Toronto - Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, unveiled Canada’s plans to resettle 1200 Yazidi survivors of ISIS, at a press conference held in Ottawa Tuesday, according to CBC News.
Toronto – Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, unveiled Canada’s plans to resettle 1200 Yazidi survivors of ISIS, at a press conference held in Ottawa Tuesday, according to CBC News.
In response to a unanimously adopted motion, tabled by the Conservative party at the end of 2016, the governing Liberal party held a press conference in Ottawa Tuesday where Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen announced the government’s plan to bring in 1,200 Yazidi survivors of ISIS to Canada.
According to Hussen, 400 have already made their way to the country quietly, aboard commercial airlines. To assist it in making the $28 million cost of the program more manageable, the government is promising to help private citizens and groups to sponsor survivors.
Spearheaded by Conservative immigration critic, Michelle Rempel, the original Yazidi motion provided asylum for an unspecified number of Yazidi women and girls. The only change the Liberal government made to the proposal was to include Yazidi boys as well, who have suffered their own form of trauma as easy targets for ISIS recruitment.
At the press conference, Ahmed Hussen reminded reporters of the special needs the Yazidis will require because of the extensive hardships and genocidal traumas they have experienced.
“Many have experienced unimaginable trauma and vulnerability, both physical and emotional and many will have unique physical, psychological and social needs, such as trauma counselling.”
The resettlement is being carried out at a deliberately slow pace to ensure its smooth operations. They are taking lessons, the immigration minister said, from Germany who welcomed 1,000 Yazidi survivors over the course of one year. “We know from the German experience this involves working in an extremely volatile and dangerous environment, so the security and safety of our personnel, as well as the survivors themselves is of paramount importance to us.”
Asked for her reaction to the government’s announced plans, Michelle Rempel told reporters that the announcement represents a “small flicker of light” for the 1,200 Yazidi survivors. She added that it is her hope that the move inspires deeper discussions at home in Canada and all over the world.