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Useful resources for journalists

You can contact the UNHCR communications team in Canada. In addition, UNHCR’s partners in the field who work with refugees and asylum-seekers are also helpful resources.

Get help from UNHCR

What role does UNHCR play?
As the world’s leading refugee agency, UNHCR delivers and coordinates international relief for displaced persons. Whether through an emergency response or long-term assistance in urban settings and camps, UNHCR supports these individuals until they can return to their country of origin or establish themselves in a new home.

UNHCR works to ensure that every individual can exercise their right to seek asylum and find safe refuge, with the opportunity to return home one day or find an alternative solution.

The office of UNHCR in Canada has been in existence since 1976 and has four objectives:

  • Promote the highest standards of protection for refugees and asylum-seekers in Canadian policies and legislation
  • Seek sustainable solutions in Canada through refugee resettlement and the development of complementary pathways
  • Communicate by informing and educating the public about the situation of refugees and UNHCR’s mandate
  • Raise funds from the Canadian public and the Government of Canada for UNHCR programming around the world
How can UNHCR help you?
UNHCR’s annual reports on global trends, news releases, data portals and operational updates are an invaluable source of information for fully understanding humanitarian issues around the world. The annual Global Trends report compiles data on countries, population profiles, the number of people repatriated to their country, and estimates on the number of stateless people.

UNHCR encompasses a network of experts in 135 countries available to give interviews in the field. For contact information for UNHCR spokespersons worldwide, see this list.

A bank of UNHCR multimedia content (photographs, B-roll videos, infographics, graphic animations, etc.), called Refugees Media, is available to all information stakeholders.

Who can I contact at UNHCR?
You can contact the UNHCR communications
team in Canada:
Levon Sevunts
Communications Officer
Tel. : 613-286-6975
Email :

Other helpful resources

Individuals and entities working with asylum seekers and refugees are active at all levels of government and in civil society. Below is a non-exhaustive list of relevant resource entities in Canada.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

IRCC is the federal department that facilitates the arrival of immigrants, provides protection to refugees and, through its programs, helps newcomers settle in Canada.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

The CBSA administers legislation governing the admissibility of persons on their arrival in Canada. Officers also determine who should be detained and are responsible for the removal of persons who are inadmissible.

Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) - Refugee Protection Division (RPD)

The IRB is the largest independent administrative tribunal in Canada. Its mission is to make informed decisions on immigration and refugee matters efficiently, fairly and in accordance with the law.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)

The RCMP is Canada’s national police force. In certain regions of the country, the RCMP is also responsible for provincial and municipal policing. RCMP officers are stationed between official ports of entry at Canada’s land border and elsewhere.

Québec Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI)

MIFI is a government department in Quebec responsible for immigration, francisation, and integration of new arrivals in the province.

Regional Program for the Settlement and Integration of Asylum-Seekers (PRAIDA)

Set up by the provincial government, PRAIDA carries out a regional mandate to meet the needs of asylum-seekers throughout Quebec.

Bureau d’intégration des nouveaux arrivants à Montréal (BINAM) [newcomer office]

The Newcomer Office (BINAM) is a municipal department set up to help newcomers integrate into Montreal’s society and economy, and work towards the inclusion of immigrants and racialized people.

Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR)

The CCR is a national non-profit umbrella organization committed to the rights and protection of refugees and other vulnerable migrants in Canada and around the world.

Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiés et immigrantes (TCRI) [refugee and immigrant service organization table]

The TCRI is an umbrella group of community organizations committed to the rights and protection of refugees and immigrants in Quebec throughout their immigration, settlement and integration journey through services, assistance, support, critical thinking, and solidarity.

Action Réfugiés Montréal (ARM)

ARM is a non-profit refugee advocacy organization. It works on multiple fronts through its detainment, sponsorship and twinning programs and helps raise awareness within Quebec society about the issue of refugee rights. The organization works on multiple fronts, including supporting detainees.

Réseau d’intervention auprès des personnes ayant subi la violence organisée (RIVO) [organized violence response Network]

RIVO Résilience is a network that fosters the rehabilitation and integration of newcomers and anyone traumatized prior to their arrival in Canada by organized violence, whether political, social, religious or identity-related.

Quebec Immigration Lawyers Association (AQAADI)

The AQAADI was founded in 1991 to group Quebec lawyers actively working in the field of immigration to help them make better use of the services provided by the Quebec Bar and to allow for better representation of the group before political, judicial and administrative institutions dealing with federal and provincial immigration.

Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL)

The Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers serves as an informed national voice on refugee law and the human rights of refugees and forced migrants and promotes just and consistent practices in the treatment of refugees in Canada.

The Discourse

The Discourse is a collaborative initiative involving some 30 refugees, social workers and academics to provide guidance to journalists in their media coverage of refugees and asylum-seekers.

Define American

This organization recently published a toolkit for journalists interested in speaking with undocumented migrants and asylum-seekers in the United States. Although focused on American politics, the practices outlined are transferable to different contexts.

Legal Aid Ontario

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) provides legal help in English and French for financially eligible low‑income Ontarians, including services in refugee and immigration legal issues.

Legal Aid Montreal | Laval

In 1973, the Commission des services juridiques created Legal Aid Montreal| Laval. They are part of the provincial legal aid network composed of 11 community legal aid centres and one local centre.

Matthew House Ottawa

Matthew House Ottawa is a non-profit organization that provides shelter, furnishings and community to refugees and those transitioning to permanent housing.

Matthew House Toronto

Matthew House Toronto offers a range of support services to help refugee claimants establish new lives in Canada. This includes: shelter, settlement support, and community transitions.

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