Open letter on Afghan refugee protection and resettlement to Canada

August 19, 2021

The Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS) observes with increasing alarm the multiplication of attacks against human rights in Afghanistan, along with the limitations of people’s mobility and reprisals against individuals and their families.

Given its mandate, focused on refugee and forced migration issues, CARFMS supports unreservedly the “Open letter on Afghan refugee protection and resettlement to Canada”. This letter calls on the Government of Canada to act urgently in order to resettle 20,000 Afghans to Canada, and mobilize additional resources to support the evacuation, protection and resettlement efforts of Afghan asylum seekers and refugees (see below specific recommendations in the text of the Open letter).

Also, CARFMS encourages its members and friends to read this open letter, disseminate it to peers, and sign it:

In solidarity,

Bruno Dupeyron, PhD
President, CARFMS

Open letter on Afghan refugee protection and resettlement to Canada

August 19, 2021

Justin Trudeau, Leader, Liberal Party of Canada
Erin O’Toole, Leader, Conservative Party of Canada
Yves-François Blanchet, Leader, Bloc Québécois
Jagmeet Singh, Leader, New Democratic Party
Annamie Paul, Leader, Green Party of Canada

We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in Afghanistan. Canada has a moral obligation to act urgently, drawing on historical precedents of innovative, large-scale refugee resettlement over 40 years.

We call on the Canadian government to:

  • Expedite the resettlement process for 20,000 Afghans to Canada and waive or streamline requirements given the time-sensitive nature of the current crisis. Only Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) should be counted as part of this 20,000 commitment.
  • Commit to as many additional privately sponsored refugees (PSRs) from Afghanistan as sponsorship agreement holders can support and waive refugee status document requirements for PSRs.
  • Immediately prioritize and urgently process applications for family reunification from Afghan-Canadians and permanent residents in Canada.
  • Automatically extend all temporary visas and permits of Afghan citizens currently in Canada. Those whose refugee claims have previously been refused should be given opportunities to access permanent residence.
  • Immediately evacuate those Afghans and their families who urgently require protection (including family members of people already granted protection in Canada). Where necessary, temporary resident permits should be issued to allow for immediate departure.
  • Lead by example — as well as engage in diplomacy to encourage other countries — to respect the right of Afghans to claim asylum; to keep borders open; to implement a moratorium on deportations to Afghanistan; to expand resettlement; and to coordinate funding, evacuation and humanitarian assistance efforts.
  • Provide increased funding and support to refugee-hosting countries in the Global South.


Christina Clark-Kazak, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa

Jennifer Hyndman, Professor, York University

Alex Neve, Senior Fellow, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa

Jamie Liew, Director, Institute of Feminist & Gender Studies, University of Ottawa

Mustafa Alio, Managing Director, R-SEAT

Susan McGrath C.M., Professor Emerita, York University

Mary Jo Leddy, Romero House

Emily Regan Wills, Associate Professor, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa

Anne Woolger, Founding Director of Matthew House Refugee 

Nadia Abu-Zahra, Associate Professor and Joint Chair in Women’s Studies at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University

Adèle Garnier, Professeur adjointe, Université Laval

Audrey Macklin, Professor, University of Toronto, Faculty of Law and Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies

Bruno Dupeyron, Professor

Howard Adelman, Professor Philosophy Emeritus York University

Naomi Alboim, Distinguished Fellow, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University

Don Dippo, University Professor, Faculty of Education and Centre for Refugee Studies, York University 

Neda Maghbouleh, Canada Research Chair in Migration, Race, and Identity; Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto

Shauna Labman, Associate Professor, Global College, University of Winnipeg

Michaela Hynie, Professor, York University

Wenona Giles, FRSC, Professor Emerita, York University

Julie Young, Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Critical Border Studies & Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Environment, University of Lethbridge

Sharalyn Jordan, Associate Professor, Counselling Psychology & Equity Studies Simon Fraser University

Megan Bradley, Associate Professor, Political Science and International Development Studies, McGill University

