The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration at Canadian parliament invited officials from the department of immigration within Canadian government on Tuesday, Nov 7, 2017, to discuss the resettlement issues related to Yezidi women, girls and children.
Dawn Edlund, Associate Assistant Deputy Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada reported that 807 survivors have already arrived to Canada by last October 29 from Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey; 81% are Yazidis (230 women 170 men and 390 are children). She also acknowledges the positive role of Yazda and other organisations in this resettlement program.
Since June 2016, Yazda is providing first application screening for Canada, Australia and the USA to resettle Yazidi survivors in these countries. Yazda and through the administrative support or Bataqa program provided support to around 1500 survivors and hundreds of their family members. mainly in helping for administrative process. The most frequent cases are:
1-Application for the small pension for survivors
2-Replacement of missing documents.
3-Applications for resettlement in Canada, USA, Australia.
4-Application to funds that allow a one-off payment to survivors.
5-Family reunification in foreign countries.
6-Administrative follow-ups on special cases (children with no family and especially vulnerable individuals)
Through the same program, Yazda is working with the Iraqi government, especially with the Baghdad’s Directorate of Social Protection for women (part of the Ministry of Social Affairs) since more than 2 years to provide ongoing financial support to the survivors. So far Yazda was able to secure monthly salaries of 150.000 IQD for over 700 survivors, applications of 383 more survivors have been approved by Iraqi minister of social affairs and 214 applications for new survivors are in the in the process.
Nadia Murad, UNODC Goodwill Ambassador, Haider Elias, Yazda President, Dalal Abbas, Yazda Canada Director and Mathew Barber, the former director of Yazda Iraq, have also testified before the immigration and citizenship committee last week and requested the Canadian government to resettle more survivors and provide more help on the ground for Yazidis and other minorities in Iraq.
Yazda thanks the Canadian government for the support to those desperate survivors.