Podcast: how ordinary Canadians successfully sponsor refugees.

On the 12 March 2018, the Kaldor Centre hosted a presentation by Professor Audrey Macklin, Chair in Human Rights Law and Director of the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto.

Thousands of Canadians – businesses, church and community groups – have decided to sponsor refugees in the past couple of years. Why? How does it work? And are there lessons for Australia and other countries in their experience?

Since the 1970s, private sponsors have committed to giving emotional and financial support to an individual refugee resettling in Canada through a program unique in the world. Sponsors are involved at every step in the process, from initial paperwork to screening to setting up house. More than 280,000 people have resettled in Canada through this program. A sponsor herself, Professor Macklin in 2017 won a prestigious Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship to conduct empirical research about the impacts of Canada’s private sponsorship program.

Australia is currently establishing the Community Support Program, enabling community sponsorship of humanitarian entrants. As this program gets under way, what can we learn from Canada?