Overseas Protection and Resettlement

Protection of refugee women in Dadaab

Resolution number: 
12
May 1999
Whereas: 
  1. The UNHCR has a program providing firewood to refugees in Dadaab camp;
  2. This program has been instrumental in reducing the incidences of rape of refugee women when they go out to collect firewood;
  3. Funding for this program ends in June 1999;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR urge Canada to provide funding for the continuation of the firewood program for Dadaab, Kenya.

 

Subject: 

Democratic Republic of Congo

Resolution number: 
11
May 1999
Whereas: 
  1. Canada has recognized the situation which prevails in DRC and has put DRC on the list of source countries;
  2. The situation of persecution and the need for protection of the Tutsis in DRC are known;
  3. A number of Tutsis (men, women and children) have been in detention or in hiding since October 1998 as a result of ethnic persecution;
  4. Many of them have family in Canada;
  5. A number of sponsorship groups confronted with this issue are ready to cooperate to find a solution to this
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR ask the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to commit the resources and methods necessary to select and interview and immediately process for resettlement the persons concerned who are in very urgent need of protection.

Sierra Leone

Resolution number: 
10
May 1999
Whereas: 
  1. The war in Sierra Leone has been going on for the past nine years, creating a massive humanitarian crisis and massive outflow of refugees;
  2. There is no durable solution in the immediate and medium terms;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR urge:

  1. The government of Canada to recognize the urgent resettlement need of refugees from Sierra Leone including torture victims, women and children at risk, and refugees with family links in Canada;
  2. The UNHCR to provide immediate protection for refugees from Sierra Leone as per its operational mandate, which includes:

    (a) Protection from physical harm,

    (b) Working with appropriate organizations to meet the total needs of the refugees;

    (c) Ensuring that the basic human rights of the refugees are upheld.

  3. The government of Canada to donate generously to the relief operations for refugees from Sierra Leone.

War in Yugoslavia

Resolution number: 
9
May 1999
Whereas: 

The CCR has been traditionally been concerned with the root causes of mass exoduses;

Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on:

  1. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia to investigate, and, where justified, prosecute any and all substantial allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the former Yugoslavia, whether the allegations are made against the Yugoslav government forces or paramilitary groups, the Kosovo Liberation Army or the NATO forces and whether the allegations are made against the leadership of those forces or the rank and file;
  2. The Government of Canada: a) to withdraw from and cease its participation in the NATO military action against Yugoslavia;b) to seek a peaceful negotiated solution to the crisis in Yugoslavia through the United Nations;
  3. The Government of Yugoslavia: a) to stop any repressive action against the civilian population of Kosovo; b) to stop attacks by its security forces on the civilian population; c) to withdraw all security units used for civilian repression; d) to cooperate fully with international efforts to improve the humanitarian situation in Kosovo; e) to allow all refugees and displaced persons to return to their homes in safety; f) to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Kosovo program

Resolution number: 
8
May 1999
Whereas: 
  1. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has introduced an Emergency Evacuation Program for refugees from Kosovo which aims to ensure the borders of Kosovo remain open for further refugees;
  2. This evacuation program has been identified outside of global resettlement needs;
  3. The Government of Sweden which is evacuating Kosovars is reducing its resettlement program in response to this evacuation program;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Write to UNHCR to welcome the protection initiative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and to encourage UNHCR to apply a similar program in comparable situations in other world regions;
  2. Write to CIC to:

    a) Welcome the Canadian response to this program for refugees from war and urge Canada to respond in a comparable way to future similar appeals from UNHCR;

    b) Express our appreciation of the possibility of permanent residence in the Canadian program and caution that the wishes of the refugee must be paramount;

    c) Urge Canada to bring other refugees nominated by UNHCR as in urgent need of protection in an equally swift manner;

    d) Urge Canada to extend to other refugees in Canada equally fast family reunification and the extended Interim Federal Health Program.

    e) Ask Canada to urge other countries, including Sweden, not to use the Kosovo appeal as a rationale for reducing existing resettlement programs.

