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Migration

With the situation for asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border becoming harsher every day, we are eager to support and collaborate with organisations working on the ground in any way that we can.

Settlement

As part of our Settlement programs we provide temporary shelter for recently arrived women and their children, a primary health care clinic, English classes, and a series of workshops for women.

Youth Network

The FCJ Youth Network is a diverse group of newcomer youth that has welcomed over 80 members in the past year. They share experiences, support one another, and mobilize their knowledge to overcome the challenges that they face.

Human Trafficking

We offer direct services to people who have been trafficked, taking into account the range of supports needed, and walking with survivors through legal processes, immigration procedures, settlement and recovery.

Featured

Seeds of Hope

SEEDS OF HOPE: Stories written by FCJ Youth and ALLIES Creating a future in the shadows: A window onto experiences that are so rarely shared, highlighting voices that are too often silenced GET YOUR BOOK FOR ONLY $20.OO  + $6.50 shipping If you want to receive it by mail (the shipping amount might vary if you order more than one …
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From Youth to You

This toolkit was born out of a growing need for youth, and particularly newcomer and precarious migrant youth, to feel more valued and included in various services that they access in the City of Toronto. Youth are often met with challenges when attempting to access services and participate in programs in different areas such as: settlement, education, legal, employment, recreation, …
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Syrian Refugees in Bulgaria: A Double Edged Sword

Syrian Refugees in Bulgaria: A Double Edged Sword is a report prepared by FCJ Refugee Centre after a delegation from Canadian Council for Refugees visit Bulgaria in June 2014. This visit had variety of goals including better understand the complex situation of Syrian asylum-seekers and refugees in Bulgaria. This understanding was facilitated by interviews with key stakeholders including state agencies, …
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Borderless Voices

Borderless Voices is an open space for anyone who wants to share their story and experiences in Canada. Through this new space, FCJ Refugee Centre is featuring stories of refugees and other voiceless communities. The first segment of this new section is focused on our 25 Anniversary and we are broadcasting short videos of successful stories and experiences from our …
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Holiday season is here and it is giving time! Help us to keep walking with uprooted people

As part of the Holiday Season, FCJ Refugee Center has started to sell Christmas trees at Ikea north York location

FCJ Refugee Centre is making a call to everyone on this season   to reflect generosity by the work the Centre does in making the society a better place for vulnerable populations.

On this giving season, FCJ Refugee Centre calls on everyone to consider making a gift to show your support to refugees and other precarious migrants.

You can support us buying a Christmas tree at IKEA NORTH YORK .Every time that you buy a CHRISTMAS TREE at this location, you will be supporting refugees and other vulnerable populations

ADDRESS: 15 Provost Dr, Toronto, ON M2K 2X9

 

 

Our Fall Newsletter is ready!

Read all our updates: events and initiatives for the upcoming month:

Museum without a Home (Nov 6): Join us for a memorable evening filled with art, food and music to celebrate the strength of refugees and the kindness of those who welcome them to their new communities.

Showing up for refugees (Nov 4): From November 4th to 8th the Federal Court of Canada will hear a challenge to the designation of the U.S. as a safe third country for refugees.

Human Trafficking and Migrant Worker Exploitation in our Backyard (Nov 22):  This forum is a crucial opportunity to discuss the many migrant workers who come to Canada and whom are subject to labour trafficking and exploitation, due to systemic shortfalls of    Canadian immigration and labour laws.

 

Court to hear why sending refugee claimants back to the U.S. breaks Canadian law

Demonstrators to rally outside Toronto court in support of legal challenge to
flawed Safe Third Country Agreement

From November 4th to 8th the Federal Court of Canada will hear a challenge to the designation of the U.S. as a safe third country for refugees. The court will hear that sending refugee claimants back to the US violates Canadian law, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Canada’s binding international human rights obligations.

The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR), Amnesty International (AI) and The Canadian Council of Churches (CCC), alongside an individual litigant and her children, initiated the legal challenge in July 2017. The hearings are taking place at the Federal Court of Canada in Toronto, at 180 Queen Street West.

“We are asking the court to look at the impact of the Safe Third Country Agreement on women, men and children who can’t find safety in the U.S. and to assess the legality of Canada sending them back to detention and potential deportation to persecution,” said Claire Roque, CCR President. “The impacts are particularly severe for women, because of U.S. policies that close the door on women fleeing gender-based violence. The conclusion is clear to us: the U.S. cannot be considered a safe country for refugees.”

“The Canadian Council of Churches has long advocated that every human being who is physically present in Canada has a legal right to life, liberty and security of person under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” said Peter Noteboom, General Secretary of The Canadian Council of Churches. “The U.S.-Canada Safe Third Country Agreement stands in the way of guaranteeing those legal rights.”

“The time for Canada to rely on the adequacy of the U.S. protection regime has come to a definitive end,” said Justin Mohammed, Human Rights Law and Policy Campaigner at Amnesty International. “In the absence of action on the part of Canada’s elected representatives to acknowledge the serious shortcomings of the U.S. refugee protection system, we now turn to the courts to ensure that Canada’s domestic and international legal obligations are upheld.”

The organizations and individuals leading the legal challenge have submitted extensive evidence that the U.S. system fails in many ways to protect refugees, and that people turned back from Canada under the Safe Third Country Agreement are at risk of being sent in turn by the U.S. to face persecution, torture and even death in their home countries.

Under the Safe Third Country Agreement, implemented in 2004, refugees who present themselves at a Canada-U.S. border post seeking to make a refugee claim in Canada are, with limited exceptions, denied access to the Canadian refugee system and immediately returned to the United States. Since the Agreement does not apply to people who cross into Canada other than at an official border post, people in need of safety in Canada have been crossing in significant numbers in between ports of entry. Withdrawing from the Agreement would not only ensure that Canada meets its legal obligations, but would also allow people to present themselves in an orderly way at ports of entry, ending irregular crossings.

