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The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Canada to Welcome 1,000 Additional Bhutanese Refugees
Bhutanese refugees wait at the International Organization for Migration Transit Camp for resettlement, in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, March 24, 2008. Canada will resettle an additional 1,000 refugees from Bhutan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Binod Joshi
THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-BINOD JOSHI
Canada to accept 1,000 more refugees from Bhutan over next two years
OTTAWA – Canada will resettle an additional 1,000 refugees from Bhutan.
The newcomers are ethnic Nepalese who were expelled from the Himalayan kingdom in the late 1990s and have been living in refugee camps ever since.
The United Nations began resettlement efforts in 2007 and Canada is one of seven countries involved in the program.
The Immigration Department says to date, about 5,000 Bhutanese refugees have settled in Canada.
Who gets to come in the new wave of resettlement will be decided over the next two years.
“We recognize the importance of family reunification in this process, and resettling refugees who already have family in Canada will help them adjust much faster and more easily,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said in a statement.
Canada currently accepts about 10 per cent of the refugees targeted for resettlement by the United Nations and has committed to increasing the number of refugees resettled overall by 20 per cent by this year.
But figures from last year show the government is falling short of its target.
Statistics show that the number of refugees resettled in Canada in 2012 was down 26 per cent from 2011.
The department blames unstable global situations for the decline, noting that it was forced to close the visa office in Damascus, which was responsible for processing thousands of refugee applications from the Middle East and North Africa.
The Conservatives are also cutting back on the number of refugees the government resettles, transferring more of the responsibility onto private groups.
They’ve also dramatically scaled back health benefits provided to refugee claimants, though those accepted to Canada via the United Nations are not affected by those changes.
Providing Protection to the World's Most Vulnerable
OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 27, 2013) - Canada will welcome up to 1,000 additional Bhutanese refugees from Nepal, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
"Canada has a longstanding tradition of assisting refugees and welcomes one in 10 refugees resettled globally, more than almost any other country in the world," said Minister Kenney. "We recognize the importance of family reunification in this process, and resettling refugees who already have family in Canada will help them adjust much faster and more easily."
Bhutanese refugees have been living in seven camps in eastern Nepal since the early 1990s. Canada, along with Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway the United States and the United Kingdom, are resettling many of these refugees.
In May 2007, the Government of Canada announced that it would resettle up to 5,000 Bhutanese refugees over five years. In June 2012, the Government committed to resettling 500 more Bhutanese refugees who have family connections in Canada. Today's announcement of an additional 1,000 Bhutanese refugees will bring the total number to 6,500. To date, 5,000 have already resettled in Canada.
"We welcome the Government's decision to resettle more Bhutanese refugees," said Furio De Angelis, the Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Canada. "By working in partnership with other countries, Canada has helped refugees who have been living in camps for more than two decades find a new home and start their lives anew."
The additional 1,000 Bhutanese refugees will be selected over two years. The next scheduled visit to the camps is April 2013 and some of the selected refugees are expected to arrive in Canada before the end of this year.
"Canada is committed to working with the international community to find long-term solutions for refugees, and we are pleased to be able to resettle these Bhutanese refugees, many of whom have been living in camps for decades," added Minister Kenney.
Canada already has one of the world's most generous resettlement programs in the world, welcoming one in 10 refugees resettled worldwide. Based on 2010 figures, the government has committed to increase the total number of refugees it plans to resettle up to 20 per cent by 2013. Canada has also increased resettlement funding to refugees by 20 per cent to help them settle and integrate quickly.
Canada's commitment to helping those in need of protection extends to refugees from many nations. Canada recently announced that it would resettle up to 5,000 Iraqi and Iranian refugees in Turkey. In addition, the Government remains committed to the resettling 20,000 Iraqi refugees who had fled to Syria.
Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
OTTAWA — Canada is opening its doors to 1,000 more Bhutanese refugees from Nepal, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Wednesday.
The refugees will be chosen over two years from camps in eastern Nepal where more than 100,000 Bhutanese people have been living since the early 1990s when they were deported or fled from the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan.
In 2007, the government said it would resettle 5,000 over five years. In 2012, it announced 500 more would be welcomed who had family ties in Canada.
To date, 5,000 Bhutanese refugees are already in Canada and Wednesday's announcement would bring the total number to 6,500.
"Canada is committed to working with the international community to find long-term solutions for refugees," Kenney said.
Kenney praised Canada's resettlement program as "one of the world's most generous" and repeated the government's intent to resettle 5,000 Iraqi and Iranian refugees currently in Turkey and 20,000 Iraqi refugees in Syria.