“You have to understand, that no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land”
- Warsan Shire
The deaths of Alan, Ghalib and Rehanna Kurdi have awakened many to a global crisis. There are over 59.5 million displaced people around the world. With an average of 42,500 people becoming refugees, asylum seekers, or internally displaced every single day just due to military conflicts, this is the highest level of displaced people ever recorded. This is in addition to forced displacement as a result of environmental crisis, and economic uncertainty. Government policies and corporations are responsible for creating unprecedented global displacement, and so we have a responsibility to end Canada’s role in forced displacement around the world and on these Indigenous lands.
#RefugeesWelcome is a call to end all forces of displacement. In the face of fatal dispossessions and displacements as well as fortressed borders, it is a call for the freedom to stay, move and return.
“you broke the ocean in half to be here
only to meet nothing that wants you.”
- nayyirah waheed
Canadian refugee policies are discriminatory and exclusionary. Under the current Conservative government, in-country refugee applications have dropped by 50%, and refugee acceptance rates have fallen by 30%. Canada has taken less than 10% of the completely inadequate 10,000 Syrian refugees that it promised, while refugees from all countries are systematically turned away. Furthermore, many refugees making refugee claims within Canada are now facing reduced legal avenues, mandatory imprisonment for them and their children, a two-tier system that discriminates based on nationality, and lack of access to adequate healthcare and social assistance. With reduced numbers of family sponsorships, refugees like other immigrants, cannot reunite with their families. Click here to read more.
#RefugeesWelcome calls for an overhaul of the refugee system, as well as permanent residency, labour protections, end to detentions and deportations, and full social and economic equality for all refugees and migrants. A welcome means more than simply entering Canada; it is a call for transformation of the structures of the country to ensure full racial, gender, economic, and social justice for all.