With goal to eliminate even the slightest tinge of racism in the department, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has launched an “Anti-Racism Strategy” for 2021-2024.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) began investigating the department’s internal environment through an anti-racism lens in 2020. According to an employee survey, a significant proportion of racialized employees saw racism as a problem. In response, focus groups were held to gain a better understanding of the problem. The focus groups included 54 employees in total. The focus group findings can be summarized as follows:
In response to this report, IRCC launched its Anti-Racism Strategy for 2021-2024. During the first few months of 2022, suggestions for the Strategy’s direction were gathered from IRCC employees. IRCC’s Strategy first makes broad recommendations for the new Strategy in comparison to its predecessor. Thematic pillars of its action plan are then presented.
The following are some broad suggestions:
IRCC also outlines the five pillars that will support the Strategy’s action plan. Each pillar, according to IRCC, designates a stream of work that will be addressed as a priority, soon.
Pillar 1: Ensure accountability for leadership
This pillar focuses on ensuring that formal accountability systems are in place to accomplish anti-racism objectives. The intention is to make sure that senior management will be held accountable for the outcomes and that anti-racism work is ingrained permanently into the IRCC’s structure.
Pillar 2: A workplace that is fair
This pillar pertains to people management elements that will aid in producing a workplace where everyone feels appreciated and at home. Eliminating obstacles to career advancement for colored workers and fostering inclusiveness in the workplace are the objectives.
Pillar 3: Creating policies and programs
This pillar specifically deals with IRCC’s systemic racism and bias in program and policy formulation. The objective is to better the anti-racist approach to designing new policies and program designs by understanding the biases and gaps in the current policy and program design.
Pillar 4: service provision
This pillar deals with how the IRCC implements policies and programs with applicants and outside partners while addressing systematic racism and bias. Understanding racism and bias in program delivery operations and IRCC officers’ decision-making is the objective, and tools are being developed and integrated to incorporate anti-racism into the service delivery process to address bias.
Pillar 5: Data and Analysis
This pillar deals with the generation of solid evidence to back anti-racism efforts. The objective is to make more information related to government-wide standards available to facilitate anti-racism analysis. The IRCC is aware that racism exists both outside and inside their organization in Canada. Through the eradication of racism in policies, programs, service delivery, and personnel management, their mission is to be an equitable and anti-racist organization and to improve the benefits of IRCC programs to Canadians and newcomers.
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