Falling Out of Status

For many refugees who are unable to successfully navigate through the challenging Canadian refugee system, there are simply no recourse, no appeal processes, and no one to hear their plea.  As a result of fierce oppression and persecution, these refugees experience overwhelming fear in the prospect of returning to their country of origin. Despite not being able obtain refugee status in Canada; going home is often not an option.

By staying in Canada undocumented, these refugees find themselves falling into an even more precarious position, through their lack of status, rights or resources. They are denied the basic necessities of health and well-being, becoming an underclass even below that of refugee claimants. Living without status means that these individuals and families are technically invisible and non-existent to the state, living day to day in fear. They fear not only deportation, but also exploitation and abuse since there is no protection for non-status individuals, even the police is their enemy.

The purpose of the Canadian refugee system is to protect and provide a safe haven for those who are truly in need. Yet for many of those people, they have fallen through the cracks of a difficult and unjust refugee system to be further condemned to a life of abuse and suffering. Today is World Refugee Day, as the number of world refugees hits 50 million, the highest since WWII, we remember all those individuals and families who are displaced with no place to call home.

What is The Lighthouse doing to help?

The Lighthouse is proud to provide specific services to assist refugees in dealing with the trauma that is experienced. By working within the community, through leadership courses, volunteer work, and counseling, we walk step by step with refugees throughout the application and settlement process. The Lighthouse works with lawyers and other professionals to advocate on behalf of our clients and to ensure that our clients receive a fair opportunity to plead their case before the court, and their subsequent successful integration into Canadian society.



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