Migrants are often vulnerable to abuse by their employers and are afraid to speak up or form unions due to their precarious immigration status. Undocumented migrants, in particular, are reluctant to access essential services such as public health, education, and shelters due to fear of detention and deportation, exacerbating their vulnerability and isolation from the rest of society.

FREE Volunteer Training Workshops: Saturday, October 26th 2019
Migrants Resource Centre Canada (MRCC) invites you to a workshop:

Saturday, October 26, 2019
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
MRCC Office: 2482 Dufferin Street, Unit 207, Toronto


This workshop will focus on healthcare as a fundamental human right that should be accessible by all, irrespective of their immigration status, and the City of Toronto’s designation as a Sanctuary City and what it means for migrants living in Toronto.


Lunchand snacks will be provided.


For more info or to register: 1-866-275-4046, impact@migrantsresourcecentre.ca


Online registration: https://forms.gle/5dNwhDcmMA9SvUsz8

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2567720200002482/?active_tab=about



We had an excellent participation at the forum and we are looking forward for the next one.


  1. Provide participants with in-depth knowledge on innovative approaches to address the wide spectrum of experiences in situations of exploitation/human trafficking.
  2. Discuss remedies available outside the criminal justice system for survivors of exploitation.
  3. Explore promising community outreach initiatives targeting at-risk or exploited persons
  4. Provide opportunity for networking and information exchange




New Project: Migrant Workers Welcome Centre

The FCJ Refugee Centre was one of the few organizations in Ontario who received  three year funding from the MCSS to continue working with exploited or at risk migrant workers.

Currently, there is a lack of services, settlement and/or legal available to migrant workers who are exploited or at risk. To respond to this, the FCJ Refugee Centre received financial support to set up a Migrant Workers Welcome Centre, with three main goals: 1) to prevent instances of labour exploitation by informing migrant workers about labour and immigration laws, policies and available community supports; 2) to identify at-risk or potential labour exploitation cases with the support of peers, and offer holistic case management support services; 3) to collect information about the extent of labour exploitation as well as the complex experiences of migrant workers exploited within the spectrum.

Most specifically this project aims to outline the spectrum within which migrant workers are exploited, and the complexities of their unique needs and support which will reflect future policy development.

The initiatives proposed through this project will address multiple needs and gaps, including:

  • Case management: we will offer a wide range of in-house services, including immigration support and legal information; working with partner organizations to respond to the multifaceted needs of this population.
  • Accessible services: Although some activities will be based out of the FCJ Refugee Centre, services will be carried out mainly at sites across the GTA during flexible hours (evenings and/or weekend) and in areas with high concentrations of migrant workers.
  • Prevention: The Migrant Centre will offer a safe space for migrant workers to share their experiences in a non-judgmental and supportive environment while providing information (immigration laws, procedures, available resources, etc.). Sharing of information and tools will prevent situations of exploitation/trafficking and assist those already experiencing exploitation.
  • Policy Improvements: By collecting information about the instances of exploitation of migrant workers, we can inform and influence policy improvement.


Human trafficking survivors led initiative

As part of the 2016 Victims and Survivors of Crime Week “The Power of Our Voices”, FCJ Refugee Centre in partnership with East Metro Youth Services embarked on a project to provide a safe space for survivors of human trafficking to voice their opinion on services and protection available and a lack thereof. The initiative was funded by the Department of Justice Canada. Such project was long overdue as survivors are left out of the conversations and decision-making pertaining to accessing services and solutions to combat trafficking in persons. The ultimate goal of the project is to lay the foundation of survivor led and designed toolkit for service providers outlining promising practices and accurate support.

To read the Summary click here


Labour trafficking and internationally trafficked persons are particularly vulnerable

Provincial efforts should be equally focused on labour trafficking and internationally trafficked persons who are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

Members of the Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network are embracing the Ontario government’s efforts to fight human trafficking by investing up to $72 million in an anti-human trafficking strategy aimed at increasing awareness and coordination, enhancing justice-sector initiatives and improving survivors’ access to services. The Network is praising the government’s approach promoting the 4Ps (Protection, Prevention, Prosecution and Partnership) thus, working collaboratively with all stakeholders, including civil society.

