The opportunities and challenges of “naming” in Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program

March 29, 2023 1:00PM–2:30PM EDT - Webinar by Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS)

Event Host/Institute: Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS)
Event date and time: March 29, 2023, 1:00PM – 2:30PM EDT
Event location/venue: Online 
Event type: Webinar
Link: https://yorku.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIsd-CopzIsHdyWdaHDywZ0eyHdG42HbDLd

The Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS) invites you to participate in the webinar: The opportunities and challenges of “naming” in Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.

While globally, States and Internal NGOs take the lead in the selection of refugees for resettlement, Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) Program allows sponsors to “name” people to be considered for resettlement to Canada. This opportunity also presents challenges for groups involved in refugee sponsorship. The three panelists will discuss these issues based on their research and experience.

Update: Summary of the event

Moderator: Aziz Rahman, PhD

Panelists: 

  1. Brian Dyck, Mennonite Central Committee Canada
  2. Ian Van Haren, Executive Director at Action Réfugiés Montréal and PhD Candidate at McGill University
  3. Biftu Yousuf PhD Candidate, Geography at York University

This panel discussion explored the opportunities and challenges of “naming” in Canada’s PSR Program. Drawing from his 15+ years working in the PSR program in Canada, and recent co-authorship of “’Naming’ in the Canadian PSR Program: Diverse Intentions and Consequences” in the book Strangers to Neighbours: Refugee Sponsorship in Context, Brian considered the various tensions and strengths with, and lessons gathered from naming selection, as it has evolved over Canada’s history with refugee sponsorship and resettlement.

Ian Van Haren, ED Action Réfugiés Montréal and Ph.D. Candidate, presented his preliminary results from his dissertation on how sponsorship decisions are made by those involved at different levels of sponsorship, including SAH representatives, local groups, and specific families. Van Haren identified different themes that explicitly and implicitly inform how sponsors make decisions about who to sponsor and emphasized how policy constraints also play a role in those decisions.

The final panelist, Biftu Yousuf, PhD Candidate, Geography at York University Centre for Refugee Studies, presented her research, based on her Ph.D. dissertation, looking at the perspectives of racialized sponsors who have resettled in Canada and who now use the PSR program. She discussed factors that play into racialized sponsors choices of who to sponsor, and what motivates them to become sponsors and name specific refugees.

The panel discussion was moderated by Aziz Rahman, Ph.D., interdisciplinary researcher, teacher, and long-time member of various community development work organizations.

The views expressed are those of the author/s, and are not attributable to the host organisations of the Resettlement.Plus website.

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