Canada has experienced a substantial surge in processing asylum applications this year, reaching nearly 60,000, the highest number in almost a decade. The driving force behind this increase can be attributed to the escalation of global conflicts and crises.
As conflicts and crises continue to unfold, an increasing number of people are seeking asylum not only in Canada but in any country that can offer refuge. Azadeh Tamjeedi, a senior legal officer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Ottawa, points out a direct correlation between the rising influx of asylum seekers in Canada and the global trend of individuals seeking protection from violence and instability.
The world is grappling with a proliferation of conflicts, yet there seems to be little resolution to address the root causes of displacement. Consequently, more people are compelled to seek safety by moving to different countries.
Despite the notable rise in asylum applications, it’s crucial to recognize that Canada only receives a small fraction of the total number of individuals seeking safety globally. In 2022, the UNHCR reported an overwhelming 108.4 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, and almost one-third of them were classified as refugees. Canada’s two per cent share of asylum claims highlights the immense scale of the global refugee crisis.
Sharry Aiken, the board chair of the FCJ Refugee Centre in Toronto, also emphasizes that Canada’s increase in asylum seekers remains relatively modest when compared to the vast number of refugees worldwide.
While the rise in applications is significant for Canada, it represents merely a fraction of the broader challenges faced by refugees seeking safety and protection on a global scale. The need for humanitarian response and support remains immense.