Canada has been accepting refugees for over 200 years, but its refugee policies have not always reflected the generous, humanitarian values that inform the world view of Canadians. There have been times where Canada has lived up to its international commitments and moral obligations and willing accepted large numbers of displaced persons. Equally, there are times when Canada has enacted policies or taken action which has increased the vulnerability of refugees.
Refugees and refugee crises are the inevitable result of global inequality, exploitation, discrimination, natural disaster and war. The mass migrations of peoples fleeing strife have been a constant in world history, the current Syrian refugee crisis is just one recent example of this phenomena. Through hundreds of volunteers we, as a union, have made a conscious choice to support and sponsor five Syrian families. Our commitment to them in their time of need reflects our desire to help build a world that is fairer and more just.
We are not alone in understanding that global conflicts, war, natural disasters, repressive regimes and discrimination create refugee crises. Nor are we alone in our willingness to assist in every way we know how. Trade unionist around the world recognize that responding to forced mass migrations and to humanitarian crises is deeply and inherently connected to global solidarity. We understand that humanitarian crises call for a humanitarian response that requires us all to stand together.
On world refugee day we call on our government to evaluate and reformulate Canadian refugee policy, fully implement all relevant UN conventions, and protect and assist refugees in voluntary repatriation, relocation and settlement.
Show your solidarity with refugees and display this poster in your workplace or local office.
Download poster here.