Overseas Protection and Resettlement

Complementary Pathways

Resolution number: 
1
November 2019
Whereas: 
  1. The Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), which was affirmed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018, recognizes the expansion of resettlement and complementary pathways as one of the four objectives of the GCR;
  2. In that regard, UNHCR has developed a three-year Strategy (2019 – 2021) on resettlement and complementary pathways with the goal of increasing the number of resettlement spaces envisaged by the GCR;
  3. This Strategy envisions the admission by 2028 of 2 million refugees through complementary pathways, which are defined as safe and regulated avenues for refugees that complement resettlement by providing lawful stay in a third country where their international protection needs are met;
  4. The CCR welcomes the expansion of third country solutions through complementary pathways to address the huge gap in securing adequate resettlement spaces for the refugees globally;
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR call for the following principles to be respected in the development of complementary pathways:

  1. Complementary pathways must offer a durable solution to refugees.  
  2. Complementary pathways must aim to keep families together and respect the fundamental right to family reunification.
  3. The development of complementary pathways must not lead to a decrease in commitment to traditional resettlement.
  4. The development of complementary pathways must include meaningful refugee participation and leadership.
  5. Effort should be made to ensure complementary pathways are broadly available to diverse refugee populations.
  6. Complementary pathways should offer the same level of integration support as traditional refugee pathways offer.

Root causes of forced displacement

Resolution number: 
1
November 2018
Whereas: 
  1. Eliminating root causes has been recognized by the Global Compact on Refugees as the most effective way to achieve solutions through resolving protracted refugee situations and preventing new crises from emerging;
  2. Canada is implicated in some root causes of forced displacement in many countries in the world;
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR should, in a systemic manner, incorporate consideration of root causes into its work.

Women at Risk

Resolution number: 
11
November 1995
Whereas: 
  1. Some refugee women in need of resettlement fit the special criteria of the Women at Risk Programme (in general women in urgent need of resettlement (Stream A) or women who require longer term settlement assistance (Stream B));
  2. The CCR has called for the expeditious processing of Stream A cases;
  3. The CCR has affirmed the use of the Joint Assistance Initiative (formerly Joint Assistance Programme) for Stream B cases;
  4. Citizenship and Immigration officials have indicated that refugee women fitting the Stream A of the Women at Risk Programme have been processed as government-assisted refugees (CR1) because CR1 refugees can be processed more quickly than Women at Risk cases;
  5. When Stream A Women at Risk cases are processed as CR1s they are not counted in Women at Risk Programme statistics;
  6. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has not followed up on its review of the Women at Risk Programme nor responded to the recommendations adopted by the CCR in November 1994;
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR:

  1. Express to Citizenship and Immigration Canada its deep disappointment at the lack of attention to reform of the Women at Risk programme.
  2. Call on the Department to:

            a) Distinguish in its Women at Risk statistics between Stream A and Stream B cases;

            b) Continue to process expeditiously women with urgent protection needs through CR1 channels, but categorize them as Women at Risk Stream A for the purpose of statistics, where they meet the Women at Risk definition;

            c) Continue to process Women at Risk Stream B cases as a subset of the Joint Assistance Initiative, categorized for statistical purposes as Women at Risk Stream B;

  1. Reaffirm its former Women at Risk resolutions, with a particular emphasis on the call to negotiate the use of Reception Centres for the initial reception and (for CR5) matching of Women at Risk.

Resettlement Consultations

Resolution number: 
10
November 1995
Whereas: 
  1. Consultations on resettlement policy and practices have been launched by the UNHCR;
  2. EXCOM Conclusion 19(p) of October 1995 states "The Executive Committee reiterates the continued importance of resettlement as an instrument of protection and its use as a durable solution to refugee problems in specific circumstances; welcomes the initiative in commissioning an evaluation study and the UNHCR consultation on resettlement; and encourages UNHCR to continue the process of dialogue with interested Governments and non-governmental organizations to strengthen its activities in this connection, and to provide regular reports to the Executive Committee";
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR:

  1. Endorse EXCOM Conclusion 19(p);
  2. Invite American NGOs involved in resettlement and the UNHCR for a regional meeting to prepare for the upcoming international tripartite (NGO, government, UNHCR) resettlement consultation to be held in Geneva;
  3. Seek government support to enable Canadian NGO participation at this tripartite consultation.