Kiran Banerjee, Assistant Professor

Elizabeth McWeeny, CM

Marian Rossiter

Sherry Johnson, Associate Professor, York University

Dr. Kathryn Tomko Dennler, Researcher

Nancy Clark, Assistant professor

Rabindra Chaulagain, PhD Candidate

Huguette Hayden , MD, UCV SAH

Sofia Noori, Adjunct Professor at York University and Seneca College

Lara RosenoffGauvin, Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Dr Calum TM Nicholson

Alexander Vernon, Director, Immigration Law Clinic, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

Erin Goheen, Lecturer, University of British Columbia

Lucas Driediger, Settlement Worker

Yuriko Cowper-Smith, Director, Canadian Centre on Statelessness

Adèle Mardoche, Refugee rights advocate

Mohamed Duale, PhD Candidate, Educator & Researcher

Maritza Felices-Luna, Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa

Aryan Karimi, Banting Postdoctoral Fellow, UBC

Saguna Shankar, PhD Candidate

Nicole Ives, Associate Professor

Joanna Berry, Lawyer & Professor

Philomène Franssen, Refugee rights advocate and Independent consultant

Patricia Jabonero, Human Ecologist- Immigration and Settlement

Aida Orgocka, Manager

Mazen Hamadeh, Associate Professor

Benjamin Liston, Lawyer

Zoha Salam, Ph.D student

Raziyeh Javanmard, McGill Alumni

Matthew Behrens, Coordinator, Rural Refugee Rights Network

Michele Millard, Coordinator, Centre for Refugee Studies, York University

Matthew Stevens, Director, Lessons Learned Simulations and Training

Jaslyn Prihar , Graduate Research Assistant

Kate Webster, Barrister and Solicitor

Kristin Marshall, Refugee lawyer and trainer

Sinmi Akin-Aina , Doctoral Researcher Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology

Joanna Wedge, Senior consultant, child protection in humanitarian action

Laurie Cooper, Founder, Canada Caring Society

August Guillaume

Bronwyn Bragg, Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Refugee Studies

Andrea Viens, Communications at the Canadian Council for Refugees

Rev. Dr. Jan Bigland-Pritchard, Priest in Charge, St. Francis Anglican Worship Community

Richa Shivakoti, Migration Researcher

Corey Robinson, Consultant, Humanitarian Outcomes

Ranu Basu, Associate Professor, York University

Michele Manocchi, PhD – Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychology, Western University

Ramina Johal

Teresa Gomes, Executive Director of Sisters Across Oceans (non-profit)

Saskia Van Viegen, Assistant Professor York University

Sarah Marshall, PhD Candidate

Grant Curtis, Former Afghanistan Aid Worker, PhD Candidate Dalhousie University

Gerald Kernerman, Associate Professor of Political Science, York University

Michael Gordon, PhD Candidate, McMaster University

Farhana Jogiat, Settlement Worker

Nargiza Shaibekova, Immigration Council

Johanna Reynolds, Researcher

Dina Taha, PhD candidate – York university

Luin Goldring, Professor of Sociology, York University

Louise Slobodian, Resettlement Case Manager, KEYS Job Centre

Wesley Jordan Oakes

Lawlor Wm. Lee, MSW, EdD

Tarek Hamdan, Resettlement Case Manager

Jenni Wagler, Caseworker; MSW, RSW

Siham Abosita, Refugee Advisory Network

Anna Purkey, Assistant Professor, Human Rights Program Director, St. Paul’s University College

Rachel McNally, PhD Student in Political Science

Kamaluddin Wish, Outreach Case Manager

Zari Moradi, Coordinator (non-profit)

Jacqueline Derrah, Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada

Avin Mhmed, Outreach Case manager

Mark Bigland-Pritchard

Miriam Jurigova, Manager and Legal Advocate, MOSAIC Legal Advocacy Program

Suhair Naimy, Case Manager

Luann Good Gingrich, Professor, York University

Sally Abdullah, Project officer

Jen Powley

Anna Hill

Vanessa Redditt, MD, Clinical Lecturer, Dept of Family & Community Medicine and Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Loren Balisky, Director of Engagement

