The FCJ Youth Network presents: PechaKucha 20×20 Night

Join us for an evening to express our gratitude and celebrate our experiences at the recent Youth Action Gathering in Edmonton, Alberta… Each of us will share how our participation in this event has initiated change in our own lives, as well as those around us. You will see 8 unique and creative presentations that will show you the difference your support has made!

PLACE:  603 Markham Street
DATE:  Thursday September 5th, 6:00 to 8:30 pm
This event is free with food and drinks for sale!

The FCJ Youth Network presents 1


A legal information training for ESL teachers and settlement workers in schools across Ontario.

The workshops can cover the following issues identified by ESL students:

  1.  Right to work: how to obtaining a work permit, labour regulations, etc
  2. Housing: landlord/tenant, homestay, etc.
  3. Immigration: renewing visas, regularizing, sponsorship, etc.
  4. Health:  access to health, payment, IFHP/OHIP, etc.
  5. Volunteering: finding volunteer work, police checks, etc.
  6. Criminal law (Canadian law, fighting tickets, petty crimes, etc.
  7. Violence (experiences of abuse, child welfare, access to family law, etc.
  8. Discrimination (information for LGBTQ, fighting racism, discrimination, etc.

 We can go to your location or  you can join the trainings we provide at our office.

For more information please contact: Carolina Teves

Telephone: 416469 9754 ext 26


Migrant Workers in Ontario: A report card to evaluate protection for migrant workers

Ontario members of the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) and CAW – Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy @ Ryerson University invite you to the launch of  Migrant Workers in Ontario (and Canada)

Registration click here
WHERE:     Ryerson Student Centre (Oakham House)
Layton Room (2nd floor)
63 Gould Street Toronto
(Yonge and Dundas)

WHEN:       THURSDAY, JULY 18, 2013
10:00 AM-12:00 NOON

Featuring: Loly Rico (President, Canadian Council for Refugees), Catherine Manuel (Caregivers Action Centre), Chris Sorio (Migrante Canada) and representatives from other migrant justice groups.


Please RSVP to or


The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) issued in May 2013 a series of report cards, summarizing the approaches of the provincial and federal governments in protecting the rights of migrant workers in the “low-skilled” streams of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Ontario has a lot of work to do particularly in the following areas: (1) extend the Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act to all migrant workers; (2) implement a registration system for employers and recruiters to better detect exploitation; (3) proactive enforcement of employment standards; (4) provide pathways to permanent residence for all migrant workers in collaboration with the federal government.

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Workshops for mental health professionals and support workers

Offering Mental Health Support to Victims/Survivors of Human Trafficking: (The workshops will be available at the FCJ Refugee Centre, or we can come to your organization if there is interest.)
For mental health professionals and support workers.
Join us to engage in an in-depth dialogue about multifaceted mental health support for survivors of human trafficking.
You can book a training at your location or either you can join us any of the following dates:
(Please confirm the day you will be able to attend)

Dates:      June 25, July 10, July 17, and July 23
Time:        From 2:00 to 4:00 pm
Place:      208 Oakwood Ave. ON. M6E 2V4   

√Access to crucial training material
√Access to specialized information on mental health models
√Tools to provide better services to people who have been trafficked

For more information please contact:

Tanya Aberman or Carolina Teves
Phone:  416-469 -9754

Offering Mental Health Support to Victims June and July
Offering Mental Health Support to Victims June and July

A unique and colorful festival will take place on June 21 during the PRIDE Week

FCJ Refugee Centre is organizing the Diverse Residents One Community Celebration where many LGBTQ newcomer artists will have the opportunity to express their talents and gain community support.

This event is possible thanks to the support of the Community festivals and Special Events of the City of Toronto, who always is looking to create spaces of non-discrimination and inclusion.All steps of this festival have been developed through an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, feminist framework. Beside the City of Toronto, there are a lot of hands of volunteers from different organizations, such Sherbourne Health Centre, The 519 Community Centre, Black- CAP, and OCASI, who are helping with the promotions and preparation of the festival.

The event is going to take place at the Artscape Wychwood Barns located in 76 Wychwood Ave, Toronto, ON M6G 4C6 (Wychwood Ave and 601 Christie St.), from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

The performers of the day will put on shows such as live dance performances, singing and modelling shows. Also, with the presence of food and Art Vendors from different cultures and backgrounds is going to be a variety of food and artistic products displayed from almost all parts of the world, Spanish, Mexican, Turkish,  Asian, North and South American, African and more which will suit out goal of diverse community celebration.


The coordinators of the event expect “that people who have just arrived and self-identify as members of LGBTQ communities will be able to connect with a wide arena of support – meet other people going through the same experience, and connect with community agencies that work with LGBTQ populations.”

One of the motivations on the creation of this festival is because despite the progress Canada has made in including and promoting equality for LGBTQ populations, there are multiple oppressive and homophobic systems still at play that are negatively impacting these populations.


For FCJ Refugee Centre events like this are becoming more important to offset the vast disparity that still exists, and work towards a Canada that we can be proud of – a Canada that recognizes the barriers that LGBTQ refugees face and actively welcomes communities from around the world.

For more information:

Contact: Destin Bujang
416-469-9754 ext 223
or visit our website:


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FCJ Refugee Centre received Pioneers for Change Award

“Access to information means access to justice; access to knowledge and the tools necessary to mobilize that knowledge and lead to integration”.

With this affirmation the co-directors of FCJ Refugee Centre received the Pioneers for Change Award in Literacy and Access to information 2013.

 During the ceremony they highlighted that access to information means access to justice; access to knowledge and the tools necessary to mobilize that knowledge and lead to integration; in only one kind of integration and is called successful integration. It means access to equity; access to civil society, wherever is defined by them; access to social services and diverse arenas of support; access to fair and sustainable housing; access to healthcare. And despite the progress that has been made in the past, avenues to access have become increasingly narrowed, particularly with the disturbing changes that have taken place over the past year.

