five Country Ministerial
The Five Country Ministerial (FCM) is a pre-eminent annual meeting of public safety and immigration ministers from the Five Eyes countries (Canada, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand). The group meets annually to discuss national security and migration issues of shared importance, including terrorism, cyber security, irregular migration, and transnational crime. Outcomes of Ministerial meetings inform work that is assigned to Five Eyes forums, including the Migration Five, the Border 5, the Cyber 5, and others. Ministerial meeting agendas are developed and ongoing FCM work is progressed by FCM Sherpas (DG-level) and the Executive Steering Group (ESG), who meet annually and conduct monthly teleconferences, in addition to regular close coordination among officials at all levels.
Minister Hussen and Minister Goodale (Public Safety) attended this year’s FCM meeting which took place from July 29 to 30, 2019 in London, UK, on the theme of “Emerging Threats.” The agenda included a session for Ministers on “Borders and Immigration”, [REDACTED]
All levels up to and including the Minister engage with the FCM. The Director General of International and Intergovernmental Relations is IRCC’s Sherpa, and the Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic and Program Policy is IRCC’s ESG member. Through this engagement, IRCC has sought to work with partners to focus on areas of mutual agreement, [REDACTED]
- The FCM chair now rotates to New Zealand who will host the next FCM in Fall 2020 (Canada last chaired the FCM in 2017 and, based on a rotating schedule, would assume this role again in 2022).
- Through its Sherpa and ESG engagement, IRCC will work with its FCM partners to monitor progress on FCM deliverables and to ensure Departmental priorities are reflected in the 2020 FCM agenda.
The Migration Five (M5) is a forum comprising the immigration agencies of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Canada is represented in the M5 by both Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The group has evolved from a consultative forum to an action-oriented body focused on collaboration on joint initiatives and information exchange to achieve improvements in security, service, and savings. With the addition of immigration ministers to the Five Country Ministerial (FCM) in 2016, the M5 is now considered a forum of the FCM. The M5 is supported by a permanent secretariat which is housed in and fully resourced by New Zealand.
The M5 is led by the Heads of Delegation (HODs), who meet at an annual plenary and set the overall direction for the group’s work. IRCC’s HOD has traditionally been the Deputy Minister (although the other four countries have ADM-level HODs). The Department’s Deputy HOD is the Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic and Program Policy. Various Directors General and other IRCC officials also participate in M5 working groups. The Department currently chairs three working groups: M5 Traveler Experience and Facilitation Working Group, the Migration Health Working Group, and the M5 Heads of Operations Working Group.
- The M5 identifies an annual theme for research, and in 2019 is focusing on the Digitisation of Visa Processing. This project may inform Departmental Transformation initiatives, and may also lead to further joint M5 initiatives. The report will be completed by November 2019.
Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees
The Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees (IGC) is an informal, non-decision making forum established in 1985 that is focused on the exchange of best practices, policy and data between partner countries on issues related to international migration. The IGC brings together 17 traditionally like-minded countries, the United Nations Refugee Agency, the International Organization for Migration, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the European Commission.
In May 2019, Canada assumed the role of Chair for the 2019/20 year under the theme of “Game-Changing Solutions: Applying Innovation to the Migration Management Continuum.” In addition to chairing the IGC in 2019/20, Canada serves as the chair of the Immigration Working Group.
Membership in the IGC provides Canada with valuable opportunities to discuss key challenges, explore innovative solutions, learn best practices and showcase Canada’s programs and policies. Canada actively participates in each of the IGC’s six working groups, which are focused thematically on: Admission, Control and Enforcement; Asylum and Refugees; Country of Origin Information; Immigration; Integration; and Technology. IRCC leads Canada’s engagement with the IGC in consultation with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), and contributes an annual membership fee of $165,000 CAD.
- As IGC Chair, Canada will host two senior officials meetings in December 2019 (Geneva) and May 2020 (Ottawa), as well as two multidisciplinary workshops scheduled to take place in winter and spring 2020.
Global Forum for Migration and Development
The Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD) is a state-led, non-decision making body which provides a venue to informally discuss policies, challenges and opportunities related to migration and development, and to engage with other stakeholders to foster practical and action-oriented outcomes. The GFMD is comprised of 195 states and 43 observers. It also includes participation of the business community, civil society and municipalities. GFMD annual meetings are driven by an overarching theme set by the Chair and include a number of roundtable sessions focused on a variety of migration-related topics. The current Chair is Ecuador.
The GFMD has provided Canada with a platform to influence the international migration discourse, demonstrate Canadian leadership on migration issues and collect international best practices to share with the Government of Canada. IRCC leads Canada’s engagement with the GFMD and since 2010, has voluntarily contributed USD $25,000 per year through the Migration Policy Development Program.
