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Michael Molloy – Uganda Asian Refugee Movement 1972


Title: 40th Anniversary Lecture: Uganda Asian Refugee Movement 1972
Presenter: Mike Molloy,
Senior Fellow, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa
Former Director General, Citizenship and Immigration Canada Former Ambassador of Canada to Jordan

Date: Thursday, October 18 , 2012

Description: The 1972 Uganda Asian Refugee Movement was the first test of Canada’s “universal” immigration policy as applied to non-European refugees. This talk will examine the reasons behind General Idi Amin’s decision to expel Uganda’s small but dynamic Asian community, and the Trudeau government’s reaction to the expulsion within a new immigration and refugee policy framework. It will describe how a small, hastily assembled team went to Kampala in September 1972 and moved over 6,000 refugees to Canada by the November 8th deadline imposed by the Ugandan government. Finally, it will discuss the impact of the Ugandan experience on the refugee resettlement provisions of the 1976 Immigration Act and on the subsequent Indochinese refugee program of 1979-80.

Speaker Profile: Mike Molloy, a retired Foreign Service Officer, is president of the Canadian Immigration Historical Society and a Senior Fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. He was a member of the team sent to Uganda in September 1972, where he managed the unit that interviewed the refugees. His subsequent career included implementing the refugee provisions of the 1976 Immigration Act, including the refugee sponsorship program, coordinating the 1979-80 Indochinese Refugee Movement, and managing Canada’s relations with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva. He held various Director General level positions in the Immigration department, was Ambassador to Jordan, coordinated Canada’s Middle East Peace Process activities and, since retirement, has co-directed the Jerusalem Old City Initiative at the University of Windsor. In the course of his career he served in Japan, Lebanon, Minneapolis, Geneva, Jordan (twice), Syria and Kenya.

DISCLAIMER – The views and opinions expressed in this presentation are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Western Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations and The Collaborative Graduate Program in Migration and Ethnic Relations.

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