The primacy of human rights in Indonesia

Resolution number: 
8
December 1999
Whereas: 
  1. Many victims of the widespread violence of May 1998 in Indonesia remain in safe-houses under the care and protection of indigenous humanitarian organizations;
  2. Ethno-racially and religiously motivated violence continues in many regions and provinces throughout Indonesia;
  3. The lack of the rule of law prevails in Indonesia as evidenced by the over 200,000 East Timorese nationals who remain trapped in West Timor and elsewhere in Indonesia, held hostage and victimized by the Indonesian army and their surrogate militias;
  4. The Indonesian military continue to hold many of the more senior and strategic portfolios in the Cabinet of the recently elected government;
  5. The Source Country Class was designed to facilitate effective protection for internally displaced persons;
  6. During the crisis of May 1998 and persistently through the violence which has continued to the present time Canada Immigration has refused to place Indonesia on the Source Country list due to the officially expressed fear of thereby compromising the considerable bilateral economic ties between Indonesia and Canada;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Call upon the Canadian government to embrace publicly the principle that fundamental human rights always take precedence over actual or potential trade and investment relationships;
  2. Renew its call for the elimination of the Source Country Schedule, and call for the processing of all those who are in need of urgent protection in their respective countries of origin, under the Source Country Class, including those in Indonesia.

Processing under source country class - Sudan

Resolution number: 
7
December 1999
Whereas: 
  1. Canada has recognized the need for the protection of Sudanese, and has included Sudan on the Source Country schedule;
  2. There is no permanent Canadian processing presence in the Sudan;
  3. Displaced Sudanese are forced to flee in great danger;
  4. A visa officer is deployed to the Sudan extremely seldom. This is an inadequate response to the profound protection needs;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR strongly urge CIC to immediately put in place the resources and logistical support to effectively process Sudanese under the Source Country Class.

Subject: 

Refugee resettlement levels

Resolution number: 
6
December 1999
Whereas: 
  1. The CCR supports openness, transparency, democracy and accountability in refugee affairs;
  2. The public process relating to the setting of resettlement levels has virtually disappeared;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR encourage the Minister to undertake a more thorough consultation process in preparation for the refugee resettlement levels for 2001.

 

Subject: 

Resettlement from signatory states

Resolution number: 
5
December 1999
Whereas: 
  1. Countries interpret the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees on the basis of widely differing standards and criteria;
  2. CIC is inconsistent in its policy in interpreting what constitutes a durable solution;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Affirm that persons in signatory states, including states with refugee determination systems, should continue to be eligible for consideration for refugee resettlement to Canada, regardless of the status or result of the refugee application;
  2. Write to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and request that the Regulations be amended to specify that temporary protection and eligibility for future refugee determination do not constitute a durable solution and that a policy directive be issued in the interim stating that "durable solution" be interpreted in this way.

Eritrea

Resolution number: 
3
June 2000
Whereas: 
  1. There is a massive exodus of persons of Eritrean ethnicity to neighbouring countries, particularly Sudan, as well as massive internal displacement, due to the escalating war between Ethiopia and Eritrea;
  2. Due to the war, the UNHCR is unable to protect Eritreans;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR urge:

  1. The government of Canada to recognize the urgent protection needs of these refugees;
  2. The UNHCR to provide, as soon as possible, immediate protection for these refugees including:   i) protection from physical harm; ii) working with appropriate organizations to meet the total needs of the refugees; iii) ensuring that the basic human rights of the refugees are upheld;
  3. CIC to set up a fast track program so that refugees and other displaced people of Eritrean ethnicity who have relatives in Canada can join them.

Orphans of war

Resolution number: 
6
December 2000
Whereas: 
  1. There are minor orphans of war or civil strife or in other refugee-like situations whose future is limited without resettlement;
  2. Current procedures for the sponsorship of orphaned minors are inadequate;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR request the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to expand Canada's ability to provide private and government sponsorships of refugee orphaned minors.

