Humane touch to refugee program


By Gerald V. Paul


Failed refugee claimants are buying into a programme to leave Canada voluntarily on a good footing.

So far, more than 2,000 people have taken part in the government’s Assisted Voluntary Returns and Reintegration pilot programme, which offers as much as $2, 000  and a one-way plane ticket to any refugee claimant denied asylum who will voluntary go home.

“For people who are going to return home rather than being shuffled out and dropped at the airport, it makes their return easier with the support,” noted Janet Dench of the Canadian Council for Refugees.

Between the registration in the programme and the person’s departure date to their home country, is approximately 32 days.

The programme, only available in the Toronto region, offers participants assistance from the International Organization for Migration to help with planning their return: obtaining travel documents, booking plane tickets and give advice on developing a personal plan to help them reintegrate into their home country upon return.

While they may not receive the full $2,000 bonus, returnees through a dispensing system at a local partner agency, can use the money to start a small business or go back to school.