How many men and women are in detention?


What are the conditions like where the refugees are held?


How much will it cost to sponsor the refugees?


What settlement support would be required for the refugees after they arrive in Canada?

Who are the people behind Operation Not Forgotten?


Hope for the "Forgotten" refugees of Manus and Nauru

Operation #NotForgotten is a campaign to provide safe resettlement for hundreds of desperate refugees who have been detained on Manus and Nauru since 2013.


The project was initiated and developed by Canada Caring Society and is not being administered by MOSAIC.

Amnesty International has called them the "forgotten men of Manus." With this project, we want to demonstrate to them – and to the world – that they are NOT forgotten, that they deserve a future and that we won't give up until we get them to safety.

There are over 300 people still being held on Nauru and Papua New Guinea who have no options, no hope. The majority of the approximately 650 refugees and asylum seekers have been accepted for resettlement to the US, but there are hundreds who are not eligible for the program.

Operation #Not Forgotten is working to resettle these individuals through Canada's private sponsorship program. The goal of the project is to get all of them to a safe country where they can build a life and a future.

Operations #Not Forgotten is raising enough funds to sponsor up to 300 individuals and their families - approximately $4 million CAD. The Canadian government requires us to raise $16,500 CAD per person. These funds are held in trust and then used to support the refugee and their family for their first year in Canada.

Volunteer teams from across Canada will provide settlement support. Teams will be trained and coordinated  by MOSAIC to assist new arrivals with finding employment, accommodation, medical care, etc.

DONATIONS - In Canada, donations can be made to MOSAIC, a registered Canadian charity. A charitable tax receipt will be issued to Canadian donors. 

In Australia, donations can be made to Refugee Council of Australia, a registered Australian charity. A charitable tax receipt will be issued.

Frequently asked questions

Who are the detainees and why are they being detained by the Australian government?

All of the detainees are people who were seeking asylum in Australia. They were detained after an announcement on July 19, 2013 by the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Rudd announced that "asylum seekers who come here by boat without a visa will never be settled in Australia". That policy is still in place today.

Under the Regional Resettlement Arrangement between Australia and Papua New Guinea, all "unauthorised maritime arrivals" were detained on Manus Island with no possibility of attaining Australian residency. Additional detainees were also transferred to the Australian facility on Nauru. Many have been trapped on the islands for up to six years, in brutal living conditions and with no hope in sight for resettlement to a safe country.

How many men and women have no other option for resettlement?

There are approximately 330 refugees and asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea and Nauru who have no option for resettlement.

Over 70% of the detainees have been officially recognized as refugees, while others are still waiting for their status determination.

Where are the refugees from?

The refugees are from countries including Iran, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Iraq. Some of them are stateless. They fled war, violence and political and ethnic persecution in their countries and cannot return there.

What are the conditions like where the refugees are held?

For several years, people sent to Manus Island and Nauru were held in detention facilities described by Amnesty International and others as “open air” prisons and concentration camps. Officially, the detention centres are closed but many of the refugees and asylum seekers remain in camp arrangements with restrictions on movement and little capacity to get on with their lives. Many of them are dealing with mental health issues like depression and anxiety as a result of their lengthy incarceration and their lack of hope for the future.

Why are Canadians offering to sponsor the refugees?

Canadians are uniquely positioned to help refugees. Canada has the largest, longest established and most flexible private sponsorship program for refugees, allowing citizens and community groups to come together and sponsor refugees they nominate as needing resettlement. The program was developed in the late 1970s to address the desire by Canadians to assist Vietnamese refugees and the system is still in place today.

Under the private sponsorship program for refugees, sponsors are responsible for providing all of the necessary funds and settlement support. It is a very cost-effective approach and studies have shown that privately sponsored refugees integrate much more successfully that those who come through the government refugee program. This is primarily because they have a group of people from the community who have agreed to take on the responsibility to assist them with starting their new life in Canada.

How much will it cost to sponsor the refugees and asylum seekers?

Under guidelines established by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada each individual will require $16,500 CAD ($18,000 AUD/$12,500 US) to cover set up costs and support for their first year in Canada. Based on sponsoring 200 individuals and their families, the minimum amount required would be approximately $4 million CAD. Australian and Canadian citizens who are concerned about the welfare of the detainees have already raised over $2 million CAD

What settlement support wil be provided to refugees after they arrive in Canada?

Each refugee will be assigned a settlement support team of five people to help them settle into their new community. Settlement support includes helping the newcomer fill out the necessary applications to get required documents, such as a Social Insurance Number. They will also help them access medical services, educational opportunities and assist them with finding employment and accommodation. “Operation #NotForgotten” will be recruiting volunteers from across Canada, as well as working with Rotary International to recruit and coordinate settlement support teams. Training and support for these settlement groups will be provided by MOSAIC.

How can people donate to help refugees and asylum seekers?

Donations can be made to MOSAIC in Canada or to the Refugee Council of Australia. Both organizations are registered charities and can issue charitable tax receipts for donations received from within Canada or Australia, respectively. 100% of donations will be used to support the sponsorship and settlement of refugees.
Donations can be made online or by cheque. Online Donations:
CANADA/US: - https://chimp.net/campaigns/operation-not-forgotten AUSTRALIA: https://action.refugeecouncil.org.au/notforgotten INTERNATIONAL (Countries outside of Canada, US and Australia): https://www.gofundme.com/f/operationnotforgotten Donations by Cheque: Canada - Cheques should be made out to MOSAIC (please indicate the donation is for Operation #Not Forgotten). Please mail cheques to MOSAIC, 5575 Boundary Road, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V5R 2P9
Australia - Cheques should be made out to Refugee Council of Australia (please indicate the donation is for Operation #Not Forgotten). Please mail cheques to Refugee Council of Australia, Suite 4A6, 410 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills 2010 NSW Australia

How can people volunteer to support the project?

Volunteers are required to assist with completing the sponsorship forms and to provide settlement support to the refugees when they arrive in Canada.

People interested in volunteering can get more information and register here:

Who are Canada Caring Society and MOSAIC?

CANADA CARING SOCIETY is a registered non-profit society which has been offering support to refugees in Canada and overseas since 2016. Canada Caring Society has also been involved in many private and community sponsorships. MOSAIC is a registered charity serving immigrant, refugee, migrant and mainstream communities throughout the province of BC and overseas via online programs. MOSAIC is a recognized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder and is one of the largest settlement organizations in Canada.

Who are the people behind Operation #NotForgotten?

Laurie Cooper is a former journalist and the founder of Canada Caring Society. Laurie has been involved in sponsoring over 50 people to come to Canada under the Private Sponsorship program.
Hassan Al Kontar is a refugee advocate from Syria who received international media attention after spending 7 months in a Malaysian airport and 2 months in detention before coming to Canada as a refugee in November 2018. He now volunteers with Canada Caring and speaks widely on issues pertaining to refugees and settlement. Saleem Spindari arrived in Canada as a refugee and is now Senior Manager of Refugees and Migrant Workers Programs for MOSAIC and sits on the Canadian Council for Refugees.

How can I get more information?

Please contact:

Laurie Cooper
Canada Caring Society
E: laurie@canadacaring.org
W: www.canadacaring.org Saleem Spindari Senior Manager Refugees and Migrant Workers Programs MOSAIC E: sspindari@mosaicbc.org
W: www.mosaicbc.org
Hassan Al Kontar Refugee Advocate E: hassan@manattheairport.com W :www.manattheairport.com

for more information:

For more information, please contact 

Are you a refugee who wants to register for Operation #Not Forgotten?

Please click here to find out more at MOSAIC.