FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2017
Toronto, ON – In response to reports that the Government of Canada has granted asylum to dozens of gay and bisexual men fleeing persecution in Chechnya, Tom Chervinsky, Chair of CIJA’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Council, issued the following statement:
“We commend the Government of Canada for its compassion and actions to preserve the lives and dignity of at least 31 innocent Chechens targeted for hate. Sadly, these individuals represent but a small number of those persecuted around the world simply for being LGBTQ+. While applauding the Government’s positive response to those suffering in Chechnya, we encourage the Government to consider establishing a permanent mechanism to better enable LGBTQ+ refugees facing dire conditions to receive asylum in Canada.”
In April, CIJA and its LGBTQ+ Advisory Council wrote to the Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Hon. Ahmed Hussein, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship urging the Government to grant emergency visas to LGBTQ+ Chechens fleeing persecution.
- CIJA’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Council was established in February 2017 to provide CIJA with guidance regarding policies and issues of interest to the LGBTQ+ community, while strengthening CIJA’s capacity to engage local LGBTQ+ activists and organizations across Canada.
- The Council consists of fourteen members from seven provinces.
- The Council includes both Jewish and non-Jewish members with a diverse range of professional and political backgrounds, including experience in law, academia, business, politics, advocacy and Jewish community work.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA.
For more information, please contact:
Manager, Communications and Media Relations
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)