Canada will welcome up to 1,000 additional Bhutanese refugees from Nepal, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced on March 27.
““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.