Ottawa to extend eligibility criteria for Yazidi refugees: Mendicino

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OTTAWA — Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino says his department will adopt a new policy to help more Yazidis and other survivors of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant reunite with their families in Canada.

Mendicino says the new policy will allow more Yazidi refugees to join extended family members, including siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

He says the Yazidis and other groups who survived abuse, torture and even genocide at the hands of ISIL are among the most vulnerable refugees in the world.

The Immigration Department says the new policy will help Yazidis and other communities in Northern Iraq to start new lives in Canada.

The department says these refugees were victims of threats or acts including sexual slavery, general enslavement, torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, family separation and forced displacement.

Canada has welcomed about 1,400 survivors of ISIL from Northern Iraq since 2017.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 30, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press