Support refugees fleeing persecution and genocide


As a community with a history of fleeing persecution, Jewish Canadians have played a significant role in supporting refugees. Through synagogues and agencies such as Jewish Immigrant Aid Services Toronto, Jewish Canadians have sponsored many refugees, including Yazidis, Syrians, Ukrainians, and others. 

Since 2016, the Chinese Government has committed ongoing mass atrocities against the Uyghur people in East Turkistan. A confidential Chinese government document suggests there may be up to 1,400 extrajudicial internment facilities in total, excluding prisons, with capacity for up to 30,000 detainees. 

The Government of China acknowledged that, between 2014 and 2019, an average of 1.29 million people in the region per year have undergone “vocational training,” a euphemism for forced stays in detention facilities. Reports have documented that the Uyghur people are subjected to extreme physical and mental torture in concentration camps as well as to forced labour, mass rape, enforced disappearances, frequent deaths, and organ harvesting. China’s cruel treatment of the Uyghur people meets all criteria to be labeled a genocide under the UN Genocide Convention. 

When faith or ethnic communities are targeted for genocide, or sexual minorities subjected to capital punishment, Canada’s refugee system must offer a safe haven, and Canada must condemn genocide unequivocally. 


Continuing support of those targeted for their identity, such as Christians and Yazidis in Iraq, LGBTQ2+ people in Chechnya and Iran, Rohingyas in Myanmar, and Uyghurs in China, while the government works to improve and accelerate the refugee process. 

Drawing on Canadian civil society partners as sponsors and volunteers in supporting emergency initiatives to protect targeted minorities, as with the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. 

Condemning unequivocally the Uyghur genocide and working with partners in the international community to demand the closure of the concentration camps where Uyghurs are interned. 

Invoking the “Magnitsky Act” to hold perpetrators of violence responsible for their crimes against Uyghurs and working to protect the safety and security of Canadian citizens of Uyghur origin and their families. 

Join us in calling on the federal government to do more to support refugees and combat persecution and genocide around the world.

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  • AK
    Anil K. 2022-10-13 12:42:15 -0400
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, representing Jewish Federations across Canada. By clicking "Add your signature," you consent to receive periodic updates from CIJA. You can unsubscribe at any time.
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1 reaction
  • AK
    Anil Kaul signed 2022-10-13 12:42:15 -0400
    The Exodus of Kashmiri Hindus or Pandits, is their early-1990 migration or flight from the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley in Indian-administered Kashmir following rising violence in an insurgency. Of a total Pandit population of approx. 240,000 some 90,000-100,000 left the valley or felt compelled to leave and 30–80 were killed.

    During the period of substantial migration, the insurgency was being led by a group calling for a secular and independent Kashmir, but there were also growing Islamist factions envisioning an Islamic state. Although their numbers of dead and injured were low, the Pandits, who believed that Kashmir’s culture was tied to India’s, experienced fear and panic set off by targeted killings of some high-profile officials among their ranks and public calls for independence among the insurgents. The accompanying rumours and uncertainty together with the absence of guarantees for their safety by India’s federal government might have been the latent causes of the exodus. The descriptions of the violence as “genocide” or “ethnic cleansing” in some Hindu nationalist publications or among suspicions voiced by some exiled Pandits are widely considered inaccurate, aggressive, or propaganda by scholars.

    The cause of the Kashmiri Pandits was quickly championed by right-wing Hindu groups in India, which also preyed on their insecurities and further alienated them from Kashmiri Muslims. Some displaced Kashmiri Pandits have formed an several welfare organization, one among called Panun Kashmir (“Our own Kashmir”), which has asked for a separate homeland for Kashmiri Hindus in the Valley but has opposed autonomy for Kashmir on the grounds that it would promote the formation of an Islamic state. The return to the homeland in Kashmir also constitutes one of the main points of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s election platform. Kashmiri Pandits in exile have written autobiographical memoirs, novels, and poetry to record their experiences and to understand them. 19 January is observed by the Kashmiri Hindu communities as Exodus Day.