 

Sierra Leone assistance

Resolution number: 
5
December 2000
Whereas: 
  1. There are massive human rights abuses against Sierra Leonean refugees in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and the Gambia;
  2. The CCR appreciates the special Sierra Leone program introduced by the federal government in 2000-2001;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR urge the Government of Canada to:

  1. Continue to expedite reunification of Sierra Leonean refugees with family members in Canada;
  2. Continue to extend financial support to sponsors wanting to sponsor Sierra Leonean refugees.

Source country class

Resolution number: 
4
December 2000
Whereas: 
  1. CCR continues to oppose the Source Country List, believing that all countries should be treated equally;
  2. Conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea and its racial overtones has rendered many people in mixed marriage situations or being descendants thereof, effectively stateless, unwelcome and persecuted in both countries;
  3. Refugees from Sierra Leone are being forcibly repatriated to Sierra Leone;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR urge the Government of Canada to process under the Source Country Class those people urgently in need of protection in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sierra Leone.

 

Subject: 

Talisman and the Anglican Church of Canada

Resolution number: 
3
December 2000
Whereas: 
  1. In resolution 9 of November 1996, the CCR committed itself to exposing atrocities by the Sudanese government upon the people of southern Sudan;
  2. Anglican members of their refugee network have worked with Sudanese in Canada to sponsor refugees from Sudan;
  3. The war in Sudan, which is in part responsible for the displacement of millions of people, has been fuelled by oil revenues from the expanding operation in which Talisman Energy is a major partner;
  4. The national pension fund of the Anglican Church of Canada has invested heavily in the Talisman shares;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR write to the Anglican Church of Canada expressing concern and requesting the Church to review its investment in Talisman with a view to divesting itself of Talisman shares in order to be consistent with its policy as expressed through the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund.

 

Talisman

Resolution number: 
2
December 2000
Whereas: 
  1. The war in Sudan continues to be fuelled by oil revenues from the expanding operation in which Talisman Energy is a major partner;
  2. The war continues to be characterized by deliberate targeting of civilian populations in the South, forcible displacements and disruptions to and targeting of humanitarian aid operations and workers;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Itself seek and encourage its members to bring to the attention of the Canadian public the continuing atrocities by the Sudanese Government upon the people of southern Sudan and the complicity of Talisman Energy in these atrocities;
  2. Urge the Canadian government to reconsider the Harker Commission report concerning the involvement of Talisman Energy in Sudan and introduce measures to curtail it;
  3. Urge the Canadian government to investigate ways and means to mount an international effort to protect the nearly 5 million internally displaced people in Sudan;
  4. Urge the Canadian government to do ongoing and effective work with host countries such as Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya, on the need for increased protection of Sudanese refugees in their cities and camps.

In-Canada Service Provider

Resolution number: 
1
December 2000
Whereas: 

on November 29, 2000, the Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH)representatives in attendance at the SAH Forum voted on and passed with an overwhelming majority three resolutions expressing their support for:

  1. formally situating the SAH network within CCR, 2. submitting an SAH application for the In-Canada Service-Provider contract,
  2. submitting this proposal under the umbrella of CCR;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Explore ways to support the SAH network within CCR;
  2. Submit an application with the SAHs for the ISP contract.

Quality of government representation

Resolution number: 
15
May 2001
Whereas: 
  1. By resolution passed in 1993 the formation of a joint committee of private sponsorship representatives and CIC personnel for the purpose of improving communications was mandated;
  2. This committee as originally mandated has successfully negotiated the current Sponsorship Agreement and is now engaged in the drafting of a new version of the agreement, as well as having been involved in working at a number of other on-going issues related to the private sponsorship of refugees;
  3. CIC personnel present at these meetings have been inconsistent in number and in the level of decision-making power, resulting in a lack of policy-making ability as well as results-oriented discussion;
  4. The SAH representatives have contributed far beyond a normal volunteer capacity in the hope of achieving results in the area of policy making;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR urge CIC to ensure that:

  1. They have full representation at all meetings of the NGO-Government Committee on the Private Sponsorship of Refugees;
  2. CIC’s representatives have decision-making power;
  3. International Region participate on a regular basis.

