Canada’s Policy Response to Refugee Young People from War-Affected Regions: The Case of Halifax, Nova Scotia
MetadataShow full item record
Displacement around the world has surpassed anything seen in modern history. In 2018, the UNHCR reported that 70.8 million people have been displaced worldwide, with just over half of them being under the age of 18. Of the total number of displaced persons, 41.3 million have been internally displaced in their home country, 25.9 million are refugees, and 3.5 million are asylum seekers. The UNHCR also reports that over half of displaced people are under the age of 18. While we know there are major challenges in supporting refugee youth from war-affected regions in Canada as a whole, we need to know more about how smaller urban centres such as Halifax can and do respond to refugee youth. To address this issue, this dissertation presents a policy analysis of Canada’s response to refugee young people, and then provides a case study of services in the Halifax area to better understand where resources for this population exist in this city, and the strengths and limitations of these resources. Even though over half of refugees settling in Nova Scotia are young people, they have been largely a footnote in federal resettlement policies. The purpose of this research is to understand the intersections and between policy and the services that exist and make recommendations for how service providers can be better supported in their work with refugee young people. The main question guiding this research is: How are smaller urban centres, like Halifax, prepared to support refugee youth in their resettlement and integration? A social ecological resilience framework was used to identify the resilience resources identified in the systems surrounding refugee young people in Halifax. What is important for effective integration in the community is for supports for newcomers to exist not solely in settlement service organizations, but across public services and sectors throughout the city. The findings show that Halifax has the capacity to provide better integration support for refugee youth. With more cultural awareness and intentional collaboration, youth serving organizations, as well as broader community services, can become more effective resources for the resilience of these young people.