Syrian Refugee Crisis: Policy Options & Implications for Canada

refugee-tileDetails: The experience of the refugee is often one of paralysis – unable to go back, yet simultaneously stalled from moving forward. As the homes of many in Syria are caught in the crossfire of civil war, Europe has witnessed the largest influx of refugees since World War II, with the need far outweighing the responses.

The Hart House Debates Committee, the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, and the U of T Refugee Alliance have coordinated a panel discussion to explore the impetus behind this mass migration, discuss the human and global impacts and consider potential policy responses for Canada and the international community.

When: Wed., Dec. 2, 2015, from 7–9 pm
Where: Debates Room, Hart House
Cost: Free / Register online >>

*Light refreshments will be served after the panel discussion, providing attendees with an opportunity to meet the speakers.

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Join us for an informative panel discussion with experts in the field:

    • Paul Heinbecker has acted as the Representative of Canada to the United Nations, Ambassador to Germany, and Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to then Prime Minister Mulroney. Paul was an architect of Canada’s human security agenda, helped negotiate an end to the Kosovo war, headed the Canadian delegation to the Climate Change negotiations in Kyoto and represented Canada on the UN Security Council. Currently, Paul is a member of the advisory board of the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, and a distinguished fellow of the Centre for International Governance Innovation. Paul has authored, edited and contributed to a number of books and articles on international relations, the UN, and the G20.


    • Leen Al Zaibak is a senior committee member of the Toronto-based Lifeline Syria, Leen is also the co-founder and director of Jusoor, or Bridges, an international NGO dedicated to the education of indigent Syrian youth. A graduate of the University of Toronto, Leen has also worked at Queen’s Park as a Policy Advisor and with Free the Children as the Senior Manager for Donor Engagement. Leen is an active philanthropist in the arts; she sits on the Young Patron’s Circle of Massey Hall and Roy Thompson Hall and is Chair of the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Leaders Circle


  • Kristen Marshall has worked to enhance access to justice for over 20 years. She has represented refugees and immigrants held in detention, at the Immigration and Refugee Board, and at the Federal Court of Canada. She has developed training and clear language resources for immigrants, refugees and survivors of domestic violence, and is currently the Senior Refugee Law Trainer at Legal Aid Ontario. She was clinical instructor in the refugee division at Downtown Legal Services for several years and is currently working with students on a project investigating the impact of Canada’s refugee policies on sexual minorities and persons living with or vulnerable to HIV with the International Human Rights Program. This project involved field work in Turkey and Jordan concerning resettlement of Syrian refugees, and in Mexico, to examine human rights violations there.


The event will be moderated by:

  • Raja G. Khouri is president of the Canadian Arab Institute, a policy think-and-do tank he co-founded in 2011. He is a commissioner with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, committee member of Human Rights Watch Canada and co-founder of the Canadian Arab/Jewish Leadership Dialogue Group. Raja formerly worked as an international consultant in organizational development and capacity building, and served on several governmental and civil society bodies. He has chaired conferences, given and moderated lectures, given numerous media interviews, and published commentaries in journals and major Canadian dailies. He’s the author of Arabs in Canada: Post 9/11.


Partners: Hart House, Hart House Debates Committee, the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, and the U of T Refugee Alliance.

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