Guide Refugees

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Under international law and the principle of family unity, the children of refugees and their descendants are also considered refugees until a durable solution is found. Both UNRWA and UNHCR recognize descendants as refugees on this basis, a practice that has been widely accepted by the international community, including both donors and refugee hosting countries.

Palestine refugees are not distinct from other protracted refugee situations such as those from Afghanistan or Somalia, where there are multiple generations of refugees, considered by UNHCR as refugees and supported as such. Protracted refugee situations are the result of the failure to find political solutions to their underlying political crises.


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When they are left without access to such basic necessities as food, water, sanitation and health care, the UN family provides it. Much of this support is provided through the United Nations humanitarian action machinery. UNHCR is the lead agency with respect to the protection of refugees and the internally displaced. Along with the International Organization for Migration IOM , it is the lead agency for camp coordination and management. In addition to persecution and conflict, in the 21st century, natural disaster sometimes due to climate change can also force people to seek refuge in other countries.

Such disasters — floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, mudslides — are increasing in frequency and intensity. While most of the displacement caused by these events is internal, they can also cause people to cross borders. None of the existing international and regional refugee law instruments, however, specifically addresses the plight of such people. Displacement caused by the slow-onset effects of climate change is largely internal as well. But through its acceleration of drought, desertification, the salinization of ground water and soil, and rising sea levels, climate change, too, can contribute to the displacement of people across international frontiers.

Other human-made calamities, such as severe socio-economic deprivation, can also cause people to flee across borders. While some may be escaping persecution, most leave because they lack any meaningful option to remain. The lack of food, water, education, health care and a livelihood would not ordinarily and by themselves sustain a refugee claim under the Convention. Nevertheless, some of these people may need some form of protection.

After they are identified, it takes time to process the cases. Private sponsors across the country also help resettle refugees to Canada.

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Some do this on an ongoing basis. They have signed sponsorship agreements with the Government of Canada to help support refugees. These groups are known as Sponsorship Agreement Holders. Sponsorship Agreement Holders can sponsor refugees themselves, or work with others in the community to do so. Other sponsors, known as Groups of Five and Community Sponsors , are people or groups in the community who have come together to sponsor refugee s. They do not generally sponsor refugees on an ongoing basis.

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Under our laws, we must carefully screen all resettlement cases. This makes sure that there are no issues related to security, criminality, or health. We work with our security partners to complete this work as quickly as possible. Not everyone is eligible to seek asylum. For example, people are not eligible to make a claim if they have:.

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Refugees often need help to settle. This is true whether they are resettled from overseas or granted protection in Canada.

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The Government of Canada works with many partners and stakeholders to provide many types settlement services. These services help refugees adjust to life in Canada. Under the Resettlement Assistance Program, the Government of Canada or Province of Quebec helps government-assisted refugees with essential services and income support once they are in Canada. This helps them to settle. The refugee gets this income support for up to one year or until they can support themselves, whichever comes first. Canada provides Resettlement Assistance Program income support to eligible clients who cannot pay for their own basic needs.

Basic social assistance rates in each province and territory help guide the amount of money refugees get for shelter, food and other things. The Resettlement Assistance Program also provides these services during the first four to six weeks after clients get to Canada:. Most sponsorships last for one year, but some refugees may be able to get help from their sponsors for up to three years. Blended visa office-referred refugees get six months of Resettlement Assistance Program income support.

Private sponsors give up to six months of financial support and up to a year of social and emotional support.


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We also fund a settlement program that helps newcomers settle and adapt to life in Canada. To deliver these services, we work with:.

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