Refugees and asylum seekers

“Refugees are people who have fled their countries because of a well-founded fear of persecution. They are not able to return home. They have seen or experienced many horrors. A refugee is different from an immigrant. An immigrant is a person who chooses to settle permanently in another country. Refugees are forced to flee.” How Canada’s refugee system works, Government of Canada.

This collection focuses on the experiences lived by refugees and asylum seekers adjusting to life in Canada while also examining the ambivalence felt on the issue by some Canadians. A September 2018 survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Center found that three out of four Canadians support taking in refugees — numbers that place Canada among the world’s most welcoming nations on the question of people fleeing violence and war. However, a July 2018 Angus Reid poll suggests a majority of Canadians believe irregular migration into the country has reached a crisis point. The poll found that 65 per cent of Canadians believe there are “too many” people claiming asylum by irregular means for authorities and service providers to handle.

  • 2018
  • 13-14
  • 27 Titles

Included in this collection

The Current Ahmed Hussen: From Somali Refugee to Canada's Immigration Minister

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen fled on his own to Canada as a teenage refugee to escape civil war in his native country. The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti sits down with him to discuss his experiences as a refugee, immigration, Canada's relationship with the U.S. and other issues.
  • 2017
  • 00:24:17
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 10/04/2017

CBC News Are border crossers breaking the law and jumping the queue?

When an asylum-seeker crosses the Canadian border, there are two laws and refugee systems at play.
  • 2017
  • 00:01:54
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 09/13/2018

News in Review - April 2017 Asylum Seekers: A Desperate Journey into Canada

Since the United States announced plans to change their immigration policy, the U.S.-Canadian border has been flooded with asylum seekers. Many undertake what’s called “irregular crossings” — at points that do not have immigration stations. They’re trying to circumvent the Safe Third Country Agreement, which restricts refugees to seeking asylum in the country of their arrival. In the first two ...
  • 2017
  • 00:17:59
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 04/20/2017

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  • NIR-17-04 - Asylum Seekers: A Desperate Journey into Canada

News in Review - November 2017 Border Running: Asylum Seekers Head To Canada

Thousands of asylum seekers are fleeing into Canada from the U.S. They left their native countries to escape hardship, poverty, and in some cases war, only to learn that new U.S. immigration policies have made it hard for them to stay. Now they're heading to Canada – using illegal border crossings like Roxham Road. It's a one-way route out of the ...
  • 2017
  • 00:18:06
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 11/27/2017

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  • NIR-17-11 - Border Running: Asylum Seekers Head To Canada

CBC Books Canada Reads 2019: Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung on Homes New

In this video Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung discuss Homes, a memoir of al Rabeeah's childhood in Iraq and Syria. Just before civil war broke out, al Rabeeah's family left Iraq for safety in Homs, Syria. Al Rabeeah was 10 years old when the violence began in his new home. He remembers attacks on his mosque and school, car bombings ...
  • 2019
  • 00:06:16
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 02/27/2019

News in Review - October 1999 Chinese Boat People: Human Cargo

In a nation that was built by people escaping harsh conditions in search of a better life, immigration and refugee policies have been issues about which many Canadians often feel ambivalent or perplexed. When illegal migrants land on our shores unexpectedly and under harsh conditions, our principles and sympathies can be severely put to the test. Determining what is the ...
  • 1999
  • 00:13:03
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 10/15/1999

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  • Chinese Boat People: Human Cargo

CBC News Do refugee claimants automatically get access to our hospitals and doctors?

The short answer is yes. The CBC’s Vik Adhopia describes the different types of health benefits refugee claimants get in Canada.
  • 2017
  • 00:02:27
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 09/13/2018

News in Review - March 2019 Fleeing Oppression: Saudi Teen Granted Asylum in Canada New

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun was just 18 years old when she barricaded herself in a Thai hotel room and started tweeting for help. The young Saudi woman claimed she was fleeing the oppression of her family and country and was seeking asylum. Her plight captured global attention on social media. Within days she was flying to Toronto after Canada agreed to ...
  • 2019
  • 00:18:01
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 03/18/2019

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Teacher Guide(s)

  • NIR-19-03 - PPT - Fleeing Oppression: Saudi Teen Granted Asylum in Canada

  • NIR-19-03 - PDF - Fleeing Oppression: Saudi Teen Granted Asylum in Canada