Communities sponsoring Manus and Nauru refugees
Australians and Canadians are working together to provide a lifeline for refugees who have been suffering since 2013 because of Australia’s offshore detention policy. Operation Not Forgotten is a community-led response to provide private sponsorship to Canada for refugees who were detained on Manus Island and Nauru and have been left with no viable resettlement option.
A partnership between Vancouver-based settlement organisation MOSAIC, Refugee Council of Australia and Ads-Up Refugee Network Canada, Operation Not Forgotten was initiated in 2019 by Laurie Cooper of Canada Caring Society. The campaign focuses on providing sponsorship to Canada for refugees who were detained on Manus and Nauru from 19 July 2013 and don’t have the option of resettlement to the United States or other countries.
Under the Canadian Government’s private sponsorship guidelines, the sponsoring organisation needs to raise funds for the refugee’s living costs in the first year after arrival in Canada. These funds need to be raised before the application can be lodged. For a single adult, the funds required are around CAD 17,500 (about AUD 18,500), with additional funds required for any other immediate family members (included spouses and children under the age of 22 separated in other countries). Sponsoring a family of four costs around AUD 30,000.
As of 31 March 2021, funds donated by Australians have enabled sponsorship applications to be lodged for 132 refugees in Nauru, PNG and medically evacuated to Australia and 86 separated family members – 218 sponsorship spots in total. We can extend this lifeline to even more of the hundreds of refugees with no solution available. Sponsorship applications are ready to be lodged as soon as more funds are donated.
How do I donate?
RCOA is receiving tax-deductible donations for Operation Not Forgotten from people resident in Australia. You can donate via Credit Card here.
Donations over $5,000 can be made direct into our bank account. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can identify your payment. Account name: Refugee Council of Australia. BSB: 062 033. Account number: 1043 2319
Information for sponsorship applicants
More information about Operation Not Forgotten and the registration form can be found on the MOSAIC website. For refugees interested in finding out more, MOSAIC has produced a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document about Operation Not Forgotten in English, Bengali, Persian and Tamil. Please note that this sponsorship opportunity is only for refugees and eligible asylum seekers who were sent by Australia to Manus Island or Nauru between 19 July 2013 and December 2014. To be eligible, asylum seekers in this group would need to meet the Canadian Government’s Country of Asylum Class criteria (which is described in the FAQ document).