Refugee sponsorship training program

Resolution number: 
14
May 2001
Whereas: 
  1. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has expressed; a desire for a coordinated continuum in the refugee sponsorship process;
  2. CIC has issued a tender for proposal for an In-Canada Service Provider (ISP), the latest with a closing date of May 29, 2001;
  3. The ISP tender should have been posted for the public after budget was secured;
  4. The RSTP was extended to June 30, 2001 to facilitate transition to the ISP;
  5. There is another indefinite delay in the July 1, 2001 starting date for the ISP;
  6. There is a significant increase in new Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAH) to whom RSTP/ISP would be indispensable in order for them to carry out their work effectively;
  7. The training and resources developed by the RSTP have enhanced SAHs effectiveness in refugee sponsorship;
  8. There will be a significant gap with the dissolution of the RSTP on June 30, 2001, which will result in the loss of infrastructure and knowledgeable staff;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR request CIC to continue funding the RSTP until such time as an ISP, based on the model developed between CIC and SAHs on February 5-6, 2001, is established.

 

International CCR involvement

Resolution number: 
14
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. The CCR has become increasingly involved in international activities and consultations with respect to refugee protection, resettlement and integration;
  2. International forums and discussions impact Canada’s own policies and programs within the global context;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That:

  1. The CCR Executive Committee reassess on behalf of the membership the way in which the CCR participates in international forums, identifies representatives, develops resource support, and involves its membership, in order to be strategic in its planning and participation;
  2. The CCR through its Executive Committee consider the establishment of a Core Group on international issues as a means of ensuring related participation and activity in its three Working Groups.

Timelines for consultation

Resolution number: 
13
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. The government’s document “Building on a Strong Foundation” calls for closer working relationships with partners, and SAHs are key partners in the private sponsorship program;
  2. Current timelines for the completion of concepts such as Private Partner Sponsorship and Corporate Sponsorship do not allow sufficient time for consultation, discussion and input with partners.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR request that the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration direct her department to readjust timelines in order to allow for meaningful input from key partners in the development of new operational memoranda, application kits, and training modules.

Afghan refugees

Resolution number: 
12
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. The situation of refugees in Pakistan is increasingly precarious;
  2. Conditions necessary for repatriation as a durable or even physically safe solution will not be established in Afghanistan for some time to come;
  3. The level of instability requires a special level of response from all countries that provide humanitarian support and resettlement options for Afghans externally displaced;
  4. The Canadian Government is in a position to respond to the situation of these persons with concrete actions;
  5. A clear response by the Canadian Government will send a strong positive message about Afghan refugees to the Canadian public;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR urge the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to:

  1. Provide extra financial and human resources to deal with processing in this crisis situation by use of secondment, voluntary temporary assignment or any other creative means;
  2. Identify rapidly, through the major processing posts, a pool of Afghan refugees, especially unaccompanied women and children, in need of resettlement, and to process cases from this pool immediately;
  3. Immediately clear the backlog of Afghan refugee resettlement cases;
  4. Implement a blended sponsorship program to facilitate more private sponsorships of Afghan refugee cases;
  5. Announce publicly the urgent need for these measures and the Government’s commitment to carry them out.

Torture in Ethiopia

Resolution number: 
11
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. Large numbers of letters, e-mails and faxes have been received by CCR members alleging torture in Ethiopia by the government and its agencies;
  2. Ethiopia is a signatory to the UN Convention against Torture;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR write and request the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Amnesty International and the International Red Cross to investigate these allegations.

Liberians in Ghana

Resolution number: 
10
December 2001
Whereas: 

Liberians in the Krisan Zansule camp in Ghana have not been supplied any humanitarian assistance (including food and medical care) by UNHCR since June 2000;

Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR request the UNHCR to assure that full humanitarian; assistance be resumed to Liberians in Krisan Zansule camp in Ghana;  and failing this, that the CCR ask the Government of Canada to provide protection and a durable solution.

