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A Reality check report 2019 on Syrian newcomers

Abstract

The study focuses on a cohort of Syrian refugees who came to the Greater Toronto Area after 2015. The scale of the emigration – and of the massive positive public response to welcoming and accommodating those newcomers – is perhaps unparalleled in Canadian history. And their refugee experience is distinct from the earlier waves of Syrian immigrants and economic migrants. 

The Canadian response to the Syrian diaspora included settlement agencies, employment service providers and private citizens was also unprecedented. While this study canvassed members of each of these groups, it is perhaps unique in placing its primary focus on the experience of the Syrian-Canadian newcomers themselves.

Using a mix of qualitative and quantitative data, the report aims to put a human face on those who have arrived since 2015. The survey sample of 28 families – or approximately 200 individuals – is by no means exhaustive, but the results are indicative of a larger pattern. 

Through this focus group, we will shed light on issues and challenges faced by the Syrian refugees and provide recommendations – especially with regard to the settlement and employment service providers. These agencies are perhaps the finest example of Canada’s commitment to helping newcomers integrate and succeed in this country. It is the hope as the author of this report that the recommendations will help agencies do an even better job of meeting the needs of refugees fortunate enough to use their services.


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