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..