Canada to resettle 1200 Yazidi refugees by the end of 2017
The Justin Trudeau government announced on 21 February that Canada will give asylum to 1200 Yazidis, the most vulnerable refugees in the world by the end of the year.
The efforts follow the Canadian Parliament’s resolution last year to take in the Yazidis facing genocide in Iraq at the hands of the Islamic extremists.
According to Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, though initially, the aim was to bring over the women and girls who stand the risk of facing persecution, the government decided to help all, especially since the extremist group was also targeting boys.
• Canada began its operation of rescuing these vulnerable refugees on 25 October 2016.
• Around 400 Yazidis have already been airlifted to the country in the last few months.
• The migrants have been brought over on commercial flights at a controlled pace to avoid overwhelming Canada’s refugee system.
• The whole operation is expected to cost around 28 million Canadian Dollars.
• While the majority of the refugees will come from Iraq, some will also be from Lebanon and Turkey.
Ever since Justin Trudeau took over as the Prime Minister of Canada in 2015, his government has helped resettle almost 40000 Syrian refugees
About the Yazidi community
• Yazidis are ethnically a Kurdish-speaking minority religious community.
• Their pre-Islamic religion is thought to have its origin in the Zoroastrianism of ancient Persia.
• They are neither Arabic nor Muslim and so, the Islamic State considers them polytheistic heretics.
The rescue operation for the Yazidis differs slightly from the regular one, as these are being conducted in a more closed manner in order to protect the identity of these vulnerable groups. In addition to the resettlement of the 1200 refugees, the Canadian government also intends to facilitate them with private sponsorships.
While appreciating the efforts of the Trudeau government, Conservative MP Michelle Rempel stressed that like Canada other countries also need to wake up to the fact that if these people are not provided with a safe haven now, they might get wiped off completely.