We welcome anyone asking for advice, counsel and support regarding immigration issues. Learn also about the Canada’s Refugee Process and our Refugee Hearing and Appeal Preparation program.
You are invited to join a one-day training with Olivia Chow at Ryerson University.
The Safe Third Country Agreement is putting thousands of refugees in the way of harm. This agreement doesn’t have to continue. If we organize, we can end it.
- The Institute will deliver a full-day training about how to tell your story to inspire action on social change, and how to plan a strategy with both a theory of change that builds and leverages power, and the most effective possible tactics.
- Students will complete the workshop having practiced telling their story, and having received feedback on how to enhance their story. Participants will create a shared organizing statement with clear goals and a realistic timeline to organize to end the Safe Third Country Agreement
Venue: Ryerson University, (Room Numbers are being confirmed)
Address: 350 Victoria St. Toronto ON
Registration: This is the link: https://endthesafethirdcountry.eventbrite.ca
“It is inhumane to risk making refugee claimants homeless to make a political statement. It is in violation of our international obligations and tradition, and Canadian values of social justice and human rights said Francisco Rico, co-director of FCJ Refugee Centre.
Recently Ontario civil society groups and refugee advocates urged the Government of Ontario to remain engaged in intergovernmental collaboration to resettle the large numbers of refugee claimants arriving irregularly in Canada from the United States.
Refugee advocates urge Ontario to stay at the table
Toronto/July 6, 2018/ – Ontario civil society groups and refugee advocates urge the Government of Ontario to remain engaged in intergovernmental collaboration to resettle the large numbers of refugee claimants arriving irregularly in Canada from the United States.
The Ontario government has indicated it will step back from cooperating with the federal government on resettling refugee claimants. The Ontario response was reported by media following a recent meeting of the Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Irregular Migration attended by Lisa McLeod, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues and Minister of Children, Community and Social Services.
“We believe Ontario must be at the table to speak to the interests and priorities of municipalities that are trying to resettle refugee claimants in their communities” said Debbie Douglas, Executive Director of OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants. “The right of refugee claimants to seek protection is safeguarded in Canadian law, which builds on Canada’s international obligations” she added.
“Ontario has called on the federal government to cover the costs of refugee resettlement. If they really want the province and municipalities to be compensated they must be at the table” said Francisco Rico-Martinez of the Coalition of Service Providers for Refugee Claimants in Ontario. “It is inhumane to risk making refugee claimants homeless to make a political statement. It is in violation of our international obligations and tradition, and Canadian values of social justice and human rights” he added.
“We are deeply disturbed by politicians and media inaccurately describing refugee claimants as illegal entrants into Canada. Asylum seekers have the legal right to cross the border to make a refugee claim” said Lobat Sadrehashemi, President of Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers.
The Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States prevents asylum seekers from making a refugee claim at a regular border crossing. As a result they are entering Canada irregularly in order to ask for asylum, which is not illegal.
“Refugee claimants are among the most vulnerable in our society. We all have a responsibility to treat them with respect and dignity and ensure their rights are protected” said Shalini Konanur, Executive Director of South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario. “Most importantly our own laws and the international treaties signed by Canada require us to do so” she added.
“Toronto and many of the surrounding municipalities had housing challenges long before the current increase of refugee claimant arrivals. Blaming Ontario’s housing crisis on vulnerable refugee claimants who cannot fight back is reprehensible and does great harm to claimants” said Avvy Go of Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change. “Refugee claimants should never be used as pawns by anyone, let alone our political leaders” she added.
Ontario leads the country in the resettlement of refugees, playing a prominent role in fulfilling Canada’s international humanitarian commitments. We have a strong tradition of welcoming refugees and refugee claimants, and they require coordinated assistance from all three levels of government in order to succeed.
As civil society groups and refugee advocates that support this statement, we call for leadership from all three orders of government in the resettlement of refugee claimants. We also call on political leaders and media organizations to respect the rights of refugee claimants. This includes using responsible language and factual reporting in order not to inflame anti-refugee sentiment.
Released by OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, Coalition of Service Providers for Refugee Claimants in Ontario, Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change, OHIP For All, Refugee Lawyers Association and South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario
Debbie Douglas, OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants email@example.com or Amy Casipullai, OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants firstname.lastname@example.org
Francisco Rico-Martinez – Coalition of Service Providers for Refugee Claimants in Ontario email@example.com
Avvy Go – Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change firstname.lastname@example.org
Ritika Goel – OHIP For All email@example.com
Raoul Boulakia – Refugee Lawyers Association firstname.lastname@example.org
Shalini Konanur – South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario email@example.com
Our Diverse Residents One Community Celebration as a successful event thanks to each one of you.
