The Canadian Council for Refugees is a national non-profit umbrella organization committed to the rights and protection of refugees and other vulnerable migrants in Canada and around the world and to the settlement of refugees and immigrants in Canada. The membership is made up of organizations involved in the settlement, sponsorship and protection of refugees and immigrants. The Council serves the networking, information-exchange and advocacy needs of its membership.
The CCR was created in 1978 and has grown steadily since then. It has come to be recognized as a key advocate for refugee and immigrant rights in Canada, educating the public and putting issues onto the national agenda. You can read about the CCR's history in the brief overview, Celebrate 40 years of history and success.
The mandate of the Canadian Council for Refugees is rooted in the belief that:
- Everyone has the right to seek and enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution; (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 14.1)
- Refugees, refugee claimants, displaced persons and immigrants have the right to a dignified life and the rights and protections laid out in national and international agreements and conventions concerning human rights;
- Canada and Canadians have responsibilities for the protection and resettlement of refugees from around the world;
- Settlement services to refugees and immigrants are fundamental to participation in Canadian life;
- National and international refugee and immigration policies must accord special consideration to the experience of refugee and immigrant women and children and to the effect of racism.
The Canadian Council for Refugees is guided by the following organizational principles:
- The membership of the Canadian Council for Refugees reflects the diversity of those concerned with refugee and settlement issues and includes refugees and other interested people in all regions of Canada;
- The work of the Council is democratic and collaborative;
- Our work is national and international in scope
The Canadian Council for Refugees fulfils its mission by:
- Providing opportunities for networking and professional development through conferences, working groups, publications and meetings;
- Working in cooperation with other networks to strengthen the defence of refugee rights;
- Advancing policy analysis and information-exchange on refugee and related issues;
- Advocating for the rights of refugees and immigrants through media relations, government relations, research and public education.
Adopted by the membership November 1993, amended November 2013
Non-governmental organizations, both in Canada and abroad, are warmly encouraged to join the CCR. Associate (non-voting) membership is also available for individuals. To find out more, go to How to Join the CCR.
Scope of Concerns
The CCR has a wide range of concerns relating to immigrants and refugees, which include:
- Protection of refugees in Canada and around the world
- Barriers to family reunification
- Delays in processing of privately sponsored refugees
- Trafficking of women and girls
- Impact of security agenda
- Refugee determination system
- Refugee resettlement
- Immigration detention
- Integration of immigrants and refugees
- Newcomers' access to services
- People without status
- Rights of children
- Newcomer youth
- LGBT refugees
The CCR's policy base is established through resolutions adopted at the two General Members' Meetings (held at the bi-annual CCR Consultations). To view past resolutions and read CCR policy documents, consult the Library page.
The CCR is led by an Executive Committee, and pursues issues through three working groups. Information about these and other structures can be found at the CCR structure page.
The CCR meets four times a year. Two of these meetings are Consultations, held in the spring and the fall, held in different cities across Canada. A General Members' meeting is held at each Consultation, where resolutions that drive CCR policy are presented and adopted. CCR members also hold Working Group meetings between Consultations, in February (in Toronto) and September (in Montreal). For more information, consult the meetings webpage.
The CCR meets twice a year with a range of officials from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to discuss a variety of issues of current concern.
The CCR has an active listserv (email discussion group) called ccrlist which offers NGO participants an opportunity to receive updates and exchange information. For more information, including about how to join, please visit the ccrlist page.
Please note that the CCR does not accept requests to send messages on the CCRlist. Only subscribers can post messages on the CCRlist.
The CCR is an independent coalition that receives no core funding from the government. A significant proportion of our revenue comes from private donations. Donations are encouraged and very much appreciated.
For more information, see Donate to the CCR