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Canadian Immigration Blog


Iraqi Refugee Claimants Facing Threats from ISIS and Militias

January 5, 2015
system-571182_640 Joanna Mennie

In immigration law, the state of world affairs has a direct impact on the work that we do and the clients who we help. Events unfolding in parts of the Middle East have had a particular impact recently, as hundreds of thousands of individuals are fleeing ISIS and other armed groups. As reported throughout news media, this conflict is especially disturbing and complex.

In recent months, a report from Amnesty International has described ISIS’s brutal attacks as “a wave of ethnic cleansing against minorities.” This is being met with grave concern from the international community. A separate report also by Amnesty International describes the horrific acts being committed by armed militias who are opposing ISIS. These groups are accused of carrying out serious human rights abuses, including war crimes. As this sectarian violence continues to spread, alarming numbers of innocent people are being targeted or simply caught in the crossfire.

In immigration law we hear the stories of those facing such unimaginable horrors. I recently attended the refugee hearing of an Iraqi claimant who had experienced this violence firsthand. This claimant had endured a number of very frightening incidents and was lucky to have escaped. The refugee claim was allowed and the family can now attempt to build a new life in Canada. Unfortunately, many others have not been so lucky. Although it can be easy to get caught up in our own lives and experiences, it is important to be mindful of what is happening across the globe and do what we can to help.

For information on claiming refugee status in Canada click here.

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