Student Group Launches Campaign to Improve Canada's Treatment of Refugees
By: STAND Canada
August 25, 2016 (Toronto, Canada) -- As the only country charging interest on refugee loans, the Canadian Government's Immigration Loan Program (ILP) is out of date and reduces the integrity of Canada's commitment to assisting refugees. Youth-led anti-genocide organization STAND Canada officially launched its campaign today, entitled #WhyDoRefugeesPay, to #ReformILP and #LiftTheBurden on refugees entering Canada.
The Immigration Loan Program (ILP) helps government-assisted and privately sponsored members of the Convention Refugees Abroad and Country of Asylum classes. It is intended to ensure that persons unable to pay for certain costs associated with immigrating to Canada will have access to a funding source.
However, the program is the only one in the world to charge interest on refugee loans and one of two in the world to require refugees to repay travel costs. Once refugees enter Canada, they have only a 30-day grace period before loan repayment must start. On average, only $13 million in loans are issued per year.
STAND Canada maintains that while the program has provided critical resources to refugees from around the world, in its current form, the ILP places an unfair economic burden on refugees immediately after they have arrived in Canada, impedes Canada's commitment to aiding refugees, cannot be financially justified, and discriminates between refugees based on nationality.
Through the #WhyDoRefugeesPay campaign, the organization will be simultaneously petitioning Members of Parliament to implement ILP reform and engaging the Canadian public in a far-reaching dialogue about ILP and the global refugee crisis. The campaign will be implemented across Canada through STAND's national volunteers and in our campus chapters at the University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto, and Western University.
Find out more about the campaign and STAND Canada's policy recommendations at our website, http://www.standcanada.org.
About STAND Canada
STAND Canada is a national youth-led organization advocating to make preventing and ending genocide a cornerstone of Canadian foreign and domestic policy. We are dedicated to providing Canadians with the informational foundation and advocacy tools required to take action towards a world without genocide.
Since its founding in 2005 in response to the crisis in Darfur, Sudan, STAND has become the leading organization in Canada for youth-led anti-genocide advocacy. With university chapters across Canada, our volunteers are driven by our joint vision and passion for human rights, political advocacy, genocide education, and the social responsibility of Canadians.To learn more, visit http://www.standcanada.org.