Also they mentioned that the access to Information for the diverse populations needs to be underlined with ideas of self-determination and self-identification. Pathways to access need to be paved with anti-oppression and Positive Spaces. “ Information needs to be readily available for members of diverse communities-whether someone identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or straight, information and dissemination of information needs to reflect the multiple needs and intricate fabric of our identities” said Loly Rico during her participation at the ceremony.

Francisco Rico mentioned that as the doors close, and our society seems to be moving in retrograde, precarity increases for many newcomers. At the FCJ Refugee Centre we have always served anyone seeking assistance, regardless of their immigration status. And with recent changes, such as the addition of designated countries of origin (called by the media “safe” countries… is Mexico safe?), new gradations of status are emerging, and putting people at greater risk. And as the number of precarious migrants is steadily on the rise- we are talking about non-status people… What they called “illegals”), we need to be steadfast in our response.

They finished their participation thanking for this recognition: “we feel that this award is a symbol of the work we’re doing, and support to continue our walk with uprooted people. At moments like this, the words of Antonio Machado come to mind… “Traveller, there is no road; the road is made by walking.” Thank you for helping us make this road.”

Se necesita un programa nacional de regularización para los indocumentados en Canadá


Por Francisco Rico-Martínez

 Se necesita un programa nacional de regularizar para los indocumentados en Canadá

TORONTO. El Ministro de Inmigración y Ciudadanía, Honorable Jason Kenney, ha dicho en varias ocasiones que el sistema canadiense de refugio y migración es uno de los más justos y generosos en el mundo y que continuará siéndolo aún bajo el nuevo sistema que él ha propuesto. Ahora bien, no es posible usar sendos términos como “justo” y “generoso” para definir un sistema, cuando dicho sistema no posee una alternativa de regulación o legalización para los migrantes más vulnerables, marginalizados y discriminados por nuestra sociedad.

Sí, estoy hablando de los migrantes en condición de precariedad migratoria que viven entre nosotros. Aquellos que el gobierno llama “ilegales” y que nosotros, los trabajadores sociales, les llamamos “personas sin status migratorio”.  

Muchos países, incluyendo Canadá, han implementado previamente programas muy exitosos de regularización migratoria. Lo justo y generoso de una sociedad se mide por la forma en que dicha sociedad trata a los más vulnerables, en este caso que nos atañe, la justeza y generosidad de la ley migratoria se mide por la existencia o no de un programa de regularización que le permita a los migrantes en condición de precariedad migratoria alcanzar la igualdad de derechos y oportunidades que la sociedad en donde viven les otorga a sus habitantes. 

En otras palabras, la existencia de estos “estatus migratorios ilegítimos” son el resultado de la naturaleza injusta, inequitativa y restrictiva del mundo en que vivimos, lo cual se materializa en un sistema de refugio y migración que refleja esa naturaleza antes mencionada. Como todos sabemos, esta naturaleza injusta es la que hace que migrantes en situación de irregularidad sean tan vulnerables ante muchas formas de abuso, y que las leyes vigentes de los respectivos países en donde ellos habitan, en principio y práctica, no logran protegerlos ante estos abusos. 

El número de migrantes precarios viviendo en Canadá sin la protección de un estatus migratoria se calcula anecdóticamente en alrededor de 350,000 personas.  Este número es equivalente al 1% de la población total que vive en Canadá y se calcula por la sumatoria de los siguientes rubros: El número de solicitudes de refugio pendientes; el número de solicitudes pendientes por razones humanitarias;  los peticionarios de refugio rechazados esperando ser removidos de Canadá; los miles de casos que tienen una orden de deportación vigente y que las autoridades canadienses desconocen su paradero; los miles de personas que deciden quedarse por más tiempo del que las autoridades los han autorizado y siguen viviendo en Canadá sin ser detectados; y los miles que han entrado a Canadá sin ser detectados y siguen viviendo acá de la misma forma.  Como puede verse, 350,000 personas en ilegalidad en Canadá es un estimado conservador. 

El ignorar los derechos y necesidades de los “defacto” residentes de este país, que son un número de personas equivalente al 1% de la población canadiense, es una muy mala política pública por muchas razones. A continuación se discutirán las dos que se consideran las más importantes. 

La primera, si lo vemos a través del lente de la seguridad pública y social. Viéndolo de una forma muy sencilla: El gobierno necesita saber quién vive en Canadá, a dónde están y qué están haciendo, y la única forma de saberlo es si el gobierno abre una iniciativa nacional de regularización para esta población, en donde todas las personas en esta condición sean motivadas  a salir de la “ilegalidad” y presentar una solicitud para su regularización migratoria. No más “second class” individuos. 

La segunda, la falta de una alternativa de regularización migratoria, transforma a la familia en una institución ilegal, sin derechos, sin protección. Y la destrucción de la familia, como un efecto no deseado de la política migratoria restrictiva, genera problemas sociales mucho más agudos que lo que la ley migratoria aspira a resolver a través de deportaciones y procesos larguísimos de reunificación. 

A muchas familias se les ve afectada su estabilidad y su naturaleza por la falta de alternativas migratorias de regularización, y un programa de regularización motivaría a estas familias a salir de la “ilegalidad” y cobijarse a los miles de programas de apoyo y protección que existen en esta sociedad. No más “second class” familias.

En nombre de la seguridad pública; en nombre de la protección de la familia; en nombre de la comunidad de migrantes sin estatus migratorio que viven en Canadá… Sr. Ministro, implemente un programa nacional de regularización para migrantes en condición de irregularidad que viven entre nosotros. 

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