Megan Capp, Instructor, University of the Fraser Valley

Tarek Elmaghraby, Coordinator for Volunteer Newcomer services

Mssko Wakil, Youth Case Manager

Paul Clarke, Chair of the Congregational Board, Cedar Park United

Nicolas Parent, PhD Candidate, McGill University

Hassan Shire  E.D.,

Hayli A. Millar, Associate Professor, University of the Fraser Valley

Shiva Nourpanah, PhD

Stephanie Baker Collins

Suzanne Dudziak , Associate professor

Karima Karmali, Lawyer

Suzanne Dudziak , Associate Professor

Maria Luz

Petra Molnar, Associate Director, Refugee Law Lab, York University

Emilie Longtin, Graduate Student

Jobb Arnold, Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution Studies

Louis-Philippe Jannard

Maheen Hyder, Trauma Therapist

James C. Simeon, Head of McLaughlin College, Associate Professor, School of Public Policy and Administration, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, York University

Shane Molyneaux, Lawyer

Belinda Dodson

Nesa Bandarchian, PhD Student

Maxine Both, Phd Researcher, European University Institute

Derek Chu, Director of Operations

Nadeea Rahim

Nergis Canefe, PhD, SJD, York University

Melissa McLeod

Anneke Smit, Associate Professor, Windsor Law

Merve Erdilmen, PhD Candidate, McGill University

Alicia Poole, PhD Student, McGill Sociology

Emilie Coyle

Mulugeta Abai, Executive Director

Brydon Gombay

Renee Sylvain, Associate Professor

Cristiano d’Orsi, Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer

Isabelle Lemay, PhD candidate in International Development

Janet Cleveland, Researcher, Institut universitaire SHERPA

Nazanin Moghadami, MCP, RCC

Delphine Nakache, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa

Wajma Soroor

Bilkis Vissandjee, Professor – Université de Montréal

Maseeh Sidky, Lawyer

Leah Hamilton, Professor, Bissett School of Business, Mount Royal University

Rena Vanstone

John Liss, lawyer

Idil Atak, Associate Professor, Ryerson University

Anton Brakhage

Wei William Tao, Immigration and Refugee Lawyer

Jennifer Dagsvik, Director, Newcomer Legal Clinic

Avineet Cheema, Immigration and Refugee Lawyer

Amar Khoday, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba

Razmeen Joya, Lawyer (Refugee and Immigration)

Andrew Koltun, Articling Student, Immigration Law Firm

Tyler Correia, PhD Candidate, York University

Dushahi Sribavan, Barrister and Solicitor

Marian Rossiter

Jana Walkowski, MA Candidate, McGill

Stéfanie Morris , Researcher and JD Candidate, University of Ottawa

Rafi Charif, Case manager / facilitator

Christopher Anderson, Associate Professor, Political Science, Wilfrid Laurier University

Stephan Reichhold, Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes

Stephan Reichhold, TCRI

Michael Orsini, Professor, University of Ottawa

Chris Bruckert

Narjes Hashemi, PhD Student

Adrienne Carter, Director of Services, VICCIR

Thiago Buchert

Rex Brynen, Professor, McGill University

Kawa Sahab

John Carlaw, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Migration and Integration Program, X University

Evelyn Calugay, Pinay coordinator

Pablo Bose, Associate Professor, University of Vermont

Diana Hall , Articling Student in Immigration & Refugee Law

Emily K. M. Scott, Postdoctoral Researcher, McGill University

Nicholas A. R. Fraser, Associate, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto

Rachelle Hole

François Crépeau , Professor, McGill University

Luna Vives, Assistant Professor, Université de Montréal

Aziz Rahman, PhD Candidate

Hadi Husaini, Conveyance and Planning Engineer

Mariam Roya

Suzan Ilcan, Professor

Kahiye Warsame

Alex Iskandar Audi

Amélie Bharadwa

Rahul Balasundaram

Husna Sarwar, McGill Faculty of Law, Student

Diane Tzovanis

Shanshan Hua

Safia Amiry, PhD Student

Yuri Aikawa

Klaus Gruber

Yukari Takai, Research Associate

Pradheepa Simonpillai

Zohra Faize , Public servant

Yassie Pirani, Counsellor

Serena Visser, Instructor

Nosheen Hotaki

Sharon Kavanagh, Private Sponsor

James Milner, Associate Professor, Carleton University

Zahra Rahimi, @Zahra Danishgo

Anne Dymond, Associate Professor

Ratna Ghosh, Professor

Christiane Wilke, Associate Professor, Carleton University

Matthew Tran, Law Student

Yolande Pottie-Sherman, Associate Professor, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

