This fall, federal government officials will travel to northern Iraq to find out how to transport several hundred people in refugee status. This will be the first time Canadians travel to Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, for this very reason. Groups of private sponsors, together with the government, for several months tried to find a way to get refugees out of the area, but the attempts were unsuccessful due to the lack of human resources on the spot.
The fact that the immigration office will send people is a result of the continuing pressure exerted on the liberal government, which will continue the intensive resettlement of refugees in the spirit of the immigration program, which resulted in 25,000 Syrians brought to Canada within a few months. This week, the House of Commons committee on immigration will do more. A series of unprecedented summer gatherings will be held, at which the possibilities of using immigration to help everyone, and not just the refugees who are going to Canada as a result of the conflict, will be discussed.
There are several legal ways besides private sponsorship for those who flee from their home country due to military operations in Canada, but this is rather a fad of the UN charters relating to refugees, displaced persons and resettlement policies. But a rather impressive number of people do not fall under the definition of the UN statutes. Refugee Coordinator from Canadian Amnesty International (Eng. Amnesty International Canada) Gloria Nafziger says she welcomes the initiative of the Canadian government, although she does not fully understand the essence.
According to her, only a small proportion of refugees in need of resettlement eventually receives it. “It’s good that we recognize that many displaced people are in difficult conditions and cannot, for some reason, cross the border and find protection,” she says. “Looking for a solution for these people at a time when we had not even decided on the solution of the problems of those who had already crossed the border is what confuses me.”
Studies on this topic originate in the activities of Michel Rempel, who set a goal to make more efforts to resettle the Yezidis, a Kurdish ethnic and religious group, the attitude of Islamic militants towards which the UN regarded as genocidal. Some Yezidis are located in Turkey, where private sponsors have to deal with extremely slow time to issue exit permits. The recent unsuccessful attempt at a military coup would most likely aggravate the situation. Most of the Yezidis are still in northern Iraq and, since this is their home country, the UN will not send them to countries like Canada for resettlement. The Tory party is trying to prove that the situation of the Yezidis is so unfavorable that the liberals must directly contact the UN for help in their relocation.