Refugee children

Resolution number: 
20
November 1993
Whereas: 
  1. 85% percent of the world refugee population are women and children and the number of refugee children exceeds 10 million;
  2. Refugee children are the most vulnerable sector of refugees all over the globe;
  3. Refugee girls are persecuted for their gender and refugee children bear responsibilities for childcare and for parenting of younger children;
  4. Refugee children suffer regular violations in camps which rarely gain attention and condemnation in the media, including hard physical labour, malnutrition, epidemics, rape and are deprived of adequate schooling and education opportunities;
  5. Unaccompanied children and minors suffer detention in many countries;
  6. The defense and protection of refugee children has not received adequate attention in educational material and international legal conventions;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR take action with the Canadian government and relevant international organizations to:

  1. Call for an international legal instrument for the protection of refugee children as a supplement to the Geneva Convention and Protocols;
  2. Call for an increase in relief aid and educational resources to refugee children, especially those in camp situations;
  3. Increase the numbers of unaccompanied minors resettled in western countries, after suitable efforts at family reunification have been exhausted;
  4. Demand an end to the detention of refugee children and call for the use of other more humane mechanisms to accommodate these children;
  5. Call for measures to eradicate prostitution, rape, female genital mutilation and other abuses in refugee camps, and for resources to be made available to assist in the healing of children victimized by these abuses;
  6. Call for humane measures concerning international adoptions of refugee children.

World population conference

Resolution number: 
19
November 1993
Whereas: 
  1. The Canadian government is participating in UN discussions preparing a conference document for the International Conference on Population and Development to take place in Cairo, Summer 1994;
  2. Non-governmental discussions tend to focus on family planning and the environment, although a significant part of the conference business involves migration and refugee affairs;
  3. The document so far reflects a shift from the promise of safeguards for the rights and dignity of refugees and migrants expressed in the 1994 Mexico Declaration to a bald assertion of an absolute right of states to control the entry and residence of persons onto their territory;
  4. The need to uphold the right of asylum was declared by all governments at the Vienna Conference on Human Rights in June 1993 and was declared by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to her Executive Committee in October 1993;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR and its members urge MPs and Canadian government officials to work to ensure that the Conference documents fully reinforce the right to asylum and reinforce the need for safeguards for the rights of refugees and migrants at borders and elsewhere on state territory.

Call to ban anti-personnel land mines

Resolution number: 
18
November 1993
Whereas: 
  1. Anti-personnel land mines that detonate on contact are indiscriminate weapons that remain hidden and lethal long after the end of a conflict;
  2. Anti-personnel mines have killed or mutilated tens of thousands of civilians and rendered large tracts of agricultural and pastoral land unusable, preventing the subsistence and economic development of rural populations;
  3. In most countries women and children are especially affected as direct victims through their agricultural and pastoral work or through death and disabling of their husbands and fathers;
  4. The 1981 United Nations Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby traps and other Devices has failed to prevent the indiscriminate use of anti-personnel mines but unfortunately international law permits the use of land mines to achieve "defensive" military objectives;
  5. The CCR adopted Resolution 14 at the Consultation in Winnipeg in November 1992 calling for Canada to ratify the Land Mines Protocol and to press other states of the United Nations to do likewise;
  6. Land mines remain an obstacle to the durable solution of voluntary repatriation for refugees;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That:

  1. The CCR join a growing number of organizations including Handicap International, Human Rights Watch, Medico International, Mines Advisory Group, Physicians for Human Rights and the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation in a joint call for:
    1. An international ban on the use, production, stockpiling, and sale, transfer or export of antipersonnel mines;
    2. The establishment of an international fund, administered by the United Nations, to promote and finance landmine awareness, clearance and eradication programs worldwide;
    3. Countries responsible for the production and dissemination of anti-personnel mines to contribute to the international fund;
  2. The CCR call on the government of Canada to support and promote an international ban on the use, production, stockpiling, and sale, transfer or export of antipersonnel mines;
  3. The CCR urge the government of Canada to support and promote the establishment of an international fund, administered by the United Nations, to promote and finance landmine awareness, clearance and eradication programs worldwide;
  4. The CCR call on the government of Canada to urge countries responsible for the production and dissemination of anti-personnel mines to contribute to the international fund.

Joint sponsorship committee

Resolution number: 
17
November 1994
Whereas: 
  1. The Canadian Council for Refugees has acted as a convenor of master agreement holders and sponsoring groups throughout the government's private sponsorship review;
  2. There is a widely recognized need for improved communication between private sponsoring organizations and the government;
  3. Organizations which sponsor refugees have a genuine and vested interest in the smooth running and success of the private sponsorship program;
Therefore be it resolved: 
  1. The CCR write to the government urging the creation of a joint committee consisting of both government and non-governmental organizations involved in the private sponsorship program;
  2. The CCR coordinate the selection of the non-governmental representatives on the committee from among all Master Agreement Holders and organizations involved in the private sponsorship program;
  3. Such a joint committee be mandated to plan the direction of the program;
  4. Such a joint committee not act as a replacement for ongoing direct communication with organizations participating in the program.