Robert Falconer, Research Associate, University of Calgary

Meaghan Patrick, Lawyer

Sharmin Rahman, Immigration lawyer

Dr. Jessica Msofe

Xiaoli Jing, PhD candidate

Edith Forman, Retired teacher

Irmak Kurtulmus, PhD Student

Dagmar Soennecken, Dr., Associate Professor

Partawmina Hashemee, Afghan Women’s Resource Center

Brad Kinnie, Executive Director, Journey Home Community

Diana Allan, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology & ISID, McGill University

Sule Tomkinson, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Université Laval

Laura Madokoro, Associate Professor, Carleton University

Adelina Iftene, Assistant Professor Schulich Law Dalhousie

Catherine Baillie Abidi

Ramis Jamali

Erin Fitzpatrick, Lawyer/ Social Worker

Bill Watkins

Maihemuti Dilimulati

Anna Du Vent

Maria Alexiou

Eunice Valenzuela L., Refugee Specialist/Settlement Worker

Hamed Niknam, Research Associate McGill University

Gloria Nafziger

Aziz Froutan

Alexandra Pierre, Présidente, Ligue des droits et liberté

Cheryl Clarke

Dr. Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant, Professor

Claudia Serrano, PhD student, University of British Columbia

Sultana Hadi

David Webster, History & Global Studies Professor, Bishop’s Unviersity

Kenya-Jade Pinto, Lawyer and Filmmaker-in-Residence, York University Refugee Law Lab

Anna Su, Associate Professor, University of Toronto

Erin Simpson , Partner, Landings LLP

Devon Smither, Associate Professor, University of Lethbridge

Colin Sands

Shayna Plaut, University of Manitoba

Edris Arib

Valerie Booth

Beryl Pilkington, Professor Emerita

Roda Siad, PhD Student, McGill University

Cathy Nguyen, Sponsorship Program Coordinator

Lotf Jan Ali, Immigration Consultant- Specialized in Global Refugee

Ramzia Ashrafi, RN, BScN, MN

Razia Ashrafi

Niamatullah Honaryar, President

Maryla Ali, Barrister & Solicitor

Shaista Noori

Sharon Schmidt, International Association for Refugees Canada

Kim Nickel

So Young Chang, Doctoral candidate, Bielefeld University

Mehrabuddin Karimdad , Small business owner

denise helly

Abul Samimi , IT

Alaa Hamid

Marie-Eve Desrosiers, Associate Professor, Graduate School in Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa

Grace Barakat, PhD Candidate

Uri Ben-Gal

Marina Sharpe, Assistant Professor, International Studies, Royal Military College Saint-Jean

Mursal Ashrafi

Romina Ewaz Ali, Specialist in Environnement

Elaine Coburn, Director of the Centre for Feminist Research, York University

Craig Damian Smith , Senior Research Associate, CERC in Migration & Integration

Gail Keeping

Kamela Ali, Concerned Afghan

Enamuddin Darwish, A Concerned Afghan

Asmaa Ahmadi

Fatema Ahmadi

La’aia Ahmadi

Kate Motluk

Nilab Rasooli, Accountant

Fareen Rajabali, Canadian citizen

  1. Y. Alice Chan, Executive Director & Co-Founder, The Centre for Civic Religious Literacy

Deborah Brock, Associate Professor

Gizem K. Çakmak, Phd Candidate

Jennifer Taylor, Lawyer

Tom Naciuk

Kathryn Barber

Rosel Kim

Rashid Ali, Director

Marina Morrow, Professor

Thamana Darwish, Research Director

Rahela Ali

Ann Marie Babineau

Geetanjali Gill, Assistant Professor in Global Development Studies, University of the Fraser Valley

