Inspiring hope and creating opportunities for refugees
Ottawa, June 20, 2023—The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, today issued the following statement:
“Today, on World Refugee Day, the global community honours the strength and courage of millions of refugees, while showing empathy and understanding for their plight. In Canada, we have a proud history of resettling the world’s most vulnerable people, and refugees play an essential role in building and strengthening our communities. To celebrate this year’s World Refugee Day theme, Hope Away From Home, we are focusing on the opportunities Canada provides refugees and displaced people that inspire hope.
“The number of displaced people globally continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. Canada continues to be a leader on the world stage, with resettlement programs that save lives by offering safe haven in Canada. For the fourth year in a row, we were the top resettlement country in the world, welcoming over 47,500 refugees from over 80 countries in 2022. To date, we’ve resettled more than 88,000 Syrian refugees and over 33,000 Afghans fleeing persecution from the Taliban. We remain on track to resettle at least 40,000 vulnerable Afghans by the end of this year, which is one of the largest commitments in the world.
“Earlier this year, we committed to welcoming an additional 15,000 displaced individuals from the Americas to continue expanding safe lawful immigration pathways offered throughout the hemisphere as an alternative to irregular migration, and we will keep working on those pathways with the United States and like-minded partners.
“Canada is giving refugees more resettlement options and more opportunities to thrive in the communities where they have found refuge. Through the 2023–2025 Immigration Levels Plan, we remain firm in our global humanitarian commitments, including that of resettling between 72,000 and 76,000 refugees annually through our three resettlement streams: the Government-Assisted Refugees Program, the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program and the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program.
“No one plans to become a refugee. Individuals gain education and experience that should not go untapped just because they become displaced. Canada’s Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) honours talent, training and education by creating opportunities for skilled refugees and other displaced individuals to come to Canada as economic immigrants. The pilot is expanding, including through the recent launch of a new federal pathway that gives more displaced individuals the opportunity to restart their lives and careers in Canada. As Chair of the Global Task Force on Refugee Labour Mobility, Canada is working with Australia, the European Commission and a wide range of global stakeholders to champion the growth of initiatives like the EMPP internationally.
“In addition, Canada works to improve the conditions in countries like Venezuela, where nearly 7.2 million people have either fled or left the country. Canada continues to work with key partners to respond to their needs, including access to education, health and employment opportunities.
“We also recognize that providing access to safe, inclusive and quality education, from early childhood to adult education, is an important way to help refugees and other displaced people succeed. Canada’s Together for Learning campaign, launched in February 2021, brings together global stakeholders to promote quality education and lifelong learning for children and youth in conflict- and crisis-affected areas, to make sure no one is left behind.
“Canada’s sense of responsibility is driven by its deep commitment to helping vulnerable populations fleeing war and persecution worldwide. We continue to work with international partners to find durable solutions to help those in need build new lives here. We give refugees hope when we empower them to take ownership of their daily lives and use their talents and passions to contribute to the international communities hosting them.”
For further information (media only), please contact:
Bahoz Dara Aziz
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
Office of the Minister of International Development
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