Guidelines on gender persecution for visa posts

Resolution number: 
16
November 1993
Whereas: 
  1. IRB Guidelines on women refugee claimants fearing gender-related persecution were issued in March 1993 by the chairperson pursuant to section 65(3) of the Immigration Act;
  2. IRB members are expected to use the Guidelines in applying the Convention refugee definition to ensure that women who fear gender persecution can be found to be refugees;
  3. The IRB Guidelines were distributed to all overseas visa posts as information;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR encourage:

  1. The adoption of these Guidelines in visa posts for use in overseas refugee selection;
  2. The department of Citizenship and Immigration to monitor the implementation of the Guidelines for overseas selection;
  3. The inclusion of the Guidelines in the training of visa officers to facilitate greater understanding of gender persecution.

Reorganization of visa posts

Resolution number: 
15
November 1993
Whereas: 
  1. The government has announced that it will no longer offer full immigrant processing at all visa posts and will centralize immigrant processing worldwide;
  2. There is already a limited number of visa posts with full immigration consulars;
  3. This creates hardships particularly in affected countries and more particularly creates hardships for women who are restricted financially and socially from accessing these posts;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR contact government officials to express its concern over the reorganization, pointing out the negative impact in limiting access particularly for women.

Somali resettlement from Kenya

Resolution number: 
14
November 1993
Whereas: 
  1. From mid-August to early September, Canada asked Somali asylum-seekers in Kenya having close links to Canada (including brothers and sisters), to identify themselves for the Canadian resettlement program;
  2. This raised high expectations among residents in the southeastern camps where the notices appeared;
  3. Somali Canadians have as a result been pressured by relatives in these camps to put in undertakings;
  4. This has caused great frustration in the community for those unable to make these commitments. In addition, the fact that the CIC officers knew nothing of these notices, and denied their existence, added confusion to frustration;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR strongly urge the Department of Citizenship and Immigration to honour the promise implicit in these notices, and facilitate the entry to Canada of parents and their dependent children through the government sponsorship process, where the family in Canada is not yet sufficiently settled to place an undertaking of assistance.

Silence on plight of Afghan refugees

Resolution number: 
13
November 1993
Whereas: 
  1. The Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan for the U.N. Commission for Human Rights of February 1993 clearly shows that there are serious human rights crises in Afghanistan and in the Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan;
  2. Women and non-fundamentalists are subject to persecution and selective assassination by extremist fundamentalists in the refugee camps in Pakistan, with women and girls being denied employment and access to education;
  3. Aid to the Afghan refugees in the camps in Pakistan has been severely cut back;
  4. Afghan refugees represent 20 to 25% of all the refugees in the world but this is not reflected in Canadian resettlement efforts;
  5. Church and group sponsorship applications have been refused by Canadian visa officers in Pakistan and India, who claim that they do not meet the refugee definition, despite the massive violations of the refugees' human rights;
  6. Some Afghan refugee claimants have been refused by I.R.B. members who are not aware of the true situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan;
Therefore be it resolved: 
  1. The CCR reaffirm the positions adopted in Resolution 7 of May 1993;
  2. The CCR call on the government and the UNHCR to use the Women at Risk program to assist Afghan women who are in need and to make visa officers aware of this program;
  3. The CCR call on the government to give special consideration to Afghan refugees for resettlement in Canada, recognizing their protection and resettlement needs in the light of the continued civil war.

Delayed departures of accepted Kurdish refugees in Turkey

Resolution number: 
12
November 1993
Whereas: 
  1. CCR Resolution 6, May 1993, called on the Canadian embassy in Ankara to recognize the risk to the lives of Kurdish refugees and expedite their resettlement in Canada;
  2. There are approximately 400 Iraqi refugees identified by the UNHCR who are living in wretched conditions in camps in Turkey even though they were accepted by Canada over one year ago;
  3. Medicals are beginning to expire as a result of the long delays;
  4. These people have not been considered for resettlement in other countries because of their acceptance by Canada;
  5. Tension in camps is rising and there is fear of refoulement;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR contact the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration exhorting Canada to let all of these already accepted refugees depart for Canada immediately.

