“This initiative aims to share Canada’s experience and support the adoption of similar models in other countries. The ultimate goal is to increase refugee protection by mobilizing the compassion that exists in communities around the world.”
Jennifer Bond, University of Ottawa
Community-based sponsorship programs allow individuals to directly engage in refugee resettlement efforts. Sponsors commit to providing financial, emotional and resettlement support to help newly-arrived refugees integrate into life in a new country.
The Canadian government has resettled more than 300,000* refugees through its Private Sponsorship of Refugees program since it was introduced in 1979. In addition, hundreds of communities across Canada have benefited by coming together to welcome privately sponsored refugees.
The success of Canada’s private sponsorship program demonstrates that community-based sponsorship programs can build powerful bonds between sponsors and refugees; strengthen host communities; and foster positive attitudes towards refugees and resettlement. Canada’s privately sponsored refugees also tend to have relatively early, positive integration and settlement outcomes, thanks in part to the social support they receive from sponsors.
*As of January 2017.