Time to change refugee law, says immigration committee chair

To note:

Canada’s refugee system is failing persecuted peoples around the world who can’t flee their own country, say members of the House Immigration Committee.

The committee agreed unanimously to hold a series of meetings over the summer to study the protection of vulnerable groups, and much of the discussion will likely revolve around internally displaced persons (IDPs)—those who are persecuted and driven from their homes, but aren’t able to reach refugee camps outside of their country’s borders, and thus are not legal refugees.

“Everything [in Canada] is structured around refugees: the regulatory, the legal framework. And it doesn’t allow us to address the issue of IDPs,” said Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke Centre, Ont.), the committee chair.

The committee hopes to have a report ready by September, complete with suggestions for legal, regulatory, or policy changes that could make it easier to bring vulnerable internally displaced people, including Iraqi Yazidis, to Canada, said Mr. Wrzesnewskyj, adding he hoped the report “could be used as a framework for our government to act on this humanitarian crisis.”

The committee was inspired to act after the United Nations released its report last month on the persecution of the Yazidi people in northern Iraq by ISIL (also known as ISIS, Daesh, and the Islamic State), say the committee chair and vice-chairs.

A pair of Yazidi women are among the witnesses scheduled to speak before the committee, as are representatives of the UN Human Rights Commission, office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and government officials. The committee also invited electronic submissions from the public up until July 13.

Source: The Hill Times

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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