Long term protection for Iraqi Kurdistan

Resolution number: 
11
November 1993
Whereas: 
  1. The UN sees "repatriation" as the preferred solution and has established the "no fly zone" in Iraqi Kurdistan as a precedent-setting venture;
  2. It is of extreme importance that this program be carried out successfully, for the sake not only of the Kurds of Northern Iraq, but also of other minority groups who may find themselves in similar crises in the future;
  3. The key weakness of the current program is that it does not provide a long term guarantee of protection for the inhabitants of Iraqi Kurdistan. The current fragile state of protection serves as a grave deterrent to resettlement and, if lifted, could lead to yet another mass exodus;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR request the Department of External Affairs to urge the United Nations Security Council to explore measures to fully guarantee long-term protection for the people of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Economic aid for Iraqi Kurdistan

Resolution number: 
10
November 1993
Whereas: 
  1. The United Nations persuaded the Kurds of Northern Iraq to return to their homeland;
  2. The current food, medicine and electricity shortages as well as the "double embargo" are all combining to cause great suffering to the people of Iraqi Kurdistan, and to create sentiments of frustration and distrust of the allied forces among some of the Kurds;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR request the Department of External Affairs to urge the United Nations to ensure that adequate economic aid is given to the people of Iraqi Kurdistan to ensure that basic needs are met, thereby promoting greater overall stability in the region.

Genocide

Resolution number: 
26
June 1994
Whereas: 
  1. Genocide is going on in various parts of the world by the governments, armies, paramilitary and civil forces;
  2. Refugees are victims and survivors of and witnesses to genocides;
  3. The present international legal mechanisms cannot adequately address the widespread perpetration of genocide today, notably as it affects girls and women, by means of rape in war;
  4. The United Nations has recently begun to discuss the failure of international mechanisms to respond adequately to the crime of genocide;
Therefore be it resolved: 
  1. That the CCR call upon the government of Canada, in international fora:
  2. To address the inadequacy of international mechanisms to respond adequately to the crime of genocide;
  3. To ask for a review of the Genocide Convention;
  4. To provide new funding to the United Nations Human Rights Centre for international human rights mechanisms because these are seriously underfunded.

Vietnamese

Resolution number: 
25
June 1994
Whereas: 
  1. The Canadian government is a signatory of and contributor to the 1989 Comprehensive Plan of Action (CPA) regarding the situation of Indochinese refugees;
  2. The application of the CPA in Southeast Asian refugee camps, as it now stands, leads to:
    1. human rights abuses which affect the safety and dignity of asylum-seekers in the camps and result in many genuine refugees being wrongly denied refugee status;
    2. deaths of many innocent lives;
    3. forced repatriation;
    4. deprivation measures imposed upon the camp populations;
    5. the birth of a dangerously convenient international precedent which aims to eliminate a refugee situation rather than to resolve it;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Request the Canadian government to make representations to the UNHCR, the CPA steering committee and the CPA fellow signatories to:

    1. establish a mechanism to identify, review and correct cases which have been egregiously denied refugee status, with the use of the UNHCR's mandate authority;
    2. respect the safety and dignity of asylum seekers, by immediately recanting the policy of deprivation measures which has led to reductions in food rations and cuts in educational and medical services;
    3. abstain from the use of force and violence in the repatriation programme;
    4. quickly resettle recognized refugees, many of whom have languished for years in transit camps.
  2. Make direct representations to the UNHCR to this effect.

Forcible return of iranian refugees by turkey

Resolution number: 
24
June 1994
Whereas: 
  1. The government of Iran has struck two separate extradition treaties with the governments of Turkey and Pakistan;
  2. Pakistan and Turkey are so-called "first countries of asylum" for refugees fleeing from Iran;
  3. It was reported widely and confirmed by Amnesty International that in return for 14 alleged Kurdish political activists extradited to Turkey, the government of Turkey has extradited at least on one occasion 6 UNHCR refugees to Iran;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR demand that the Canadian government:

  1. Pressure the Turkish and Pakistani governments to adhere to the principle of non-refoulement (article 33 of the Geneva Convention);
  2. Condemn the violation of human rights by the governments of Iran, Turkey and Pakistan and pursue the prevention of the improper use of the extradition treaties by the signatories.

Protection of Burmese refugees

Resolution number: 
23
June 1994
Whereas: 
  1. Aung San Su Kyi remains under house arrest following her victory in the democratic elections of 1989
  2. The SLORC continues to disregard human rights and the outcome of the 1989 democratic elections;
  3. Since 1988 large numbers of Burmese nationals have been both internally and externally displaced;
  4. The Royal Thai government is failing to provide protection to Burmese nationals and their conditions continue to deteriorate;
  5. International attention and pressure have been conspicuously absent;
  6. There is both an overseas need and a sponsorship interest in increasing the current immigration levels;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Petition the Government of Canada to request the Government of Thailand:

    1. to honour their responsibilities to provide safe asylum to Burmese nationals; and
    2. to issue exit visas to Burmese nationals upon completion of Canadian immigration processing;
  2. Petition the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to increase the number of government sponsorships to at least double the current seventy-five positions and in addition appropriate one-third of the contingency allocation in recognition of the urgency of the situation;
  3. Urge the Government of Canada to use all means at its disposal to pressure the Burmese (Myanmar) SLORC to restore human rights and to honour its own democratic process and the outcome of the election of 1989;
  4. Request the Government of Canada to provide human resource development opportunities to Burmese refugees in neighbouring countries as they await restoration of human rights and the democratic process in Burma.

