Celebrate International Human Rights Day by Welcoming Afghans to Calgary

Today, in Calgary, we celebrate International Human Rights Day with a Refugees Welcome Here campaign, a public awareness campaign to encourage Calgarians to welcome refugees.

The principles of equity and non-discrimination are at the heart of human rights and at the heart of this campaign. The Calgary Local Immigration Partnership has taken the lead in coordinating the province-wide Refugees Welcome Here campaign.

“We want Calgarians to know that the Afghan people arriving in Calgary have a lot to contribute to the community,” says Samantha Burdett, coordinator for the Calgary Local Immigration Partnership. “Calgary is a friendly, hospitable community. We are inviting everyone to get involved in this campaign by actively welcoming our new Afghan neighbours”.

Calgary has been chosen as the second national port of entry for Afghan refugees coming to Canada, with about 5,000 moving through over the coming months. Some of the new arrivals will stay in Calgary while most will resettle in other communities across Alberta and other parts of Western Canada. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates there are 2.2 million Afghan refugees living in countries neighbouring Afghanistan with another 2.9 million internally displaced. Canada has pledged to resettle 40,000 Afghans.

We are working with a broad coalition of immigrant-serving agencies including Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, Centre for Newcomers, Immigrant Services Calgary, The Immigrant Education Society, ActionDignity, members of the local Afghan community, and many other not-for-profit groups to support the coordination of resources needed to ensure a safe transition for the Afghan families arriving in Calgary.

“Calgary is the fourth most popular destination for newcomers to Canada,” says Susan Brooke, Vice-President of Community Impact & Partnerships with United Way of Calgary and Calgary Local Immigration Partnership Co-Chair. “There are many ways that you can help our most recent arrivals but the most important thing you can do is to be kind and welcoming to our new Afghan neighbours.”

Calgary has the people, the resources, the spirit and the energy that attracts people from all over the world. Learn how you can help by visiting