TORONTO, Oct. 26, 2021 – HanVoice, a Canadian human rights organization, announced today the historic launch of a private sponsorship pilot for North Korean refugees. This pilot program allows Canadians to privately sponsor and resettle North Korean refugees: for North Koreans who have undergone an arduous 5,000-kilometre journey to escape the harsh brutalities of an authoritarian regime, this program presents a historic opportunity to start life anew in Canada.
In partnership with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), HanVoice will facilitate the process of bringing five North Korean refugee families to Canada within two years. The pilot will focus on the most vulnerable North Koreans, refugee women and their children, who currently make up 80% of refugees and are at significant risk of sexual and gender-based violence.
“North Koreans who flee their country have very few options of settling safely without risk of detention or repatriation. Canada is now a safe pathway,” says Sean Chung, Executive Director at HanVoice.
“In fact, Canada is the only country to resettle North Korean refugees using a private sponsorship model, a ‘made-in- Canada’ community-led approach that has been copied around the world. Canadians have rallied together to open up this historic pathway. We hope this can be the spark that opens new doors around the world for North Korean refugees.”
Canada is the first country to accept North Korean refugees through the help of ordinary citizens. North Koreans face many obstacles in resettling in third countries; Canada is now one of three countries that accepts North Koreans. The pilot launches in Feb 2022 and asks Canadians to donate to support the resettlement of North Korean refugees.
This press release has been reprinted from the HanVoice website.