“We are welcoming the government efforts and anticipate that along with implementation of the new strategy, the government will address some of the root causes of human trafficking, such as gender inequality, rape culture, poverty, systemic racism and the marginalization of certain communities, including Indigenous youth” says Marissa Kokkoros, Executive Director of Aura Freedom International. “We also look forward to seeing increased prevention efforts, including the inclusion of anti-trafficking, anti-violence and gender-sensitive education included in school curricula.”

Loly Rico, Co-director of the FCJ Refugee Centre and President of the Canadian Council for Refugees said that “the announced strategy is long waited within the service providing organizations and their allies. It is certainly a step in the right direction. We are looking forward to hear the details of the announced strategy and hope that it will take into consideration the recommendations of all stakeholders who participated in the preceded community consultations. In particular, that provincial efforts will be equally focused on ending labour trafficking and supporting internationally trafficked persons who are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.” Her words are echoed by Joanna Yee, founder of Rehab Ministry who affirms that in their experience they “frequently encounter exploited immigrant women who are recent immigrants from China, East Asia, South Asia and Eastern Europe who have challenges integrating in the mainstream society but fall prey to traffickers. I found that this particular groups are gaining the least attention and hope that somehow they could get some attention for their plight.”

Forced marriages, the least familiar side of human trafficking, have also increased in numbers while the needs of survivors are not met adequately. “We hope that efforts will be made to include survivors and those at risk of forced marriage in all aspects of the strategy to address human trafficking. Many forced marriages involve the trafficking of victims both locally and internationally” said Shirley Gillett, coordinator of the “I Do!” Project. She also adds that “survivors face isolation and abandonment if they are able to flee, making them easy targets for other forms of trafficking, most commonly sexual exploitation. Some who remain in forced marriages may also become victims of forced sexual exploitation or forced labour, perpetrated by the families into which they have been married. Their needs should be recognized both in terms of how they differ from, as well as how they are intertwined with the needs of survivors of other forms of trafficking.”

The mandate of the Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network is to provide a comprehensive response to human trafficking in the Toronto area. The response is to be provided in a collaborative manner with governmental and non-governmental organizations, agencies and individuals. The Network is committed to work towards the elimination of human trafficking in Canada and abroad, and to address the plight of trafficked persons through a holistic, human rights-based approach, focused on the needs of trafficked persons.


For more information contact
Varka Kalaydzhieva

Anti-Human Trafficking Program Coordinator

FCJ Refugee Centre

416-469-9754, ext.228



Human Trafficking strategy

International Victims of Human Trafficking are more unlikely to contact authorities and look for support

FCJ Refugee Centre is commending Ontario Government’s efforts to end human trafficking in the Province. The announced investment of a $72 million budget in an anti-human trafficking strategy which includes raising public-awareness and improving survivor’s access to services, is encouraging and demonstrates provincial commitment to ultimately tackle the issues that encompass this complex crime.

“The announced strategy is long waited within the service providing organizations and their allies. It is certainly a step in the right direction” says Loly Rico Co-Director of FCJ Refugee Centre. “We are looking forward to hear the details of the announced strategy and hope that it will take into consideration the recommendations of all stakeholders who participated in the preceded community consultations. In particular, that provincial efforts will be equally focused on ending labour trafficking and supporting internationally trafficked persons.”

The province of Ontario is receiving the vast majority of immigrants, as well as “the highest number of migrant workers in all of Canada.  “International victims of human trafficking, including domestic workers and those working in the hospitality industry, are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse given the multiple intersectionalities of their identities such as immigration status, language barriers, experience with authorities in their countries of origin and so on. Therefore, they are more unlikely to contact authorities and look for support” says Varka Kalaydzhieva Anti-human Trafficking Coordinator in FCJ Refugee Centre. “These multiple barriers coupled with the lack of awareness in authorities, including police and stakeholders in judicial system, are some of the reasons why Canadian courts are seeing so few human trafficking cases where victims are non-Canadian residents.”

