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The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) Fall 2015 Consultation

“Courage, Contributions, Resilience”  was the  theme for this year’s CCR Fall Consultation, which brought more than 300 refugees, NGO staff, immigrants, government representatives, academics, community workers and UNHCR representatives from across Canada and beyond together to discuss issues and ideas pertaining to migration.The consultation took place November 26–28 in Hamilton, Ontario. MOSAIC was represented by Sherman Chan, Director of Family and Settlement Services, who is serving as the Executive Member of CCR; Ninu Kang, Director of Communications and Development; John Dubé, Senior Manager of Settlement Programs; Darae Lee, Manager of Settlement and Integration; and Saleem Spindari, Manager of Community Outreach and Advocacy program.On behalf of the CCR Privacy Working Group, John Dubé facilitated a workshop on responding to formal and informal requests from the CBSA and CSIS for client information while upholding the duty to respect clients’ privacy. This workshop addressed concerns that organizations raised during the spring 2015 Consultation and shared a resource tool developed by the Working Group. While the resource tool was still in the drafting stage, the overall consensus was that no personal information should be disclosed without written client consent unless compelled by the law and that organizations have an obligation to protect their client’s privacy and act in their best interest.Darae Lee talked about sustainable community building by engaging in multi-sectoral partnerships, bridging potential employers, sponsors, settlement support and financial institutions. This is essential for successful multi-directional integration. Our work with private sponsors, Tibetan community groups and Tibetan newcomers was shared as a response model that could be emulated for the Syrian refugee crisis.Saleem Spindari presented a workshop on assessing potential cases of human trafficking. He discussed the scope of exploitation that falls under the definition of human trafficking, as well as the relevant legal frameworks against the practice. In particular, Saleem discussed the Palermo Protocol which was adopted by the United Nations in 2000 and ratified by Canada in 2002. This protocol can be summed up with “4P’s”: preventing the trafficking of persons; protecting victims; prosecuting offenders; and partnerships.Case studies of cases of forced labour taking place in Canada were also shared as concrete examples that participants could use in helping to identify cases of human trafficking.