- In 2019, the GFMD will explore “Sustainable approaches to human mobility: Upholding rights, strengthening state agency, and advancing development through partnerships and collective action,” as well as the complementarity of the two Global Compacts.
- Canada and Morocco are co-leading discussions on shaping the public narrative on migration. Canada seeks to promote a balanced public narrative on migration and learn from others on migration related communications.
International Organization for Migration
Established in 1951, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration. The IOM works closely with governments, non-governmental and other organizations on migration management; to advance understanding of migration issues; to encourage social and economic development through migration; and to uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants. The IOM is also a key delivery agent for IRCC migration-related programs, including conducting health examinations of migrants prior to departure for Canada, supporting the transportation of refugees and other protected persons to Canada, delivering the Canadian Orientation Abroad Program, and providing care to those intercepted abroad as irregular migrants as part of the Global Assistance for Irregular Migration Program.
Canada is the IOM’s fifth largest donor and contributes $2.4 million CAD each year in membership fees (paid by IRCC) and approximately $60 million CAD in project funding (60% IRCC, 40% GAC). IRCC coordinates the Government of Canada’s relationship with the IOM, representing Canada on the IOM Council and paying Canada’s assessed contributions to the organization. All levels including the Minister engage with the IOM. Last year, there were over 18 major meetings, including: International Dialogue on Migration, Standing Committee on Programmes and Finance, Council, Working Groups on IOM-UN Relations and Budget.
- Develop an umbrella MOU between IRCC and the IOM to bring coherence to the agreements on the services the IOM provides to IRCC, [REDACTED]
Regional Conference on Migration
The Regional Conference on Migration (RCM), created in 1996, is an intergovernmental forum comprised of 11 member states from North America, Central America, and the Dominican Republic, created to exchange information, experiences and best practices to promote regional migration cooperation. Participating international organizations and civil society are also invited to engage with RCM member states. Direction and decision-making for the RCM is conducted through an annual “Vice-Minister’s Meeting”, [REDACTED]. A Chair rotates annually and is responsible for coordinating and facilitating key RCM activities and meetings as well as identifying high priority areas for the coming year. The Chair is currently held by Guatemala.
The RCM holds discussions on a number of migration-related priorities in the region, such as: the promotion and protection of the human rights of migrants; effective migration management; migration and development; consular protection to migrants; combatting human trafficking and migrant smuggling; refugee protection in Central America and Mexico; labour migration; gender and migrant children’s issues; and migration health.
- The RCM is currently conducting a strategic review, led by Guatemala, the current chair of the RCM. Member States are working on a Charter document to define the organization’s areas of focus, structure and mechanisms; and a Strategic Plan to be renewed every three years which outlines the objectives, work plan, implementation and monitoring mechanisms. Member States are currently defining the “pillars” or key areas of focus for the organization – this provides an opportunity for Canada to advocate for changes towards a more targeted focus on specific migration issues.
Trans-Atlantic Council on Migration
The Trans-Atlantic Council on Migration (TCM) was launched in 2008 Migration Policy Institute (MPI), an independent, non-partisan, migration policy think tank based in Washington, D.C. dedicated to the analysis, development, and evaluation of national and international migration and refugee policies. The MPI provides countries with the tools to improve immigration and integration policies through authoritative research and analysis, opportunities for learning and dialogue, and the development of new ideas to address complex policy questions. MPI actively produces and promotes professional research, and is considered a global leader in engaging governments and policymakers internationally on migration issues.
The MPI is also the main promoter and coordinator for the Trans-Atlantic Council on Migration (TCM), which is comprised of senior public officials, business leaders, and academics from Europe, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, which IRCC Deputy Ministers have attended regularly. The TCM meets twice a year. Meetings are closed to the media and operate under Chatham House rules. The last TCM was held in February 2019 in Vienna, Austria on the theme of “Rebuilding Community After Crisis: An Updated Social Contract for a New Migration Reality.”
IRCC provides funding to the MPI for the TCM through the Migration Policy Development Program (MPDP) ($100,000 CDN in support of its activities for 2018/2019 and 2019/2020). The past President of the MPI, Demetrios Papademetriou, was highly engaged with the Government of Canada and built positive relations with IRCC, CBSA, PS, and GAC at senior levels.
Dr. Andrew Selee became President in 2017 and visited Ottawa for a series of high level meetings on May 29, 2019. During this visit to Ottawa, Dr. Selee had a bilateral meeting with Acting Deputy Minister Lori MacDonald, Deputy Minister Marta Morgan (Foreign Affairs), and Deputy Secretary of Operations Catrina Tapley (Privy Council Office). In addition, he gave presentations to IRCC, CBSA, PS, and GAC staff on the role of MPI, migration policy in the U.S. and migration trends and challenges in Latin America.
