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Canada's half-hearted response to the refugee crisis

A recent article published in the National Post discusses the issues surrounding Canada's disappointing announcement about the number of refugees it will take in over the next few years. The upshot: opportunities for LGBT refugee resettlement are diminishing.

Most sexual or gender minority refugees resettled to Canada are government-sponsored. Only a small number of those resettled to Canada are privately sponsored, such as those affiliated with ROAR.

There will be no increase in government sponsorships in 2018 and only a small increase in the following two years. This is happening at the same time that the US government has decided to resettle less than half the number of refugees it did in the past.

Since most Canadian private sponsorships are for refugees who are family members, LGBT people are left in the lurch. They are less likely to have family members in Canada who want to resettle them.

In Canada the number of private sponsorships is double that of government sponsorships, which saves the government money but does not create many opportunities for growing numbers of LGBT refugees who need to find safety. Nor does it address the underlying need for an adequate and sustained humanitarian response to the largest refugee crisis in history.

This underscores the importance of advocacy to increase the number of refugees admitted to Canada and to increase government sponsorship levels. This situation also makes it obvious that the few private sponsorships that do occur, such as those connected to ROAR, are critically important.

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