Haitian refugees

Resolution number: 
22
June 1994
Whereas: 
  1. The United States continues to return Haitians picked up in international waters directly to Haiti;
  2. Previous CCR resolutions of May '92 and Nov. '92 have called upon the Canadian government to
    1. Support the UNHCR statement of May '92 criticizing US actions against Haitian asylum seekers;
    2. Make representations to the US not to return Haitians to Haiti; and
    3. Select a certain number of Haitians for resettlement in Canada;
  3. The Canadian government has not publicly responded to these demands;
  4. The United States is now putting forward a plan involving other governments for processing Haitian refugees in the Caribbean region;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Call upon the Canadian government to:

    1. Publicly clarify the positions it has taken in its discussions with the United States and in multilateral discussions;
    2. Take all available measures, in consultation with the NGO sector, to ensure that
      1. Any screening process set up in the region includes all necessary safeguards for meaningful protection;
      2. No appropriate solutions, such as third country resettlement, be excluded before individual cases are examined;
    3. Select a certain number of Haitian refugees for resettlement in Canada; potential candidates should include Haitians now in vulnerable situations in various locations in the Americas;
  2. Call upon the UNHCR to designate adequate resources to ensure that international protection standards are upheld during this process;
  3. Approach other organizations in the development and human rights fields to support and participate in our advocacy initiatives on this issue.

Acceptance of afghan refugees

Resolution number: 
21
June 1994
Whereas: 
  1. The collapse of the Communist regime in Afghanistan did not bring a lasting solution to that country, as was proposed in the UN peace plan that was never implemented, but rather precipitated a more brutal war between rival extremist warlords resulting in heavy civilian casualties, thousands more internally displaced, a new wave of over 100,000 refugees on the Pakistani border and a severe escalation of human rights abuses (as reported in the most recent 1994 publication of Amnesty International);
  2. The UN repatriation programme for Afghan refugees has become an international embarrassment and a gross failure;
  3. Recent UNHCR reports run contrary to the findings of human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and the Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan and inappropriately suggest that Afghans are not in need of resettlement abroad;
  4. Afghan refugees constitute the largest refugee population in the world, but Canadian government sponsorship of Afghans had come to a halt until the recent agreement mentioned below, and the rejection rate for private sponsorship is over 90%;
  5. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration recently negotiated a joint resettlement agreement signed by Sergio Marchi and Mr Aziz Bhaloo, President of the Ismaili Council of Canada and FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance Canada;
  6. The CCR has raised concerns over Afghan refugees in conversations with the Immigration Department numerous times without any results;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Call on the government of Canada to:

    1. In addition to the Ismaili joint resettlement agreement, open the doors for all Afghan refugees, especially women and children who comprise the majority;
    2. Conduct a review of all rejected Afghan refugee sponsorship cases;
    3. Support the UN initiative to end the Afghan conflict through a negotiated settlement;
    4. Discourage neighbouring countries from arming the warring factions;
    5. Call on the UNHCR to provide more accurate information on the situation in Afghanistan;
  2. Write a letter to the government of Canada expressing the following concerns about the new joint resettlement agreement between the government of Canada and the Ismaili Council of Canada and Focus Humanitarian Assistance Canada:
    1. We are concerned that the 500 places per year for Ismailis in Pakistan are part of the current quota for government-assisted refugees for the Middle East, not in addition to that quota. Because of this, there will be fewer places available for Iranians, Iraqis, and other Afghans;
    2. This agreement seems to set a dangerous precedent for off-loading the government's obligation for resettling refugees onto ethnic groups or other private sponsors;
    3. While resettlement of Afghan refugees is welcome, we are concerned about the predetermined selection of refugees based on religious affiliation in a region where many refugees of varying religious affiliations are in need of resettlement;
    4. We urge the government either to treat these 500 refugees as privately sponsored refugees or to expand the regional quota in order to respond to the needs of refugees of all religious affiliations.