Referral Agents as Access Control Mechanisms for Refugee Resettlement

Resolution number: 
18
May 2002
Whereas: 
  1. CIC is committed to implementing a model for referral agencies as one of the access control mechanisms for identifying refugees for resettlement to Canada;
  2. CCR has expressed some concerns with how the potential models will be designed and implemented particularly with respect to controlling the ability of refugees to access resettlement as a means of protection and as a durable solution and with the impact and implications of these models for the referral partner agencies;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR request that CIC identity and implement a process for dialogue with CCR and CIC's resettlement partners in Canada and abroad as it moves forward with development of effective, fair and accessible models for referral agencies.

Interim Federal Health Program

Resolution number: 
17
May 2002
Whereas: 
  1. Twenty-seven member organizations of CCR responded to a CCR request by providing anecdotal information about problems arising with the use of the Interim Federal Health (IFH) program;
  2. The report developed by CCR was raised with CIC in a conference call at which time CIC did not recognize many of the problems as indicators of systemic weaknesses within the IFH program;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR request CIC to conduct and make public a client service survey of the health service providers delivering and of refugee clients accessing the IFH to assess the systemic, policy and operational barriers and limitations existing for refugees and health service providers in the Interim Federal Health Program.

 

Subject: 

Access to Food in Refugee Camps

Resolution number: 
16
May 2002
Whereas: 
  1. There is an increasing number of reports of deficient services in refugee camps such as insufficient food;
  2. These deficiencies have been cited as one of the major factors exposing refugee women to sexual exploitation by those who are charged with distributing food and other humanitarian relief;
  3. In several refugee camps in Africa the World Food Program has cut down the food ration for refugees;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR request the government of Canada to:

  1. Increase its contribution to the UNHCR and to send its contribution in a timely manner;
  2. Provide adequate and appropriate funding to the World Food Program for food aid for refugees.

Systematic Prevention of Corruption Overseas

Resolution number: 
15
May 2002
Whereas: 
  1. There is documented evidence of corruption in some overseas offices of the UNHCR and NGO partners who implement UNHCR programs;
  2. UNHCR itself has recognized this problem in its Kenya offices, and has taken measures to address the problem, one such measure being the removal of staff accused of corruption;
  3. NGOs too have power over refugees and some have been accused of corruption and exploitation of refugees, particularly women and children in West Africa;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on the UNHCR to put in place a structure and a back-up monitoring system that, in effect, will:

  1. Stop existing corruption and prevent future corruption;
  2. Provide a complaint mechanism that is confidential (to protect the complainant);
  3. Require its NGO implementing partners to have a similar structure, monitoring system and complaint mechanism in place.

Priorizing Refugee Processing

Resolution number: 
14
May 2002
Whereas: 

There is no consistently applied government policy priorizing refugee processing, the decision being left to individual officers at the posts;

Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR write to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and request a consistent application for all posts of the policy priorizing refugees.

 

Guatemala

Resolution number: 
13
May 2002
Whereas: 
  1. The human rights situation in Guatemala is deteriorating;
  2. The Québec-Guatemala accompaniment project, an organization that works to protect the basic rights of Guatemalans, is undertaking urgent actions;
  3. Guatemala is on the source country list;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Participate in the urgent actions of the Québec-Guatemala accompaniment project by sending a letter to the Guatemalan authorities concerned by this situation;
  2. Vigorously encourage CIC to make the best possible use of the Source Country Class in order to resettle Guatemalans who fear persecution if they remain in the country.

Canadian Processing out of Rafha Camp

Resolution number: 
12
May 2002
Whereas: 
  1. Iraqi refugees have been confined to Rafha camp in Saudi Arabia for 12 years, awaiting a durable solution;
  2. UNHCR has requested Canada to participate in the resettlement of these refugees;
  3. Participation in the resettlement effort is essential to the overall resolution of the plight of these refugees, as Saudi Arabia has made a commitment to grant a measure of local integration to those refugees who do not wish to be resettled, if progress is made towards resettlement of the others;
  4. Canada has responded that they will consider participating in a responsibility-sharing effort but has been unable to specify a time-line;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR strongly urge CIC to send a selection mission to Rafha camp with a view to selecting refugees for resettlement by the end of 2002.

 

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