We appreciate it very much your support.
Every year we celebrate diversity and the welcoming spirit of Canadian society. Join us, have fun, build community with us this Saturday July 14 from 1:30 to 8:30 pm
BRING YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND NEIGHBOURS!!!
For more information you can contact us any time at our front desk with
Liduvina or Tseday: 416-469 97 54 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Toronto seeks help with asylum seekers
June 26, 2018
Francisco Rico-Martinez from the FCJ Refugee Centre in Toronto says the influx of refugees in the city is the new normal, adding that the current system is struggling to serve everybody on a equal basis. He joins CBC News Network’s Andrew Nichols.
We invite you to read our annual report 2017-2018 to learn about our programs, initiatives, services and more. Thank you to all our donors and FCJ Refugee Centre community for your support
Join FCJ Refugee Centre team and apply for the Youth Worker position:
Start date: July 3rd, 2018
Salary and Hours: $17.00/hr, 25 hours a week for one year (52 weeks)
The Youth Worker will work closely with the Youth Coordinator to support a growing group of newcomer youth with their diverse settlement processes and social integration. This position will fill an important gap in our service delivery envelope, and offer great benefit to the community. Essentially, the Youth Worker will provide much needed additional support, to ensure a more seamless and supported transition into Canadian society.
For more details click here
Interested applicants are invited to submit a cover letter and resume by email only (in word format) by June 30, 5:00 pm to:
FCJ Refugee Centre is celebrating the strength, courage, and determination of refugees around the world. Every year, World Refugee Day marks a key moment for raise awareness and show support for refugees.
JUNE 20: World Refugee Day “Refugees Belong” Walk
We Are Proud To Announce The June 20, 2018, “Refugees Belong” Walk, In Commemoration Of World Refugee Day.
The event is being co-organized by: Neighbourhood Legal Services, Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture, Sojourn House, Regent Park Community Health Centre, Central Neighbourhood House, FCJ Refugee Centre, COSTI, and the Oasis Centre des Femmes.
The “Refugees Belong” Walk will commence at the Yonge and Dundas intersection at 9:30 am (in front of the Refugee Law Office at 20 Dundas Street West) and will end with lunch and performances from 12-2 pm in Regent Park.
The “Refugees Belong” walk is an opportunity to reflect not only on the obligations of governments under the Refugee Convention to provide safe haven to persecuted people (and on Canada’s own track record in the Trump era), but also to dispel the myths that persist about refugees as a burden on the Canadian public.
At a time when refugee claimants in Canada continue to endure egregiously long waits to have their refugee claims determined at the Immigration and Refugee Board, and continue to face prolonged separation from their families, refugees and claimants must also contend with stereotypes – that refugees just want to take advantage of Canada’s social programmes, for example; refugees take jobs from Canadians; refugees are ‘illegal’.
The World Refugee Day “Refugees Belong” walk aims to encourage Canadians to choose facts over fears! Stops this year will be at local community organisations, so that participants get insight into the work being done on the ground to support refugees. At each stop, community members who arrived here as refugees and are now successful teachers, business owners, service providers, will map their journeys to belonging in Canada, as well as some of the challenges faced along the way. Speakers will also include community workers and lawyers.
Join us and show your support!
Stereotypes, prejudices and all the negative labels that newcomer youth are painted with steered us in making this spoken word video. It came as an idea to some of the youth from FCJ Refugee Centre Youth Network who attended an anti-islamophobia workshop together with the strong voices from OCASI and the CCR Youth Network. We wanted to change the approach or the way youth of precarious migration status are treated once they seek assistance from service providers. By FCJ Refugee Centre Youth Network
Nearly 1,800 immigrant families were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border from October 2016 through February of this year, according to a senior government official, as U.S. President Donald Trump implemented stricter border enforcement policies.
The numbers are the first comprehensive disclosure by the administration of how many families have been affected by the policies. Previously, the only numbers provided by federal officials on family separations covered a single two-week period in May.
The government official, who agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity, said he could not provide up-to-date statistics, but acknowledged the number of separations had risen sharply in recent weeks, largely because of new administration policies.
In May, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero tolerance” policy in which all those apprehended entering the U.S. illegally would be criminally charged, which generally leads to children being separated from their parents