Rwandan crisis

Resolution number: 
20
June 1994
Whereas: 
  1. The crisis in Rwanda persists and a special workshop on the subject was requested at the CCR conference;
  2. The genocide and massacres which began on April 6 have to date caused 500,000 victims and displaced more than 2,000,000 people and the numbers are continuing to grow;
  3. Inordinate numbers of refugees are pouring into the countries neighbouring Rwanda;
  4. The people of Rwanda are suffering a humanitarian tragedy and a social and economic crisis without historical precedent;
  5. The UN forces left Rwanda just as the genocide was launched, leaving the civilian population at risk, thus encouraging the army and the militia to massacre and calling into question their credibility
  6. There is considerable media misinformation suggesting that the war in Rwanda is ethnic, while in fact it is political;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Urge the government of Canada to:

    1. support our request for an impartial international or regional inquiry into the events which led to the genocide of the Rwandan people;
    2. support appropriate measures to ensure that following such an inquiry those responsible for the massacres are judged and punished, whether in Rwanda, here or in another country;
    3. support appropriate measures to establish a democratic government of national unity and to ensure respect for human rights, in the spirit of the Arusha Accord;
    4. continue its generous humanitarian aid to the Rwandan people;
    5. study and discuss the problem of how the local personnel employed by Canadian organizations or government were abandonned when Canadian expatriates were evacuated, in order to ensure that such a situation does not happen again;
    6. reject the imposition of conditions on the participation of Canadian forces in the UN troops, according to which 5,500 troops are to be brought together in Rwanda;
    7. implement special measures with simple and clear criteria to offer protection in Canada for those with family or other links with Canadians of Rwandan origin and to refuse visas and landing to previously identified criminals;
    8. cease all non-justified removals of Rwandans in Canada;
  2. Request its members to educate the Canadian public on the origins as well as the solutions to the current crisis in Rwanda;
  3. Request the Canadian government to finalize an urgent special procedure to collect unaccompanied orphaned minors whose sole remaining relatives are in Canada; i.e. Canadians of Rwandan origin whatever their eligibility for existing sponsorship programmes (humanitarian cases).

Eligibility and admissibility criteria changes for refugee resettlement

Resolution number: 
19
June 1994
Whereas: 
  1. The Women at Risk Programme has been under review as an integrated part of the general gender consultation, with involvement from the CCR ad hoc committee examining the Women at Risk Programme, women resettled pursuant to the Women at Risk Programme, sponsors, UNHCR, immigration officers, visa officers, and settlement counsellors;
  2. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has repeatedly acknowledged that the Women at Risk programme, the pride of Canada, was specifically established to respond to the immediate protection needs of refugee women and that the Programme has not adequately met its goals and needs improvement;
  3. The UNHCR and the CCR ad hoc committee examining the Women at Risk Programme in their research findings confirm the necessity of changing the eligibility criteria to respond to vulnerable refugee women in need of urgent protection, including women experiencing gender-related persecution;
  4. The high proportion of stream B cases being processed under the Women at Risk Programme has made the Programme a misnomer by processing cases that fit the general Joint Assistance Programme profile thereby negatively impacting on those women in need of immediate protection who are at risk;
  5. In the Proposals for Action from the Consultations on Gender Issues and Refugees, the implementation of the IRB guidelines for overseas selection and the development of regulations for the Resettlement from Abroad category are listed as actions to be taken immediately. Their immediate implementation will address some of the concerns around the eligibility criteria for selecting women for refugee resettlement, including the Women at Risk Programme;
  6. The current successful establishment component of the admissibility criteria of the refugee resettlement programme, which includes the Women at Risk Programme, is gender-biased, penalizing women refugees for systemic disadvantages which women have encountered world-wide, is an inappropriate measurement and is contradictory with the overall goal of the humanitarian refugee programme, including the Women at Risk Programme;
  7. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration on behalf of the Department released a Declaration of Refugee Protection for Women on June 1, 1994 at the CCR recognizing the "need to overcome traditional male-oriented views of the potential of refugees for `successful establishment'" and the summary of findings of the Women at Risk Programme review presented to the CCR on June 2, 1994 notes that programme partners have called for the relaxing or elimination of the successful establishment component of the admissibility criteria;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR communicate to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration strongly urging:

  1. The revision of eligibility criteria for refugee resettlement programmes with special changes to the Women at Risk Programme criteria, enabling it to be a programme responsive to the urgent protection needs of refugee women;
  2. The elimination of the successful establishment component of the admissibility criteria for refugees in urgent need of protection, especially refugee women.

