Canada: A country of immigrants

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1 Citoyenneté et Immigration Canada Citizenship and Immigration Canada Canada s Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program Presented by: Dominique Collinge Head, Humanitarian Affairs Section, Canadian Mission, Geneva Tokyo, Japan, 5th February Canada: A country of immigrants Canada is a country of immigrants: 2006 Canadian Census: one in five individuals (20%) were born outside Canada Total permanent residents (2007): 236,758 Total refugees (2007): 27,956 (11.8%) Canada has engaged in refugee resettlement for over 50 years: Close to 800,000 refugees welcomed since 1948 Almost 600,000 with government assistance Close to 200,000 privately sponsored by the voluntary sector 2 1

2 Resettlement: A shared Responsibility Resettlement is a discretionary activity Requires public support Public support can be gained through: Transparency Demonstrating advantages (demography, aging population, international responsibility sharing) Public education campaigns (e.g. World Refugee Day is June 20) Integration is a shared responsibility Federal authority, but requires partnership with all levels of government, private and NGO sectors 3 Refugee Protection in Canada Refugees, both asylum seekers and resettled refugees, comprise 11.8% of total Canadian immigration population annually Resettled: 4.7% (11,162) Asylum: 7.1% (16,794) Both categories (resettled and asylum) are given refugee status, then permanent residence and are entitled to the same programmes for integration. 4 2

3 Two ways to be supported Refugees are either supported by the Government or by the private sector Government-assisted refugees (GARs) 7,300-7,500 annually Referrals mainly from UNHCR Privately sponsored refugees (PSRs) 3,300-4,500 annually Referrals mainly from private sponsorship groups 5 Special Protection Needs Women at Risk Canada commits a large number of places Urgent Protection Program UNHCR emergencies Joint Assistance Sponsorships Government and private sector resources to support refugees with special needs 6 3

4 Is a Canadian citizen under the provisions of the Citizenship Act and, as such, is entitled to all the rights and privileges and is subject to all the duties and responsibilities of a Canadian citizen est citoyen canadien aux termes de la Loi sur la citoyenneté et, à ce titre, jouit de tous les droits et privilèges et est assujetti(e) à tous les devoirs et responsabilités d'un citoyen canadien. Entitlements for All Refugees Permanent Resident Status upon arrival Right to work and/or study Right to medical care Access to social services Access to federal and provincial child benefits Citizenship after 3 years 7 The Settlement Continuum Services Abroad I. Canadian Orientation Abroad Services In Canada II. Reception in Canada Integration Programs Partnership Delivery Community Capacity Building III. Settlement Services GARs: Resettlement Assistance Program PSRs: Support from private sponsors All refugees: Needs assessments and referrals Life-skills and language training Labour market preparation Community engagement Citizenship Services Certificate Certificat of de Canadian Citizenship Citoyenneté Canadienne John Doe MINISTER - MINISTRE IV. Citizenship Full Participation in Canadian Society 8 4

5 The Process: Pre-departure National Headquarters Matching Centre selects destination in Canada Matches refugee needs with receiving community capacities Provides essential info to sponsors and Service Providers International Organization for Migration makes travel arrangements Refugees responsible for travel and medical costs Canadian government provides travel loans 9 Pre-departure Settlement Services Canadian Orientation Abroad Information specific about Canada and specific to refugee population Coordinated by Canadian missions overseas Delivered by International Organization for Migration 10 5

6 Post-arrival: Settlement Support and Programs 12 months of income support Services provided by Service Providers: Reception at airport Accommodation Life skills training Orientation to life in Canada Referrals to other services Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada Referral services to doctors, dentists, other social services Host Program 11 Types of Support Provided Type of Support Privately Sponsored Refugees Government-Assisted Refugees Income Support Arrival and Orientation Accommodation Basic Household Needs Staple Items Clothing Food In-kind support. Up to one year. Provided by a Service Provider Organization. Found with support of Service Provider Organization and financed by the individual. One-time allowance. One-time allowance. One-time allowance. Items must be purchased by the individual. 12 6

7 The Canadian Experience Refugees have poorer socio-economic outcomes than other immigrants during their early years in Canada. Recent research has indicated that refugees: After six months in Canada continue to face significant language difficulties Are more likely than other immigrant categories to experience health problems Have lower incomes compared to other immigrants and Canadians Have a significantly higher proportion of their income (48%) on permanent housing; much higher than the accepted Canadian benchmark (30%) Refugees are selected with an emphasis on protection need 13 % Integration Outcomes in Comparison Incidence of Social Assistance Skilled PA/ DP qualifié Business/ Gens d affaires Other Economic/ Autres (économique) Family/ Regroupement familial Refugees/ Réfugiés Canadian Average/ Moyenne canadienne YSL/ Années depuis l arrivée 14 7

8 Percentage of Refugees Receiving Social Assistance 1 year after landing 5 years after % % Government sponsored Determined In-Canada Privately sponsored All refugees 0 Tax Year/ Année d imposition Pris en charge par Tax le Year gouvernement Parrainés par le secteur privé Octroi de l asile au Canada Tous les réfugiés Source: Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB)/ Banque de données longitudinales sur les immigrants (BDIM); Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA)/ Agence des douanes et du revenu du Canada (ADRC) Case Study: Indochinese movement Almost 30 years since large Indochinese movement to Canada Research indicates: Fewer Indochinese experience culture shock given presence of Indochinese community Many Indochinese have developed businesses targeting Indochinese population Social research shows that Indochinese have integrated 16 8

9 Barriers to successful settlement For all immigrants, greatest barriers are: Lack of accurate information Lack of local language ability Limited access to labour market participation: lack of credential recognition, workplace communication skills and work experience Lack of social networks and engagement Discrimination 17 Settlement Challenges For refugees, greatest challenges are: Youth: 40% of resettled refugees are under the age of 18. Refugee youth often do not have the same level of formal education as Canadian youth their age. Health: Resettled refugees across Canada are arriving with significant health concerns. Examples: malnutrition, psychosocial issues, lack of prior dental care. Other barriers: On average, upon arrival, resettled refugees have less formal education, less official language ability, and larger families than other immigrants. 18 9

10 Meeting the Challenges Modernized settlement approach Comprehensive program offerings Focus on results and outcomes for the newcomer Promote coordination among service providers Pilots: Karen (Myanmar) Group Processing Supplemental medical forms High health concerns Resettlement needs assessment form pilot High need for basic life skills training 19 Conclusion The basic hypothesis: If the needs of youth and family are met, it is likely that they will have a good, or at least improved life in Canada. Public Support is key to successful settlement Government: money, levels and planning Non-Governmental Organizations: advocacy Service Provider Organizations: service delivery Community: welcoming communities 20 10

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