Canadian Immigration News

Canada Launched New Immigration Pathway for Human Rights Defenders

2 minute read
"Canada has gained international recognition for its efforts to protect the human rights of those at risk of persecution. In 2020, Canada welcomed almost one-third of all refugee resettlers in the world. It is more than any other country in the world has done for those who have been displaced due to calamities in their home countries."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Aug 9, 2021
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Canada has gained international recognition for its efforts to protect the human rights of those at risk of persecution. In 2020, Canada welcomed almost one-third of all refugee resettlers in the world. It is more than any other country in the world has done for those who have been displaced due to calamities in their home countries. 

This is why the Canadian Immigration Minister, Marco Mendicino announced that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will be launching a dedicated Permanent Residency (PR) pathway for refugees. This stream will specifically offer human rights defenders fleeing persecution to dream of a new life in Canada. 

This will make Canada one of the first countries in the world to offer a dedicated PR pathway for Human Rights Defenders. This stream will welcome an estimated 25,000 new refugees every year, including their accompanying family members with the help of the Government-Assisted Refugees Program.

Why Was this New PR Pathway for Refugee Resettlers Required?

A dedicated immigration pathway for refugees was needed to protect Human Rights Defenders. The Canadian government will work with the United Nations Refugee Agency, the Front Line Defenders, and the ProtectDefender.eu among other Canadian and international partners to identify applicants that face security risks and need resettlement.

This PR pathway was introduced as a possible solution for Human Rights Defenders in need of protection and can not return home.

In 2019, the Canadian government introduced new guidelines on supporting the protection of Human Rights Defenders, known as the “Voices at Risk.” At the beginning of 2021, the Canadian government added 250 additional government-assisted refugee spaces to support admissions under the new refugee stream.

Who Are Human Rights Defenders?

Human Rights Defenders are a particular group of people who individually or as a group, strive or promote the protection and realization of human rights and the fundamental rights of every human being at the national and international level.

They are at heightened risk due to their continued activities against injustice or power within their countries of oppression. They risk facing persecution from both the state and non-state actors in the form of illegal arrests, detention, torture, disappearance, and assassination. This group can include women, journalists, LGBTQIA+ community members fighting for human rights, etc.

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