Separation of refugee programmes, policy and budget from immigration programmes, policy and budget

Resolution number: 
18
June 1994
Whereas: 
  1. The combination of eligibility criteria for overseas refugee processing confirming the person is either a Convention Refugee or a member of a Designated Class and the admissibility criteria based on immigration criteria is a contradiction of the humanitarian and protection focus of the refugee programme;
  2. The combination of the eligibility and admissibility criteria, named above, causes the particular exclusion of women, who suffer from a gender bias in any test based on economic achievement. Sociologist Monica Boyd writes of the triple disadvantage immigrant women face in the job market - gender, nationality and race - which is further compounded by the refugee experience;
  3. The Adjustment Assistance Programme is a source of immigration funds available to support government and jointly sponsored refugees. Refugee levels take into account the budget requirements. Until most recently AAP funds were used to assist indigent immigrants, whose cases and the policy for selection is the responsibility of the immigration (not refugee) section, thereby negatively impacting on the fact that Canada has repeatedly fallen short in its overseas government-assisted refugee resettlement levels;
  4. Refugees in need of protection processed for entry to Canada are frequently denied a transportation loan based on a projection of "inability to repay the loan". The transportation loan system must be administered consistent with the policy objectives of the refugee programme i.e. protection;
  5. The issue of the separation of refugee humanitarian programmes and budget is listed as the fifth of five major topics to be referred to the broad consultations on immigration;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR Executive communicate with the Minister and Department of Citizenship and Immigration recommending that the refugee programmes, policy and budget, including Adjustment Assistance Programme and the Transportation Loan be separated from the immigration programmes, policy and budget. This process should be undertaken in conjunction with stakeholders, such as CCR, Sponsorship Agreement holders, community groups, refugees and settlement agencies. The discussions should include recommendations on the placement of Family Class, immigration levels, levels of special needs cases and programming needs.

Acceptance of women at risk referrals

Resolution number: 
17
June 1994
Whereas: 
  1. The UNHCR and other NGOs who identify and refer Women at Risk cases to Canadian visa posts abroad have gathered adequate information on the referred cases;
  2. Numerous sources confirm that interviewing a woman for the details of her story of persecution can be an act of traumatization, and that further interviews are unnecessary and re-traumatizing;
  3. The November 1993 CCR Gender Consultations noted the importance of visa officers accepting referrals of Women at Risk cases using their discretion not to interview for the details of their persecution;
  4. In the restructuring of the Canadian visa posts visa officers have been advised to use their discretionary authority to decrease the number of interviews;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR request the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to direct visa officers to accept and process expeditiously the referrals of Women at Risk cases from the UNHCR and NGOs without an interview for the details of the persecution experience.

Subject: 

Gender proportionality in refugee resettlement

Resolution number: 
16
June 1994
Whereas: 
  1. The UNHCR estimates that 80% of the world's refugees are women and their dependants;
  2. Women refugees comprise a high proportion of the refugee camp populations;
  3. As a result of the gender consultations the need for gender proportionality in Canada's resettlement activities and the possibility of establishing targets for 1995 has been recognized and referred as a major topic to the broad consultation on immigration;
  4. Between 1985 and 1991 women comprised only 23% of the principal applicants of the refugees landed in Canada;
  5. Women refugees face various obstacles throughout the process of overseas selection, admission and integration in Canada. The strong emphasis on immigration criteria uses inappropriate measurement tools to assess a woman's ability to successfully establish in Canada;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR communicate with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration recommending:

  1. An action plan for the next five years (1995-2000) be developed by government and NGO representatives to enable the enactment of gender quotas of a minimum of 50% women as principal applicants by the year 1997. The development of this action plan should be developed in conjunction with stakeholders;
  2. A minimum level be set for the Women at Risk Programme, effective immediately. This level would include CR1 and CR5 Women at Risk and would access the 20% of the 1994 AAP monies originally destined for indigent immigrants.

Refugees and development

Resolution number: 
15
June 1994
Whereas: 
  1. At the refugees and development sessions there was considerable interest in continued activity around these issues;
  2. A significant barrier to coordinated assistance to refugees and the internally displaced in countries of asylum/origin is the separation of responsibilities and different funding criteria within departments and between government ministries;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Continue to organize sessions on international refugee and development issues;
  2. Investigate initiating dialogue with CIDA, Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Finance to discuss the overlapping responsibilities/ funding criteria relating to refugee relief and development assistance.

Afghanistan

Resolution number: 
10
November 1994
Whereas: 
  1. The situation in Afghanistan has continued to deteriorate such that from the capital city of Kabul alone over 1,000 refugees flee daily, and the country is left void of any supporting infrastructure;
  2. Afghanistan remains one of the largest refugee-producing countries as a result of the continuing war;
  3. The U.N. has started a process of discussion and negotiations through a U.N. delegation headed by Mahmood Mestiri with the various factions involved in the Afghan conflict;
  4. Canada is internationally respected for its commitment to peace, and is seen as an important player with a strong voice at the U.N.;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR urge the Canadian government to:

  1. Actively support U.N. efforts and initiatives towards a peaceful resolution of the Afghan conflict,
  2. Take a leading role in rallying international support for Afghanistan;
  3. Increase and strengthen their support of relief aid in Afghanistan through present aid missions such as the International Red Cross.

