It was his experience living in Regent Park that drew him into politics. Hussen co-founded the neighbourhood association that pushed for the inclusion of more public housing in the $500-million redevelopment of the community, and eventually became a prominent voice as president of the Canadian Somali Congress. For his post-secondary studies, Hussen attended York University, earning a BA in History in 2002. Hussen later received a law degree from the University of Ottawa, and passed the bar exam in September 2012.
In December 2014, he presented himself as a candidate for a Liberal Party of Canada seat in the riding of York South—Weston for the 42nd Canadian federal election. Hussen won the nomination in a field of six aspirants and little more than a year later was named Minister of Immigration, Refugees an and Citizenship by Prime Minster Justin Trudeau.
Orange Ribbon Campaign - Celebrating Refugees: Ahmed Hussen from CFN Productions on Vimeo.
When it comes to refugees, simply put, the world is in the midst of a global displacement crisis the likes of which has not been seen since WWII. Below are some facts:
- At the end of 2016 there were 65.3 million forcibly displaced people. They included 21.3 million refugees, 40.8 million internally displaced and 3.2 million asylum seekers.
- If they were a country they would be the world's 21st largest.
- More than half of refugees come from just three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.
- Developing regions host 86 percent of refugees.
- Turkey hosts by far the largest number with more than 3 million refugees and asylum-seekers, including 2.7 million Syrians.
- Lebanon has the highest concentration relative to its own population with nearly one in five people being a refugee.
- Globally, nearly one in 200 children is a refugee. The number of child refugees has more than doubled in the last decade.
- Growing numbers of children are crossing borders alone. Last year, more than 100,000 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in 78 countries - triple the number in 2015.