The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of IRCC, has announced one of the world’s first dedicated refugee streams to offer a permanent pathway to persecuted human rights defenders.
As part of the announcement, Minister Mendicino noted that “at great personal risk, human rights defenders hold the perpetrators of human rights violations to account and shine a light on stories that otherwise go untold. Through this new refugee stream, the Government of Canada stands with human rights defenders by offering them protection and a safe home in the face of real dangers, because offering refuge to the world’s most vulnerable speaks to who we are as Canadians.”
The pathway is expected to take in up to 250 human rights defenders annually and the Canadian government will work with international agencies to identify vulnerable human rights defenders. This announcement has been reflected in the 2020-2022 Immigration Levels Plan with the inclusion of more government-assisted refugee spaces, starting this year.