Lessons from Rwanda

Resolution number: 
9
November 1994
Whereas: 
  1. The Secretary General of the United Nations, on November 18, 1994, called for a peacekeeping operation to establish security in the Rwandan refugee camps in the Kivu region of Zaire;
  2. The CCR held a day on the lessons from Rwanda on November 24, 1994 at which a number of conclusions were reached;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on the Government of Canada to endorse and promote these conclusions:

  1. The international community should endorse the recommendation of the Secretary General to deploy a U.N. peacekeeping force in the Kivu region of Zaire for the purpose of providing security to the relief effort for Rwandan refugees in Zaire.
  2. In the delivery of aid, local aid delivery agencies should be involved as much as possible, and local resources used as much as possible.
  3. The United Human Rights Commission must have the capacity to investigate on its own initiative the human rights situation in any country in the world and to report its findings to the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Security Council and the public.
  4. The UN Human Rights Centre should deploy human rights monitors throughout Rwanda to report on human rights violations if they occur, and as a means of establishing confidence for repatriation, where they do not occur.
  5. The international community should promote democracy and respect for human rights throughout the world, without distinctions based on culture or region.
  6. The United Nations needs a permanent deployment headquarters which can function immediately to bring together and service a peacekeeping force whenever the United Nations Security Council decides to create one.
  7. The United Nations should ask member states to allocate peacekeeping forces to the U.N. on a contingency basis. The contingently allocated forces should be in a state of readiness to be called on immediately whenever the Security Council decides to create a new peacekeeping force.
  8. United Nations peacekeeping forces on the ground should be mandated and instructed, as a humanitarian duty, to intervene and use force if necessary to protect innocent civilians under attack in the areas where the forces are operating.
  9. The international community should contribute to the establishment within Rwanda of a functioning social service system, civil administration, police network, and judiciary. It is urgent that a system of justice be established in Rwanda so that all perpetrators of past atrocities can be brought to justice.
  10. The international tribunal on crimes in Rwanda should be made functional on an urgent basis.
  11. Canada and other members of the international community must contribute to the bringing to justice of Rwandan criminals against humanity, wherever they may be found, by prosecuting them where they are found, extraditing them for trial in Rwanda or extraditing them for trial by the international tribunal on Rwanda.

Landmines

Resolution number: 
8
November 1994
Whereas: 
  1. The CCR has passed Resolution # 11 (Nov. 92) and Resolution #18 (Nov. 93) condemning landmines;
  2. Anti-personnel landmines continue to kill or injure thousands of civilians, including refugees and returnees, especially from/in: Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iraq, Mozambique, Somalia and Sudan;
  3. Landmines impose a threat to humanity by causing indiscriminate harm and suffering, and render entire regions socially, economically and agriculturally depressed, without the possibility of reconstruction and rehabilitation long after the cessation of conflict;
  4. Minister Ouellet has suggested that a Canadian Task Force on Landmines be established; there is also opportunity for involvement in the examination of the Landmine Protocol (Protocol II) of the Convention on Inhumane Weapons (1980) at the Review Conference on the Convention in September 1995;
  5. There is an emerging Canadian Coalition on Landmines and an International Campaign to raise public awareness on the issue of landmines;
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR:

  1. Investigate becoming an active member of the Canadian Coalition on Landmines, and endorse the Coalition's four objectives:
    1. Urge the Canadian Government to call for a total ban on the use, production, stockpiling, sale, transfer or export of antipersonnel landmines;
    2. Recognize recent Canadian initiatives and support for further initiatives to assist in humanitarian mine clearance activities. These would include multilateral activities such as support of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre and other UN initiatives, as well as any unilateral activities which Canada may undertake with respect to humanitarian mine clearance;
    3. Request an immediate Canadian moratorium on the production, export and transfer of landmines, their component parts and related technology;
    4. Call on the Canadian goverment and public to increase its support for, and participation in, bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental (NGO) programs providing assistance to the victims of landmines;
  2. Encourage member agencies to participate in public awareness campaigns on landmines.
  3. Write to the Departments of Foreign Affairs and National Defence urging them to:
    1. Permit the Canadian Coalition on Landmines and other NGOs to participate on the proposed Task Force on Landmines;
    2. Solicit the Coalition's input into the Canadian government position at the Review Conference.

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