Canadian Council for Refugees E-Chronicle Vol. 1 Issue 8, 1 December 2006

The CCR is pleased to announce the publication of 'Pathways to Gender Justice: A Tool Kit for People Working in the Immigrant and Refugee Serving Sector in Canada'.

The toolkit provides guiding principles for gender equity work in the immigrant and refugee serving sector. It explores gender analysis as it applies to newcomer settlement and recommends additional reading. It also offers resources that can be used for individual reflection or exploration of questions and issues in a group and it examines how different aspects of our identity intersect with gender. Also in the tool are a glossary of terms and a list of frequently asked questions.  Finally, the tool provides key recommendations for our sector.

CCR members receive a free copy of the toolkit.  For those members who did not receive their copy at the CCR Fall Consultation in Montreal, a copy will be sent in the next mailing to members.   If you would like to order copies of the toolkit (at $13.00 a copy + postage), order forms are available online at:  Please share this excellent resource with others and invite them to place orders while supplies last!

The CCR has also released a research report on the ‘Gender-Based Analysis to Settlement’.  The report reviews existing research relevant to a gender-based analysis of settlement as well as highlighting areas where more research may be useful – please look at these suggestions when considering your/your organization’s research agenda or when talking to researchers.

The report is available at:

On 16 November, the long-awaited and long overdue governmental report on the first year of the Safe Third Country Agreement was made public.  The CCR’s main concern is that the report, produced by the governments of Canada and the US, with input from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), fails to address the fundamental question of the impact of the Agreement on refugees.  The UNHCR played a monitoring role, but focusing only whether the Agreement is correctly applied, not whether the Agreement, when correctly applied, has devastating impacts on the lives of asylum seekers, as refugee advocates believe.

Amnesty International and the CCR believe that the United States is not a safe country for all refugees and have challenged the safe third country agreement in the Federal Court. 

Copies of the full press release are available online at:

The CCR published its own report on the first year of the safe third country agreement: “Closing the Front Door on Refugees” in December 2005.  It can be found on the CCR website at:

The CCR has now published its Annual Status Report on Refugee and Immigrants for 2006.  This report gives an overview of how the Canadian federal government has addressed refugee and immigration issues from November 2005 to October 2006 from the perspective of the CCR.  Positive developments include:

  • decreases in permanent residence application fees
  • new temporary protection measure guidelines for trafficked persons
  • the end of routine uses of direct backs
  • a new policy stopping enforcement officers from entering schools to arrest children
On the negative side:
  • the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement
  • security certificates
  • failure to meet the low end of the target range for privately sponsored refugees
  • non-implementation of the Refugee Appeal Division

The Annual Status Report 2006 can be viewed and downloaded at:  We recommend using this resource (with or without the references) in your public education efforts and when communicating with the media on refugee and immigrant rights in Canada.

d) Still Leading: Highlights of the CCR Fall Consultation

The CCR welcomed more than 400 participants to its Fall Consultation in Montreal from 23-25 November 2006 on the theme “Taking the Lead: Refugee and Immigrant Youth”, which included the active engagement of youth participants.  The significant contributions of the many young people present were warmly appreciated: the CCR Youth Network is already making its mark.  Among the outcomes of the consultation were:

  • plans to research and address barriers that refugee, immigrant and non-status people with HIV/AIDS (PHAs) face
  • a call for legislation prohibiting any form of complicity with torture, to ensure that there are no repeats of what happened to Maher Arar
  • a call for work on drafting potential legislation to ensure the protection of trafficked persons in Canada
The resolutions adopted will be available soon on the CCR website.

Following the success of the CCR Fall Consultation in Montreal, the CCR would like to thank the outgoing members of the CCR Executive Committee for their valuable work: Ibrahim Absiye (Treasurer), John Docherty (Secretary), Victor Porter and Michele Millard (Counsellors). The CCR would also like to extend a warm welcome to Jamila Aman (Treasurer), Simbo Conteh (Secretary), Nicholas Dubé and Nancy Doray (Counsellors).  We look forward to working with you! The Overseas Protection Working Group would like to thank outgoing chair Solomon Olu-Cole for his efforts and welcomes Yosief Araya, who will co-chair the Working Group with Paulette Johnson. Francisco Rico-Martinez finishes his term as Co-Chair of the Inland Protection Working Group, which looks forward to the leadership of co-chair Rick Goldman with Deborah Isaacs.

f) Voicing Concerns: The CCR meets with UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres

The CCR, together with other NGO representatives, met with António Guterres, High Commissioner of the UNHCR during his visit to Ottawa on 3 November 2006.  The CCR raised a range of concerns including interdiction measures that deny refugees access to asylum, the impact of the ‘war on terrorism’ on asylum seekers and refugees; statelessness; the situation of Iraqi refugees in the Middle East; and the emerging international network of NGOs concerned for refugee rights. The statement of CCR concerns raised at the meeting is available at:

The CCR continues to seek endorsements for the Family Reunification Manifesto and the call for speedy family reunification of separated families in Canada.  If your organization has not yet signed on this important statement, please send your endorsement to Colleen French at Please invite other organizations in your area to sign on to the Manifesto to demonstrate their commitment as well.  Information and other background materials about the Family Reunification campaign outlining the CCR’s concerns and printable “Wish you were here!” campaign postcards are available at:

The CCR’s Annual Report for 2005 – 2006 is now available at:  It includes highlights of CCR activities in the past year, updates on ongoing CCR campaigns, a list of the latest CCR publications and a summary of the financial health of the CCR.  Printed copies of this report will be sent out to CCR member organizations in the upcoming members’ mailing.



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