Picture of Susan Stewart, an artist, is a sponsor of Eman Mohammad and her family.
  Susan Stewart, an artist, is a sponsor of Eman Mohammad and her family. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

Refugees Encounter a Foreign Word: Welcome

1 July, 2016

“Across Canada, ordinary citizens, distressed by news reports of drowning children and the shunning of desperate migrants, are intervening in one of the world’s most pressing problems. Their country allows them a rare power and responsibility: They can band together in small groups and personally resettle — essentially adopt — a refugee family. In Toronto alone, hockey moms, dog-walking friends, book club members, poker buddies and lawyers have formed circles to take in Syrian families. The Canadian government says sponsors officially number in the thousands, but the groups have many more extended members.”

An article which shows the way forward in terms of refugee sponsorships and mobility policies. It gives hope. And no one should believe in a Canadian exceptionalism of sorts. Any country can do this. It is a question of individuals being empowered and supported by appropriate refugee and migration policies and practices. It takes policy foresight, well-informed public debates and political leadership, three attributes sadly missing in the European discussions.

To read the full article in the NY Times, please click here.

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