Introduction to the CCR


This section is a basic introduction to how the CCR works. Becoming a part of a large organization like the Canadian Council for Refugees can be confusing and perhaps intimidating at first, but there are many people who can answer any questions you have, and work with you to address the challenges faced by newcomers in Canada.


Introduction to Canadian Council for Refugees

The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) is a network of organizations across Canada committed to the rights and protection of refugees in Canada and around the world and to the settlement of refugees and immigrants in Canada. Because the CCR is an umbrella organization – the gathering point of a network of organizations across Canada, input from CCR members is crucial to all CCR actions. The CCR’s reason for existing is to serve the networking, information-exchange, and advocacy needs of its members.

CCR Members:

The CCR is a network of organizations across Canada, and CCR member organizations are the backbone of the organization. Without them, the CCR wouldn’t exist. CCR members are the CCR. They are the eyes and ears on the ground: dedicated individuals and groups who work in the field all year round to work towards making Canada a better place for all newcomers.  They come together through the CCR to share their expertise, connect with each other, identify important issues affecting refugees and immigrants in their region, and generate ideas. Most importantly they take action to address these issues in local communities and at the national level.

Help to make a difference! Join a CCR member organization in your community and take part in the work of the CCR. Click here to find CCR organizations in your community! 


Working Groups:

The CCR has 3 Working Groups. These are the forums for CCR members and other people who care about refugee and immigrant rights to share information, network and develop policy positions. Basically, they’re the meetings where stuff gets done! These groups prepare resolutions - policy positions that are passed by a vote of CCR member organizations. They’re also responsible for planning   workshops at Consultations - CCR national meetings, and for giving advice to the CCR Executive on policy. The Working Group meetings are closed to representatives of government and the media. Each Working Group has a ‘steering committee’ of CCR member representatives who help to direct and guide the work of the Working Group.

The Three CCR Working Groups are:

Immigration and Settlement - Looks at issues affecting all refugees and immigrants as they get used to life in Canada.  Examples include language training, access to employment, counselling and access to education. 

Inland Protection - looks at issues affecting people who make refugee claims once they are in Canada.  Examples include what happens to youth without status and protecting people under 18 who make a refugee claim. 

Overseas Protection and Sponsorship - Looks at issues relating to the selection of refugees overseas (refugees sponsored by either the Government or private groups) and the programs for them here in Canada. This group is also interested in protection issues for refugees around the world. Examples include transportation loans for refugees and the long time it takes to process refugee applications made by people who are outside of Canada. 


Working Group Meetings:

The CCR Working Groups meet 4 times a year. Two of these meetings take place during the consultations in May and November of each year. The other two series of working group meetings take place in February (in Toronto) and in September (in Montreal).

Working Group Meetings are an excellent opportunity to:

  • Join the action - Promote refugee protection and resettlement, and the settlement of refugees and immigrants
  • Discuss issues affecting refugees and immigrants in Canada with people who listen and want to do something about it
  • Share information and strategies with others from across Canada.

We strongly encourage youth to attend the Working Group meetings! Youth issues are discussed in all 3 Working Groups. The Immigration and Settlement Working Group has the largest concentration.



CCR Consultations:

CCR Consultations are national conferences that address issues affecting refugees and immigrants.  They are a great way to meet people who are working on refugee and immigrant rights, including other youth from across Canada, to share ideas on important issues that you see affecting newcomer youth and to find out new ideas for projects and actions to take back to your community.The next CCR Consultation will be in Hamilton from May 26 to 28, 2011. Visit this page for regular updates on CCR Consultations.



The CCR is governed by an Executive Committee elected by the CCR membership. Executive members serve terms of two years. Elections are held at each Annual General Meeting (in November).


The CCR also hires some people as staff members. Their role is to help move the actions of the organization forward. Click here to find out who these people are.

Want to know more about the CCR? Visit the “About Us” section of the CCR Website.