For immediate release
13 June 2006

International Conference on Refugee Rights Promotes More Effective Protection for Refugees Worldwide

Members of the media are invited to the Canadian Council for Refugees’ International Conference on Refugee Rights, taking place 17-19 June 2006 at York University in Toronto, Ontario. The more than 400 participants at the conference include representatives from over 40 countries, including all continents.

The Conference will begin with an Opening Plenary addressing refugee rights as human rights and how NGOs can work together across borders.  Panelists include representatives of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Amnesty International South Africa, the Refugee Consortium of Kenya and the Canadian Council for Refugees.  Renowned refugee law expert Professor James C. Hathaway will be the keynote speaker at the Saturday evening plenary.

Among the topics that will be covered in workshop sessions are:
·       Combatting Negative Public Opinion and Promoting Positive Attitudes towards Refugees
·       Refugee Rights in the Age of ‘Security’
·       Welcoming Communities
·       Assisting Trafficked Persons to Acquire Dignity
·       Voluntary Repatriation
·       Internally Displaced Persons
·       Strengthening Advocacy on Detention around the World

Travel expenses of many of the participants from the Global South have been funded thanks to generous contributions from various sources, including the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the CAW Social Justice Fund.

We encourage members of the media to contact us beforehand to discuss individual interests. There will be opportunities to arrange interviews with participants.

When: Saturday 17 June, 9am - 9pm; Sunday 18 June, 10am - 5pm (afternoon sessions closed to media); Monday 19 June, 9:30am - 3:30pm

Location: Accolades West Building, Keele Campus, York University, Toronto, Ontario

For more information: (includes a complete schedule and workshop summaries).

Contact: Colleen French, CCR Communications and Networking Co-ordinator, at (514) 277-7223, ext. 1, until 15 June, and at (416) 578-5354, 16-20 June

The Canadian Council for Refugees is a non-profit umbrella organization committed to the rights and protection of refugees in Canada and around the world and to the settlement of refugees and immigrants in Canada. The membership is made up of over 170 organizations involved in refugee sponsorship and protection and in newcomer settlement. The CCR serves the networking, information-exchange and advocacy needs of its membership.

6839 Drolet #302, Montréal, QC, Canada H2S 2T1 TEL.: (514) 277-7223 FAX : (514) 277-1447