Worth knowing

  • The vast majority of the world’s refugees are in the Global South. Only a tiny minority of refugees are found in Canada and the rest of the wealthiest countries.

    55% of refugees are in Asia, 31% are in Africa. Just 3% are in Northern America (USA, Canada and Bermuda).

  • Refugee claims in Canada are dramatically down in the first half of 2013, 50% less than last year.

    The drop in numbers follows the introduction in December 2012 of changes to the refugee determination system, reducing the rights of refugees. At the current rate, there will be fewer claims in Canada in 2013 than in any year since the early 1980s. There were 4,558 claims referred in the first 6 months of 2013. 

    The CCR calls for a fair and accessible refugee process, where all claimants have a full and equal chance to make their case, without discrimination on the basis of their country of origin.

  • The number of migrant workers in Canada has increased by 70% in the last five years.

    Canada has been shifting towards a reliance on migrant labour. In 2008, for the first time, the number of temporary foreign workers in Canada exceeded the total number of permanent residents admitted in the same year.

    At the end of 2012, the gap had grown: there were 338,189 Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada on December 1, 2012, compared to 257,515 new permanent residents in 2012.

    Migrant workers are especially vulnerable to exploitation and abuse because of their lack of status, their isolation and their lack of access to information on their rights, and because the Canadian and most provincial governments don't ensure monitoring of their workplaces.

    For more information, see:

    CCR, Migrant workers - Canada's Disposable Workforce

    CIC, Temporary foreign workers present on December 1st by province or territory and urban area, 2008-2012

  • Conditional Permanent Residence may trap women in abusive relationships for fear of losing their status.

    violence against womenSince October 2012, some sponsored spouses and partners have only "conditional" permanent residence for a period of two years. If they don't remain in a conjugal relationship and cohabitate with their sponsor throughout this period, their permanent residence could be revoked, and they could be deported.

    Although there is an exception in cases of abuse, there are concerns that some abused spouses may not know about the exception, or not have sufficient proof of the abuse.

    Read more about Conditional Permanent Residence and the concerns at ccrweb.ca/cpr.

  • Even before the recent cuts, health care costs for refugee claimants were only about one-tenth as much as the average amount spent on health care per Canadian.


    Refugee claimants on average never received more than mininal health care services, despite complaints that the Interim Federal Health (IFH) Program was too generous. The Canadian Institute for Health Information calculated the 2008 costs per Canadian of health care as $5,162. Citizenship and Immigration Canada reported the IFH costs per claimant as $46 per month for 2007-2008, representing $552 annually (information obtained through Access to Information).

    For more information about the impact of cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program, see the CCR's new report.


  • In 2012, 19% of Mexican claimants were found to be refugees by the Immigration and Refugee Board (one in five).

    With 568 refugees accepted, Mexicans were among the top three nationalities by number of refugees accepted (the others were China and Haiti).

    Despite this, Mexico has been designated by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration as a "safe" country of origin for claimants, meaning that Mexicans will have shorter timelines in the refugee process, no appeal and virtually no health care.

    Details regarding acceptance rates for claimants in 2012 are available to CCR members here.

  • The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is calling for an end to the detention of children on the basis of their immigration status.

    The recommendation comes in the Report on the Committee's Day of General Discussion with states signatories, held last September in Geneva, on “The rights of all children in the context of international migration".

    See the report by the CCR on children in detention - also available in summary format

  • Turkey hosts 141,000 Syrians who have fled the conflict in Syria. This is ten times as many refugees as Canada resettles in a year.

  • Good news! The Benhmuda family has been accepted to return to Canada.

    The family was denied refugee status in Canada and deported to Libya where the father was tortured. Many Canadians have worked for this family's return to Canada.

    Source: Ottawa Citizen, Rejected refugee claimant tortured in Libya wins right to return to Canada with family: lawyer