Canada Set To Welcome More Yazidi Refugees

Minister Mendicino

Ottawa: Canada has announced a new policy to help Yazidis and other survivors of Daesh (Islamic State) teror reunite with their families in Canada. Over 1,400 such refugees have been settled in Canada since 2017, after escaping unimaginable horrors at the hands of Daesh.

Over the past few years, the Government of Canada has kept its commitment to help them start new lives in this country.

Yet many of these refugees had to leave family members behind. Building on the success of Canada’s resettlement efforts, Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, on Tuesday said the new policy will reunite extended family members, including siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, along with those who may have been unable to previously apply for resettlement.

Following the successful welcoming of 1,200 survivors of Daesh by the end of 2017, the Government of Canada implemented a second policy to help family members come to Canada.

That public policy ended in December 2020. Now, the new policy is being launched after having listened to community concerns about matters such as the definition of an immediate family member or refugee, and about family members who were missing or in captivity, the minister said.. Canada has led the world in resettling refugees for the past three years.

Indeed, the United Nations Refugee Agency called Canada “a bright light in a horrible year
for refugee resettlement.”

As the world faces a refugee crisis, Canada will continue to step up and provide refuge for those fleeing war and persecution.

Minister Mendicino said: “Having survived abuse, torture and even genocide at the hands of Daesh, the Yazidis and other groups are among the most vulnerable refugees in the world.

That’s why Canada resettled over 1,400 survivors of Daesh. Guided by compassion, we are now redoubling our efforts to reunite their families. Our new policy will ensure that more Yazidis and other survivors can be reunited with loved ones so that they can start new lives in Canada.”

• Survivors of Daesh are people in Northern Iraq, including Iraqis and Yazidis, who have been victims of threats or acts that include sexual slavery, enslavement, torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, family separation, forced displacement, or forcible transfer causing serious bodily or mental harm by Daesh. The Yazidis are one of Iraq’s oldest minorities.

• As of January 31, 2021, Canada has welcomed more than 1,400 survivors of Daesh, including 1,356 government-assisted survivors (1,149 Yazidi women and girls) and 94 privately sponsored survivors (all Yazidi women and girls).

• Refugees may be privately sponsored or referred to Canada for resettlement by the United Nations Refugee Agency.

• Survivors of Daesh in Canada have been primarily resettled to Toronto, London, Winnipeg, and Calgary. These cities were chosen following comprehensive consultations with stakeholders to identify where existing Yazidi communities were established and where
adequate support, including medical, psychosocial, and interpretation services, was in place.

• All COVID-19-related protocols are followed for refugees resettled in Canada. Comprehensive security screening, biometric checks and medical exams will be completed for all applicants prior to resettlement.