- The next TCM will be held in Western Europe (location TBC), October 10-11, 2019. The theme will be “Coming Together or Coming Apart? A New Phase of International Cooperation on Migration”.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), also known as the United Nations Refugee Agency, is responsible for protecting and assisting people forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict and persecution. UNHCR provides shelter, food, water, medical care and other life-saving assistance to refugees, stateless persons, and, to a certain extent, internally displaced persons. UNHCR is one of the largest humanitarian organizations in the world. The UNHCR plays a key role in the delivery of Canada’s humanitarian assistance programming abroad, which is managed by Global Affairs Canada (GAC).
For IRCC, UNHCR plays a critical role in the successful delivery of Canada’s Refugee Resettlement Program, by identifying and referring the most vulnerable refugees around the world for resettlement to Canada. UNHCR also monitors Canada’s legal obligations with respect to asylum and refugee protection, pursuant to Article 35 of the 1951 Refugee Convention. Its doctrine and advice is an important perspective to include in IRCC’s refugee programs and policy development. UNHCR’s recent public engagement on refugee reform and border issues has been instrumental to bolster support for the government’s efforts.
The UNHCR is among Canada’s most trusted humanitarian partners. Canada is a top-10 donor to the UNHCR. Canada’s relationship with UNHCR is managed by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). IRCC engages with UNHCR Canada with respect to Canada’s domestic programs and compliance with international norms, as well as with UNHCR Geneva on international protection issues.
UNHCR led the development of the Global Compact on Refugees (the Compact), which was adopted in December 2018 by the United Nations General Assembly. Canada played an active role in positively influencing the development of the Compact, leveraging our status as a major resettlement country and leading humanitarian donor, and the growing global recognition of the efficiency of Canada’s asylum, resettlement and integration models.
- The Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement is the primary forum for governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international organizations to collaborate on refugee resettlement. In July 2019, Canada assumed chairmanship of the ATCR. IRCC, with the Canadian Council for Refugees as the NGO co-Chair, will work in close collaboration with UNHCR in 2019-2020 for the design and successful delivery of ATCR activities. In its role as ATCR chair, Canada, together with UNHCR, will support the implementation of the 3-Year Strategy on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways in its first year.
- The Global Compact for Refugees calls for a global arrangement for international cooperation in the form of the Global Refugee Forum, a ministerial-level event to be held every four years. The first Forum will be held in Geneva on 17-18 December 2019. Priority themes of the first Forum include: arrangements for responsibility-sharing, education, jobs and livelihoods, energy and infrastructure, protection capacity and solutions. Canada will be expected by the international community to make a pledge at the Forum in December 2019. Any final decision of Forum pledges will need to be made after the federal.
Canada’s International Migration Capacity Building and Engagement
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) leads Canada’s international engagement and capacity building efforts to promote safe, orderly and regular migration to Canada and globally, while also deterring irregular migration.
Engagement not only supports domestic migration objectives, but also fosters global cooperation to strengthen international migration management and refugee protection. While significant international engagement occurs bilaterally, the Department engages in a number of key international forums and supports capacity building efforts to advance Canadian priorities and objectives.
Why does Canada invest in capacity building?
- To promote migration that is safe, orderly and regular, and to deter irregular migration.
- To help countries develop tools and policies to manage migration and deal with migration challenges.
- To facilitate the flow of factual information that demonstrates how countries can benefit economically, socially and culturally from migrants.
Why does Canada engage internationally?
- To foster cooperation on issues of global mobility and migration.
- To learn from and share international best practices on migration management and refugee protection.
- To engage in and promote dialogue on international migration issues.
- To collaborate on enhancing the security and integrity of migration systems, in order to protect the safety and security of Canadians
International Migration Capacity Building Program (IMCBP)
- Formerly Migration Policy Development Program
- IMCBP allows Canada to engage with key partners to strengthen migration management systems internationally, and influence the global discourse on international migration.
- IMCBP promotes Canada’s international migration priorities by funding:
- Membership fees to key migration-related international forums (approximately $300,000).
- Technical assistance, policy development and research projects (approximately $700,000).
- Under the new Migration Cooperation and Engagement Envelope (MCEE) capacity-building assistance as a positive incentive to increase cooperation with countries on removals of inadmissible foreign nationals to their home countries ($21 million / 3 years).
Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI)
- The Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program provides Canada with the capacity to offer protection to groups.
- Borrowing this model, the GRSI provides training and advice to countries interested in adopting a community-based refugee resettlement program.
