The government’s success in resettling 25,000 Syrian refugees at the end of February 2016 is to be commended. Now we need resources and a long-term plan for Canada to welcome all refugees.

Call on the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to support a generous and robust resettlement program.


In early September 2015 the body of three-year-old Alan Kurdi washed ashore on a Turkish beach. His family was just one of thousands fleeing the brutal conflict in Syria in search of safety in Europe, and in Canada. Thousands of refugees, particularly women and children remain in countries close to conflicts where they are at risk of gender based violence including rape and being forced to trade sexual favours for shelter and food.

Canadians reacted to this tragedy with an overwhelming expression of goodwill through offers to sponsor and assist refugees. Amnesty International welcomes the government’s announcement that it has reached its goal to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees. The response to the Syrian refugee crisis thus far, indicates that with time, resources and commitment Canada can resettle refugees in a timely manner.

With no immediate end in sight to the crisis in Syria, and ongoing resettlement needs of refugees from other world regions, the government must develop longer term plans for substantial resettlement efforts in the coming years. In order to meet these needs, significant resources are needed to ensure that resettlement is done successfully, sustainably and on a non-discriminatory basis.



The conflict in Syria has resulted in the largest refugee crisis since World War II. Over four million people have fled the fighting with more leaving every day. Most are in the neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan where resources are stretched beyond the breaking point. 

A growing number of refugees are faced with the impossible choice of remaining in desperate conditions or making terrifying journeys and risking their lives to escape endless suffering.

Over two thousand people died crammed into trucks or overloaded ships en route to Europe in 2015. But that is not the only risk they face. While some were welcomed after making their way to safety, others were rounded up and detained.

This global crisis urgently needs a global solution. It’s time for Canada to play a leading role in developing and coordinating a more coherent and rights-based global approach to the Syrian crisis.


Learn more about the Syrian refugee crisis, Amnesty International's full recommendations to the Canadian government -- and more ways you can get involved!

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Dear Minister Hussen,  

I want Canada to be a country that welcomes and supports refugees. I am encouraged that the government has met its goal of resettling 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada at the end of February 2016.  

I urge you to:

Continue to provide resettlement options for Syrian refugees including flexible immigration measures (such as Temporary Resident Permits, work and student visas) 

Ensure the commitment to resettle Syrian refugees does not come at the expense of refugees from other parts of the world.

Ensure resettlement takes place on a non-discriminatory basis, prioritizing the most vulnerable refugees including women and children.  

Ensure the necessary resources are in place to maintain a robust refugee resettlement program for refugees from all world regions.

Ensure the programs and services necessary for the successful integration of refugees are available in the communities to which refugees are destined. 

Embrace at all times language, policies and practices which communicate that Canada welcomes refugees.

I further urge you to build on Canada’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis by actively working for a global coordinated, generous and rights-based global response to refugees from all world regions. Canada must be a leader within the international community.

Yours sincerely,