June 20: World Refugee Day

June 20th is World Refugee Day and this year celebrations are likely going to be a bit different.

Although there are typically gatherings – large and small – which take place across Canada and around the world to celebrate the important contributions that refugees make to our communities, the spread of COVID-19 is challenging us to think of new and different ways to mark this special occasion. The pandemic may keep us physically apart, but we will be sure to honour the contributions of refugee this year, and every year!

Check back in this space for ideas about how you, your friends, family, neighbours and colleagues can celebrate World Refugee Day.

Call on Canada to Welcome Refugees

On March 21st, the federal government decided to shut the door to people seeking refugee protection who are entering from the US, for 30 days. The government said the decision was based on the COVID-19 crisis and that it needed to take this step to limit cross-border travel to only essential travel.

Canada’s decision to shut the border to refugee claimants puts those individuals in danger, is out of step with public health measures designed to curb the spread of COVID-19, and runs counter to our international legal obligations.

That’s why we are urging the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to champion refugee rights and reverse this ban. You can call the Minister using our click-to-call action, by letting him know that you want Canada to end this ban.

>>> Make the call now 

You can also show your public support for refugees at this critical time. Display your support on social media and in your street by joining our photo petition.

Here’s how:

1. Create a sign showing your support for refugees and celebrating their contributions to your community. Consider messages like my community includes refugees; protecting public health means protecting refugees; or we’re all safe when refugees are safe 

2. Display your sign in the window or door of your home to let your neighbours know that you support refugee rights. 

3. Take a photo of you sign and tweet your message of support, tagging @AmnestyNow to let us know you participated and to be added to our photo petition. Don’t use social media? Send your photo to lobby@amnesty.ca to add it to our photo petition. 

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