The Inter-Church Committee For Refugees
Organization profile published 1982

Year Published:  1982
Resource Type:  Organization
Cx Number:  CX2484

The challenge for the Inter-Church Committee for Refugees (ICCR) is to enable people to respond directly to the needs and to the injustices of Latin Americans who are forced to flee their home countries. The Committee for Refugees includes representatives of the major Canadian churches and the Canadian Friends Service Committee, the Council of Christian Reformed Churches in Canada, the Mennonite Central Committee (Canada), the Salvation Army, the National Inter-Faith Immigration Committee, and the Inter- Church Committee on Human Rights in Latin America (ICCHRLA).
ICCR sees as its mandate the challenge of addressing the root causes of persecution which produces refugees. It is persecution or thr fear of persecution which distinguishes refugees from the millions of peoplewho are economic migrants or displaced due to natural disasters.
The Committee is also concerned with assistance to refugees in the counties to which they first flee, the resettlement of refugees in Canada, and the improvement of Canada's refugee policies. Committee members think that Ottawa's current program does not adequately reflect Canadian capacity or willingness. Action on the situation of Latin American refugees is currently a high priority for the Committee. The churcheshave strongly advocated new policies and improved procedures to facilitate the entry of Latin American refugees who seek the protection of Canada.
Church congregations and other similar groups can arrange to sponsor a refugee or family. By sponsoring a "difficult case" refugee family through the Join Assistance Program, the responsibility for a family which does not meet Canada's present immigration criteria can be shared between the government and the sponsoring group.
ICCR publishes a number of brochures, pamphlets and short papers which outline Canada's Employment and Immigration policies and recommended changes, the plight of refugees in many countries, and what actions have been taken to pressure the home countries to change their government policies with regard social, political and economic change. Two ICCR pamphlets available are "Who is My Neighbour?"(50$), and "Refugees from El Salvador and Guatemala: Guidelines for Canadian Churches" (15$).

This abstract was published in the Connexions Digest in 1982.

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