Conference Program

One-page overview of the conference program.

The following is an overview of the provisional program for the international conference and associated events. For more details about the conference program, click here

Wednesday, 6 June

Local Site Visits

In advance of the opening of the conference, the Local Organizing Committee is planning site visits to organizations in Toronto, for interested international participants. For more information, click here.

Youth Action Gathering (YAG) 2018

The Youth Action Gathering will bring together immigrant and refugee youth from Canada and abroad to network, share and learn about common challenges and discuss strategies to address them. It is a day for youth to meet and discuss a variety of issues through workshops and social activities. The YAG is organized by the CCR Youth Network. We encourage all organizations to support their youth networks to join the YAG and the International Refugee Rights Conference! For more information, see YAG 2018.


On Wednesday evening, there will be an Orientation session where international guests will get an opportunity to network with other delegates and learn more about the CCR and the international conference.

Thursday, 7 June

8:30am - 9am: Orientation

9am - 10am: Introductory meetings for NGOs, organized by issues

10:30am - 12pm: Opening plenary with welcome and International Perspectives (with Ninette Kelley, Director of UNHCR New York office)

12pm - 1:30pm: Networking lunch (cost of lunch is included in the registration fee)

1:30pm - 3pm: Workshops (see topics)

3:30pm - 5pm: Workshops (see topics)

5:30 pm: Reception

Friday, 8 June

9am - 10:30am: Plenary on Regional Perspectives

11am - 12:30pm: Workshops (see topics)

2pm - 3pm: Caucus sessions (these are interactive sessions for information-sharing, networking and strategizing. Topics to be determined).

3:30pm - 5:30pm: CCR Working Group meetings on Immigration & Settlement, Overseas Protection & Resettlement, and Inland Protection. Closed to government and media.

Evening (from 7pm): Dinner and dancing at a location on campus. Dinner will be served close to sunset (around 9pm) to coincide with those observing Ramadan. (Tickets must be purchased in advance through the registration form.)

Saturday, 9 June

9am - 10:30am: Workshops (see topics)

11am - 12:30pm: Plenary on Canadian Perspectives (with the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, to be confirmed)

(Note: The plenary session will be followed by a short CCR General Meeting) 

2pm - 5pm: NGO networking and strategizing sessions (Closed to government and media).

There will be sessions on a number of topics including:

  • US-Canada-Mexico border and refugee claimant issues
  • Communication Issues: Strategies to protect refugees and build welcoming communities
  • Youth and their migration process
  • LGBT issues
  • Resettlement issues (including private/collective sponsorship)
  • Trafficking in persons

Workshop Themes

The following are the workshop topics.

Read also the workshop descriptions 

  • New Approaches to Durable Solutions
  • Global Compacts
  • Gender and Displacement
  • Statelessness
  • Private Sponsorship Resettlement
  • Review of UNHCR's Role
  • Economic and Social Rights of Refugees and Vulnerable Migrants
  • Access to Secure Immigration and Citizenship Status
  • Settlement and Integration of Refugees and Vulnerable Migrants
  • Creating Welcoming Communities
  • Mental Health and Well-being
  • Promoting Positive Public Opinion
  • Interdiction and Access to Protection
  • Immigration Detention
  • Refugee Determination
  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression
  • Post-deportation Monitoring
  • Security Vetting and Security Inadmissibility
  • Family Reunification
  • Faith Issues
  • Children's Rights
  • Effective Protection
  • Trafficking in Persons
  • Youth

Workshop Speakers

The International Refugee Rights Conference will feature a number of speakers from all parts of the world, including South Korea, Tanzania, Argentina, Brazil, Ethiopia, Egypt, Malaysia, Kenya, Costa Rica, Afghanistan and Ecuador.

Some of our confirmed participants and speakers from around the world are:

  • Janemary Ruhundwa, Asylum Access, Tanzania
  • Mamadou Dian Balde, UNHCR, Switzerland
  • Valeria Llamas, Red Latinoamericana e Interdisciplinaria de Derechos Humanos (REDLAIDH), Argentina
  • Ritah Nansereko, African Women and Youth Action for Development, Uganda
  • Jirim Kim, GongGam Human Rights Law Foundation, South Korea
  • Dr Wais Aria, Tabish Social Health Organization, Afghanistan
  • Kathya Araya, HIAS, Costa Rica
  • Arash Bordbar, UNHCR Global Youth Advisory Council, Australia
  • Yiombi Thona, Asia-Pacific Refugee Rights Network, South Korea
  • Elise Chen, Tenaganita, Malaysia
  • Fernanda Mendes Bernardes, Compassiva, Brazil
  • Chenyi Roy Njuabe, The Vine Community Services Limited, Hong Kong
  • Phelix Lore, Haki Centre, Kenya
  • Hugo Ramon Quintero Gomez, Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia, Colombia
  • Patricia Eugenia Zamudio Grave, Scalabrinianas, Misión con Migrantes y Refugiados (SMR), Mexico
  • Grusa Matevzic, Hungarian Helsinki Committee, Hungary
  • Alejandra Macias Delgadillo, Asylum Access, Mexico
  • Professor Jeff Crisp, Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford and Chatham House, UK
  • Elizabeth Foydel, International Refugee Assistance Project, USA
  • Julie Kornfeld, International Refugee Assistance Project, USA
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