The FCJ Refugee Centre helps uprooted people overcome the challenges of rebuilding their lives in a new society. The Centre offers an integrated model of refugee protection, settlement services and education, including shelter for women and children. The Centre has a mandate to assist refugees and other uprooted people through their settlement process. The Centre offers direct services to internationally trafficked persons, including housing; provides training on human trafficking to service providing organizations and other frontline staff; facilitates the Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network and is a member organization of the Canadian Council for Refugees Steering Committee against human trafficking.

ON strategy2016



Human Trafficking RoundTable

FCJ Refugee Centre and East Metro Youth Services have embarked in a short term project funded by Justice Department and related with this year’s victim awareness week. Briefly, we are hosting few focus groups with survivors of human trafficking to ask them about their experience with services they received or lack of such in their path to recovery. Their input will inform better our work and help to improve the response model we have developed. On June 1st, we would like to share with you the results of the focus groups and the have discussion on how to proceed further.

Date: June 1st, 2016
Time: 10am-1pm
Venue: 160 Jarvis Str., Harbour Light Ministry (Salvation Army)

Fill free to invite colleagues from partner agencies who you think will benefit from the meeting and will add to the discussion that will follow.
Registration will be on first-come first-serve basis given that spaces are limited.
Please, send me an email to confirm participation.
If you have any questions, you know that I will be happy to try to answer them.
Hope to see you soon and meet the new members.
Any additional information please contact:

Varka Kalaydzhieva
Anti – Human Trafficking Project Coordinator
416-4699754 ext 228


Forum: Building Community Support for LGBTQ+ People in Forced Labor (aka Human Trafficking)

Save the date! April 28

FCJ Refugee Centre is organizing the  Forum:
Building Community Support for LGBTQ+ People in Forced Labor (aka Human Trafficking)

Join FCJ Refugee Centre and other organizations to a forum to increase the dialogue around forced labor/human trafficking as it affects members of the LGBTQ+ Community both locally and globally.
The Forum aims to bring together key stakeholders to identify issues within this unique intersection and work collaboratively to begin to fill in service gaps.




Registration click here

Contact information: Varka Kalaydzhieva
E mail: varka@fcjrefugeecentre.org


Human Trafficking and Youth Forum April 12

 Addressing intersectionality and igniting change

FCJ Refugee Centre is organizing a one day forum to bring together multiple stakeholders including refugee and immigrant youth, youth workers, other field professionals and allies to participate in discussions around how multiple forms of human trafficking affect both domestic and migrant youth populations.

Unfortunately, youth are under-represented in dialogues around human trafficking, and intersecting elements of their identities compound vulnerabilities for these populations. As such, the outcomes of this forum are:

1) To engage youth in the discussion of human trafficking and ensure they have a voice through any response mechanisms; and

2) To strengthen and develop networks of support for youth that are victims and/or survivors of human trafficking.

Registration fee: $10.00
Lunch and light refreshments will be provided
Subsidies are available
Registration payment options:
-By cheque or cash: pay at the door

Contact information:
Varka Kalaydzhieva: varka@fcjrefugeecentre.org  416-469-9754416-469-9754 ext.226
Destin Bujang:destin.bujang@fcjrefugeecentre.org, 416-469-9754416-469-9754  ext.228

For registration click here

Second Roundtable on February 20

Join the members of the Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network and prominent experts to continue the dialogue on human trafficking and discuss the elements of the Toronto anti-human trafficking response model.


             Establish and foster relations between multi‐sector stakeholders,
             Continue to develop anti-human trafficking response model corresponding to the particularities of Toronto area

For more information contact Varka Kalaydzhieva, Anti-Human Trafficking Project Coordinator at FCJ Refugee Centre:

Phone number : 416-469-9754  ext 226


Round Table

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