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June 20th, 2022

NDP Statement on World Refugee Day

NDP Immigration Critic Jenny Kwan issued the following statement:

“Today, on World Refugee Day, we must acknowledge that there are over 89 million people who are forced to flee their homes due to conflict, violence, fear of persecution and human rights violations worldwide. This is the highest number we have seen since World War II.

After 20 years of military intervention in Afghanistan, American and NATO forces withdrew. Not long after, the Taliban took over Afghanistan. Many people fled the country to seek asylum, while others have been left behind in an evacuation that started too late and ended too early. The Taliban are actively trying to hunt down those who helped Canada during our missions there and their loved ones are being targeted. The gains for the rights of women and girls are being striped away. Those who worked to advance democratic, and women's rights are at extreme risk. Canada must continue its effort to bring them to safety.

Putin's unprovoked war against Ukraine has caused ​great pain and suffering. As Canada work to address this humanitarian crisis, ​the federal government must also work collaboratively with all levels of government and community partners to ensure that services for displaced Ukrainian nationals are fully funded.

​At the same time, we must also not lose sight of ongoing humanitarian crises that continue to persist in other regions even if there is less media coverage. The same special immigration measures offered to Ukrainians, including the measure to allow for sponsorship of extended family members, must be extended to those from other countries and regions experiencing humanitarian crises. Canada must also increase the total number of refugees welcomed here and not delay welcoming others in need of refuge.

It is important to remember ​that the names on refugee applications belong to families facing terrible dangers. We can't allow bureaucratic red tape to put lives at greater risk.

The Canadian government has the capacity to do better and must do better.

New Democrats will always stand up for the rights of all people to seek a life free of persecution and discrimination. Everyone deserves to live in peace. We recognize the vital work all refugee serving agencies do and commit to continue supporting you.”