Helal Dhali, Helal Dhali

Manvi Hasija , Deputy Director

Laïla Demirdache , Staff lawyer, Community Legal Services of Ottawa

Ayaan popatiya

Farhnaz Fazli

Reza Heidari, Student

Binoy Pattharwala

Jesse Tailor, grad student & activist

Harris Mukhtiar

Leigha Comer, PhD Candidate

Sabrina Couture

Yasmen Abuzaid

Noor Abdullah

Farkhunda Alef, Student @ UofT

Harvey Skinner, Professor, Psychology & Global Health, York University

Didem Doğar, LL.M., PhD candidate, McGill University, Faculty of Law

Dessa Nguyen, Barrister & Solicitor

Nasrollah Rajaei , Former employee of the Ministry of Agriculture,Irrigation and Livestock of Afghanistan

Lauren Clarke

Sean Rehaag, Associate Professor, York Univesrity, Osgoode Hall Law School & Centre for Refugee Studies

Hadia Samim, Project Manager, Impact and Development

Mujtaba Nessari, Law Enforcement

Asiba Naibkhil, Ms

Khalid S, Commercial Banker

Walwala Samim

Mursal Nakshbandy

Saman Habib, Ms.

Zarina cheshty

Salina Safi

Ariana Bakhtar, Engineer

Mursal Maqsood

Jamila Aleaf

Zahra Rasoul

Razia palani

Marta Gallegos

Zhal Sean

Fatima Palani

Kirushanth Sri

Jorgen Harink

Farishta Qadirian

Suhan Junaid

Shannon Hutcheson

Shazi N

Muzhda Qaium

Sahar Khawar

Safia Alif

Mariam Vaziri, Ms.

Faten Kikano, Doctor

Daniella Birlain , PhD candidate

Gavrielle Guzik

Samanta García Fialdini, Articling Student

Radhika Mongia, Associate Professor, York University

Zar w

Natalie Kouri-Towe, Assistant Professor, Concordia University

Sharmarke Dubow, City Councillor

Nadia El-Shaarawi

Nanda Na Champasak

Allison Rhoades, Staff Lawyer

Nova Chamberlin, Manager, Innovative Projects

Mary Purkey

Aleks Dughman-Manzur, Rainbow Refugee

Anouk Malboeuf

Olga Stachova, CEO, MOSAIC

Kim Logan

Najah Hage, Associate Director

John MacQueen , BSc.

Shaheen Nanji

Chloé Naud, Intervenante sociale, projet Femmes de tous les horizons

Valérie Ayotte-Bouchard

Jennifer Lee

Khim Tan

Emilie Longtin, Graduate Student

Lauren Schellenberg, PhD student, McGill University

Mehdi Babaei, Faculty Lecturer

Alexa Ahooja

Maria Ezcurra, PhD, MFA, McGill University

Heather McPherson , PhD

Olga Zamudio, PhD

Alicia Dyck

Anna Snyder, Ph. D., Associate Professor, Conflict Resolution Studies, Menno Simons College

Stephen Piper, Associate Professor, University of the Fraser Valley

Aaron White, Co-National Director, 24-7 Prayer Canada

Anna Zaffina

Hilda Castillo

Karun K. Karki, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work and Human Services; Faculty Associate, Community Health and Social Innovation

Philip S. S. Howard, Assistant Professor, McGill University

Dawn Wiseman, Associate Professor, Bishop’s University

Marzia Hosseini, Health Worker

Koki Yamada

Karen Johnson, Community Connections Program Coordinator, NWT Literacy Council

Holly Janzen

Sandra Lehalle

Kirsten Pontalti

Stephanie Silverman

Y.Y. Chen, Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa

Sarika Navanathan

Anila Asghar, Associate Professor

Kazue Takamura, Senior Faculty Lecturer, McGill University

Joan Andersen

Maria Fiskilis

Mina Nazir

Norbert Piché, Country Director – JRS Canada

Isa Nafissi

Siena Grilo

(Signatures up to end of August 30, 2021; the letter remains open for signatures)