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Canada Program

Canada Global Refugee Stream for Human Rights Defenders

The Canadian government has established a dedicated refugee stream for human rights defenders at risk who, due to intense persecution, are looking for a permanent resettlement option in Canada. There are a very limited number of places available to human rights defenders at risk and applicants must meet specific criteria in order to be eligible to apply.

The eligibility criteria are:

  • The applicant must be able to demonstrate that they are a human rights defender at risk, with a demonstrable track record of human rights work.
  • The applicant must meet the criteria to qualify as a refugee (see UNHCR definition)
  • The applicant must have fled their home country due to persecution
  • The applicant must be without access to a durable solution in the new host country
  • The applicant must be interested in permanent resettlement in Canada

If you would like to make an inquiry, please complete this secure online inquiry form.


Please note:

  • Due to the considerable numbers applying for a very limited number of places, those who do not demonstrate their ability to meet the criteria will not be contacted.
  • Repeated emailing to lobby in support of an inquiry is strongly discouraged and will result in no response.
  • The Refugee Stream is not a quick solution for emergency situations, but a process that may take several months or upwards of one year and will require submission of several detailed forms, comprehensive references and support documentation.
  • The Refugee Stream is managed by the Canadian Government. Front Line Defenders will advise the Canadian Government on human rights defenders at risk. Front Line Defenders will not be involved in the resettlement process itself.