Liberals unveil resettlement plan for 1,200 Yazidis and other victims of ISIS
2017/02/23 Leave a comment
One of the few areas that the Conservative opposition has made a positive contribution. Michelle Rempel deserves full credit for pushing the government:
Canada plans to resettle 1,200 Yazidi refugees and other survivors of ISIS by the end of this year.
Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen announced today that nearly 400 survivors have already arrived in Canada in the last four months since the House of Commons unanimously supported a Conservative motion that called on the government to provide asylum to an unspecified number of Yazidi women and girls.
Of those, about 74 per cent are Yazidi.
Canada has been given consent from the Iraq and Kurdish regional governments, which are supporting and co-operating with the plan, Hussen said.
The motion recognized that ISIS, also called Daesh, is committing genocide against the Yazidi people and holding many of the group’s women and girls as sex slaves.
Hussen said many of the newcomers will have far greater needs than other refugees who have come to Canada.
“Many have experienced unimaginable trauma and vulnerability, both physical and emotional, and many will have unique physical, psychological and social needs, such as trauma counselling,” he told reporters at a news conference in Ottawa Tuesday.
Survivors arriving at ‘controlled pace’
The survivors have been arriving on commercial flights at a “controlled pace” to avoid over-burdening support services. The federal government will also work with provincial, territorial and municipal governments to ensure unique ongoing needs are met.
Although the motion referred only to providing asylum to Yazidi women and girls, the 1,200 refugees will include male family members. Hussen said ISIS also deliberately targets young boys, so the program will help resettle all child survivors of ISIS.
The government will also facilitate private sponsorships of Yazidi refugees, he said.