Canada ranks 4th most welcoming country for refugees
May 19, 2016
A survey of citizens in 27 countries ranks Canada fourth among the world’s most welcoming countries for refugees after China, Germany and the United Kingdom.
The survey by Amnesty International found that 80 per cent of 27,000 respondents would welcome refugees with open arms and take them into their own homes.
Based on a scale of 0 to 100, GlobeScan, the consulting firm commissioned for the study, came up with the Refugees Welcome Index based on responses to standard questions to measure participants’ attitudes toward refugees.
China topped the ranking with a score of 85, followed by Germany (84), the U.K. (83) and Canada (76), with Australia (73) rounding off the top five.
“These figures speak for themselves. People are ready to make refugees welcome, but governments’ inhumane responses to the refugee crisis are badly out of touch with the views of their own citizens,” Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty said in a statement.
“Governments must heed these results, which clearly show the vast majority of people ready and willing to make refugees welcome in their country. Governments cannot allow their response to the refugee crisis to be held hostage by headlines. Too often they use xenophobic anti-refugee rhetoric to chase approval ratings.”
The Index was released Thursday on the eve of next week’s World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey among world leaders to commit to a new, permanent system for sharing the responsibility to host and resettle refugees.
The survey found:
- Globally, 80 per cent of respondents said they would accept refugees in their country and 32 per cent would welcome them in their neighbourhood.
- Of all respondents, only 17 per cent said they would refuse refugees entry to their country.
- In Canada, 43 per cent of respondents would welcome refugees in the country and only 8 per cent would refuse their entry.
- Support for access to asylum is stronger in Canada (87%), Spain (78%), Germany (69%) and Greece (64%).
- The least support for more government action came from Russia (26%), Thailand (29%) and India (41%).
Amnesty International is calling on world leaders to commit to resettling 1.2 million refugees by the end of 2017, twelve-fold from the meagre 100,000 taken in annually by their governments.
“Governments’ efforts to keep out people fleeing war and persecution fly in the face of the humanity and solidarity shown by their own citizens, not to mention their obligations under international law,” said Shetty.
“Refugees should be helped, protected and welcomed into communities, not held at arm’s length in refugee camps and detention centres.”
Since November, Ottawa has resettled 27,190 Syrian refugees alone — both government-assisted and privately-sponsored — to Canada.