Syrian Refugee Settlement – by Nergis Canefe, Faida Abu- Ghazaleh, and Robyn LeLacheur and York University, Canada


Syrian Refugee Settlement is a new online resource-based resource curated by Professor Nergis Canefe and researchers at York University in Canada.  It represents an online archive of publicly accessible materials on Syrian resettlement in Canada and is the first web archive at York to be made publicly and permanently accessible online.  The project was supported by York University Libraries, the Centre for Refugee Studies at York and York University Vice-Provost Academic Alice Pitt.

Funded by a grant from the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Services, the online archive enabled the creation of a “digital, open-source scholarly archive organised into five topics, including the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Context; Political debates in Canada; the History of Private Sponsorship and Private-Public Partnership Programs for Resettlement Schemes; and Back to the Future.”

Whilst focusing on the Syrian case, the new archive offers a contextual analysis of the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BCOR) program in Canada. BVOR was introduced in Canada in 2013 as a method of mixing government-assisted resettlement and the private sponsorship of refugees. This shared economy approach undertaken by the Canadian authorities has met with a mixed critical response and debate.  However, Canefe hopes that through this online archive, these debates can help shape the future direction of Canadian refugee settlement policies.

In terms of the Archive itself:

“BVOR has to be examined in relation to both private and government resettlement schemes, and in comparison, to the historical use of private sponsorship for Indochinese refugees. The documents presented to the reader in this archive allow for the examination of the background debates that led to BVOR program, the challenges BVOR is intended to address, [and] public and political debates concerning the proposed division of public and private responsibility.”

Nergis Canefe is an Associate Professor and Research Faculty at the Center for Refugee Studies within the York University Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies.  Nergis’ main areas of” interest include the memories of atrocities and injustice and the ways they shape the notion of citizenship for marginalised groups.  Nergis has over twenty years’ experience of qualitative research with displaced communities and teaching public law and human rights globally.  Her full profile is available here: