Refugee

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Tamils' Path To Prosperity In Canada

Our arrival in Canada started in earnest after the 1983 anti-Tamil riot in Sri Lanka. The mass exodus accelerated in the last decade of the last century, resulting in largest Sri Lankan Tamil population outside of Sri Lanka. Since then, collectively the lives of Tamils were "rewired".
Dilani Bala

Ode To Our Parents

It was almost 30 years ago. War has began. The sounds of chirping birds were replaced with blasting bombs. My husband had come back from town to get me and my daughter. We are leaving tomorrow morning. It was the beginning of our journey. A journey to a new place, a new beginning.
Shutterstock / JamesChen

Canada Can and Must Do Better for the World's Most Vulnerable

Having spent the first part of my life living in Somalia, Canada was a beacon of light. I came to Canada in 1993 as a refugee, and was welcomed with open arms. Coming to Canada was not just an opportunity to feel safe -- it quickly became home. Sadly, our nation has lost its way. What motivates me to run in this election is a reflection of my journey from being a refugee living in social housing, to becoming a lawyer, and advocating on behalf of all Canadians. The Canada I knew in the 1990s was one that welcomed refugees and new immigrants openly, striving to ensure equal opportunities for all.
Plan International Canada

The Number of Refugees in the World Today Is an Unacceptable Catastrophe

This Saturday, June 20, is the UN World Refugee Day. It's a day set aside every year to recognize the plight of refugees and acknowledge the efforts of those who assist them, often in the face of life-threatening obstacles. We need to recognize realities but not despair. We need to focus the global mind on our collective responsibility. We need to roll up our sleeves and help those who are so deserving of our assistance while urging others to double and triple their efforts to end the underlying conditions that have created this unacceptable human catastrophe.

I Risked Death to Seek a Better Life for My Kids in Canada

My children and I immigrated to Canada in 2010 as refugees. When we arrived, I was so happy that my kids were in a safe country. In Zimbabwe I remember not being able to cry or find comfort in anyone, because everyone was experiencing their own share of pain and shock. So in April of 2010, after being released from the most recent lock-up, I took my kids at midnight and headed for the border knowing that if I was caught I would be burned alive and killed. Even though I was living with the uncertainty of how my immigration hearing would pan out, watching my kids embrace Canadian culture strengthened me when I was at my weakest point.

Reporters Should Use Original Language Instead of Repeating Politicians' Misused Phrases

Some of this language merely has the effect of stereotyping all claimants. But some phrases -- "supporting organized crime," "refusing to leave" -- once explained, expose a more closed system. This is not a call for reporters to censor government ministers. It is a call to deliver factual instead of politicized news. Reporters can do this by marking rhetoric, for instance, by always quoting political terms like "bogus refugees," and even more useful, by demanding clarity (Minister, what's the difference between an inland claimant and a "self-selected refugee"?).

The Truth About Canada's Immigration System

I would like to take the opportunity to provide insight on Canada's generous asylum system and clear up any misconceptions raised in Bernie Farber's piece entitled "Canada Fails the Test of a Good Society." Canada continues to have the most fair and generous immigration system in the world.

Canada Fails the Test of a Good Society

Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, is attempting to justify the recent changes to the refugee determination system and refugee health care with divisive language and misrepresentation of the facts. This is not a reasonable way to develop public policy that affects some of the most vulnerable people in the world.
AP

I Visited a Syrian Refugee Camp, and This Is What I Saw

Adel was in Homs during the heavy shelling which obliterated the Syrian city's Baba Amr district. He had been studying English at the university and had stayed on to do his military service. Running out of options and funds, he then made his way to the border and crossed into Iraq, becoming a refugee. For the past eight months, Adel has been working tirelessly as an interpreter.
Getty Images

Canada's "Mosaic" Has Racist Cracks

Here in the "Canadian Mosaic," issues of race are largely stricken from the language of the everyday. We prefer not to speak openly about racism, for deconstructing it might chip away at that illusory façade of Canada as a nation of perpetual tolerance and chronic multiculturalism -- a delusion we all hold dear to our glowing hearts. Unfortunately for all those "liberal-minded" Canadians out there who view our country to be so forward thinking and accommodating that racism is a non-issue, institutionalized multiculturalism is not the same thing as social racial equality.

Harper Supports Malala, Shuns her Sisters Worldwide

Prime Minister Stephen Harper hopped on the Malala Yousafzai bandwagon by signing a petition to nominate the schoolgirl for the Nobel Peace prize. But Harper's singular gesture will never buy respect from the advocates of fairness, equality and human decency. Only policy reversals can deliver that miracle. Only policy reversals can deliver that miracle.
NHLI via Getty Images

How We Treat Refugees Says A Lot About Who We Are

Uprooted from their lives, sometimes in a violent manner, many refugees find themselves in alien lands with little or no knowledge of the local language or culture and (generally) without friends or family to help a lending hand. Most western governments refer to refugees as "clients" or "customers" when processing their applications. There's little or no recognition of the person behind the paperwork. That's where Canada's Romero House comes in.
AP

Who Is Responsible for Syrian Refugees?

Recently, there has been much discussion about establishing a "safe haven" within Syria's borders to protect the growing number of refugees fleeing the country's civil war, which unfortunately have received little backing. Can we hold that bordering states have a duty to accept more fleeing Syrians? This is a tough call, as the international community is not helping the situation in any certain terms.