- The GSRI does this by sharing Canada’s history, experience and leadership in sponsorship, and by supporting the creation of new programs that our partner countries design to meet their unique needs.
- To date, GRSI partners have actively engaged with numerous countries, of which six have launched or are soon launching programs: the United Kingdom, Argentina, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain and Germany.
International Engagement: multilateral forums and institutions
Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees (IGC)
- Canada has taken on the IGC Chairmanship for 2019 to 2020 and is leading conversations with 16 partner countries on the theme of “Game-Changing Solutions: Applying Innovation to the Migration Management Continuum”.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
- Canada works closely with the UNHCR on resettlement, humanitarian assistance and recently on the Global Compact on Refugees.
Regional Conference on Migration (RCM)
- The RCM is a regional forum that works to promote regional dialogue and strengthen migration governance; protect the human rights of migrants; and address regional challenges regarding migration. As a Member State, Canada provides core funding to this forum and funds capacity building activities to exchange best practices and promote hemispheric collaboration on migration.
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
- Canada partners with the IOM to respond to humanitarian crises, to strengthen security and stability in fragile and conflict-affected states, and to implement long-term international development activities.
- With the adoption of the Global Compact for Migration in late 2018, Canada will continue working in close partnership with the IOM to ensure the Compact’s success.
Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD)
- Later this year, Canada will be co-chairing a Roundtable with Morocco about “Shaping the public narrative on migration and migrants”, to determine successful practices that promote realistic and balanced views to curb polarized views on migration.
Migration Five (M5)
- Canada collaborates closely with Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States on migration issues through the Migration Five (M5), an international forum of immigration and border security agencies from the “Five Eyes” countries. M5 efforts focus on improving the security and integrity of migration systems and enhancing client service for travellers. Canada will chair the M5 starting in November 2019.
International Engagement: Countries and Territories
For inquiries or more information on this poster or Canada’s international migration initiatives, please contact IRCC.MigrationMinute-MinutedelaMigration.IRCC@cic.gc.ca.
International Migration Capacity Building Program (IMCBP)
- From 2017 to 2019 funded international capacity building projects
- Canada – Workshop on international regulation of labour recruiters (IOM)
- Co-sponsored with the United States – Training for refugee judges in the Americas (International Association of Refugee Law Judges)
- Mexico – Platform for language services for asylum management system (IOM), and Workshop on passport integrity (IOM)
- Panama / Guatemala / Belize / Costa Rica / Mexico – Development of Country of Origin Information (COI) manuals (UNHCR)
- Guatemala / El Salvador / Honduras – Public information products to communicate risks of irregular migration (IOM)
- Costa Rica – Regional Workshop on migration health (Regional Conference on Migration), and Regional Conference to promote hemispheric collaboration on migration (Regional Conference on Migration)
- Peru / Ecuador/ Colombia –Coordination between South American countries on regional border migration management (IOM)
- Brazil – Pilot educational pathway for refugee students (World University Services Canada)
- Chile – Regional Workshop on visa processing and country assessments (IOM)
- Lebanon / Egypt / Tunisia – Information sessions for LGBTQ2 refugees on legal migration pathways (Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality)
- Brussels, Belgium – Conference on social innovation for refugee inclusion (Migration Policy Institute)
- Germany – Research tools to measure newcomer inclusion and integration outcomes to learn from and adopt (Betterplace Lab)
- Kenya – Pilot economic pathway for skilled refugees (Talent Beyond Boundaries
- Bangladesh / Sri Lanka / India – Research Paper and workshop on women’s participation in migration (PhD researcher, Vathsala Illesinghe)
- Uganda / Costa Rica / Ethiopia – Resettlement support from experts in sexual and gender-based violence (UNHCR & International Catholic Migration Commission)
- Colombia – Workshop on passport integrity (IOM)
- Global reach
- Civil society participation at the GFMD Civil Society Days event (International Catholic Migration Commission)
- Research paper on regular migration pathways (IOM)
- Virtual summit on refugee identity and data management (UNHCR)
- Research and development of an online “Refugees, Migration and Integration” policy theme (Apolitical)
- Development of an Essentials of Managed Migration 2.0 guide (IOM)
Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI) active programs
- Argentina (2016)
- Ireland (2019)
- Spain (2019)
- United Kingdom (2016)
- Germany (2019)
- New Zealand (2018)
Multilateral forums and institutions
- IGC, 2019 to 2020 Chair.
- Migration 5, Chair, November 2019-2020
- Geneva, Switzerland
- UNHCR Headquarters
- IOM Headquarters
- GFMD Headquarters
- Guatemala – RCM, 2019 to 2020 Chair
- New Zealand – Migration 5, 2018-2019 Chair
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