New refugee stream for human rights defenders
Minister Marco Mendicino, launched a dedicated refugee stream to provide a safe refuge for human rights defenders at risk. These advocates put their own lives at risk to denounce injustices. Further, they are fleeing persecution in their home country.
Experts and advocates have been calling for dedicated protection measures for human rights defenders. With this announcement, Canada will help to provide more options to human rights defenders in need of protection.
Canada will resettle up to 250 human rights defenders
In order to promote and protect the human rights of people around the world, Canada will resettle up to 250 human rights defenders and their family members per year.
Moreover, the Minister of Immigration said this will be done through the Government-Assisted Refugees Program.
“Through this new refugee stream, the Government of Canada stands with human rights defenders by offering them protection and a safe home in the face of real dangers.” – The Honourable Marco Mendicino. He also added that “offering refuge to the world’s most vulnerable speaks to who we are as Canadians.”
The Government of Canada will work with other institutions to identify human rights defenders who face security risks and are in need of resettlement. Some of these institutions are:
- Front Line Defenders,
- United Nations Refugee Agency, among others.
The goal is to find solutions for human rights defenders in need of protection. Of course, this will include a particular focus on people at heightened risk, such as women, journalists, and LGBTQ2 human rights defenders.
Now, human rights defenders will have a pathway to permanent residence when they cannot return home.
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