Syrian Refugee Crisis: Call to Action

News Reported on September 24, 2015

Syrian Refugee Crisis
OASW strongly supports ongoing efforts focussed on the Syrian refugee crisis at the federal, provincial, municipal and local levels. It is vital that Canada has taken some concrete action. On September 12th, the federal government launched the Syria Emergency Relief Fund to support humanitarian relief efforts in response to the impact of the conflict in Syria. This is taking the form of the Government of Canada matching up to $100 million, effective immediately and until December 31, 2015, for donations to registered Canadian charities such as the Canadian Red Cross, UNICEF Canada, Oxfam Canada and World Vision. Previously, Premier Kathleen Wynne had pledged $10.5 million in funding to help settle refugees in Ontario, and aims to settle 10,000 refugees by the end of 2016. On the municipal level, Toronto Mayor John Tory took the lead in connecting with mayors across Canada to mobilize sponsoring Syrian refugees, and relief initiatives are taking place locally as well in communities across the province.  

We encourage OASW members to seek out ways of lending their assistance in keeping with the social work profession's core values of respect for the inherent dignity and worth of all persons; the equitable distribution of resources, services and opportunities for the overall benefit of humanity; and the right to protection from violence. As an Association, we are closely monitoring this crisis as it unfolds, and looking for specific short and longer term solutions such as resettlement programs which provide opportunities for social workers to become increasingly involved.