A rally will be held outside the Court (180 Queen Street West) in support of the legal challenge on Monday, November 4 at 12:30pm.

Media contacts:

Milen Minchev, Communication Coordinator, Canadian Council for Refugees, 514-277-7223, ext.1, 514-602-2098 (cell), media@ccrweb.ca

Lucy Scholey, Media Relations, Amnesty International Canada (English branch), 613-744-7667 ext. 236, lscholey@amnesty.ca

Dr. Nicole Roccas, Communications Coordinator, The Canadian Council of Churches, 416-972-9494 (preferred), communications@councilofchurches.com

 

MIGRANTS’ RIGHT TO HEALTH & WELL-BEING

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:

MIGRANTS’ RIGHT TO HEALTH & WELL-BEING
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

Thank you for your support and make it possible

Thanks to your support we were able to make it at the Youth Action Gathering, YAG.

The YAG was  hosted by the Canadian Council for Refugees in Moncton, New Brunswick and we had a wonderful time! In preparation for this trip, we did a lot of fundraising including hosting two community dinners, and the creation and selling of personalized Tote Bags!

At the YAG, members of the group had the chance to participate in bilingual workshops learning about leadership skills, community engagement, and advocating for the rights of all newcomer youth living in Canada. As well as attending the Moncton AfroFest Gala, and attending Hopewell Rocks – a once in a lifetime opportunity!

 

We were able to make it thanks to the support from each one of you!!

 

Buy a Bag.. send us to YAG

Help us to get our FCJ Youth Network to the Youth Action Gatherings (YAG) .

We are raising  funds to cover the cost to travel to attend The Youth Action Gatherings (YAG) in Moncton, New Brunswick in October.

The Youth Action Gatherings (YAG) bring together immigrant and refugee youth from across Canada to share, learn and together strategize about how to address common challenges. The YAG is a space where newcomer youth across Canada build a community of support that persists even when they go back home.

 

Join us at our dinner for our FCJ Youth Network, on Wednesday September 25th, at 7 o’clock.  We will be preparing a delicious spaghetti dinner, with organic local ingredients, and selling tote bags as well! The cost for dinner will be $15 and the tote bags will be $15 as well! Your support will make the difference in helping us reach our goal!!

CONFIRMATION for dinner :

  1. EVENTBRITE :  https://fcjyouthdinnerfundraising.eventbrite.ca
  2. Or contact directly Natasha at natasha.rollings@fcjrefugeecentre.org

You are also  welcome to support us through the GoFundMe campaign

https://www.gofundme.com/f/buy-a-bag-send-us-to-yag

Please contact Natasha at natasha.rollings@fcjrefugeecentre.org with any questions!

Call to Reverse Elimination of the the Transition Child Benefit (TCB)

The Ontario Coalition of Service Providers for Refugee Claimants Calls on the Provincial Government to Reverse Its Plan to Eliminate the Transition Child Benefit (TCB).

 

The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services has announced plans to eliminate Transition Child Benefit (TCB) as of November 1, 2019. TCB provides families with up to a maximum of $230 per child per month. This monthly amount is a lifeline to ensure that children are protected and cared for. Losing this benefit will have devastating consequences, not only for refugee families, but also for other children whose parents are on Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and currently receiving TCB.

 

Since some families are not eligible for the Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) or the closely-aligned Canada Child Benefit (CCB), the Transition Child Benefit was set up to ensure that the children of those parents who are receiving Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) but ineligible for other child benefits would not be without money for food, clothing and basic needs. The removal of TCB stands as a threat to the health and wellbeing of vulnerable families across the province. Refugee claimants will be disproportionately affected if TCB is eliminated, since they are not eligible to receive other benefits for their children based on their immigration status.

Learn about the consequences of the Ontario Government’s failure to provide support for the basic needs of children.

To read the complete letter please click here.

 

 

The letter is signed by members of the Ontario Coalition of Service Providers:

The Ontario Coalition of Service Providers for Refugee Claimants

Member Agencies:

Adam House, Toronto
Angela Rose House, Windsor
Carty House, Ottawa
Casa El Norte, Fort Erie
Casa Maria Refugee Homes, Peterborough
Chez Marie, Fort Erie
Christie Refugee Welcome Centre, Toronto
COSTI Immigrant Services, Toronto
FCJ Refugee Centre, Toronto
Fort Erie Multi-Cultural Centre, Fort Erie
Matthew House, Fort Erie
Matthew House, Ottawa
Matthew House, Toronto
Matthew House, Windsor
Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support, Kitchener
Micah House, Hamilton
Quaker Refugee Committee, Toronto
Romero House, Toronto
Silas Hill Home for Refugees, Toronto
Sojourn House, Toronto
The 519 Church Street Community Centre, Toronto

 

 

 

Canada must not be complicit in the U.S. assault on Central American refugees

https://theconversation.com/canada-must-not-be-complicit-in-the-u-s-assault-on-central-american-refugees-1210239

U.S. President Donald Trump regularly asserts that the United States is under attack by foreign invaders and that he is the only one willing to stop them. Who are these invaders? Central American asylum seekers, mostly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Amnesty International calls this region “one of the world’s most violent places, with more people killed there than in most conflict zones globally.” Médecins Sans Frontières says that the “violence suffered by people in (these countries) is comparable to the experience in war zones where MSF has been present for decades.”

Much of this violence is caused by criminal gangs, for whom kidnapping, extortion and murder are standard practice. Gender-based violence — including sexual violence and intimate partner violence — is also extremely common. Law enforcement officials in these countries are often complicit in both gang violence and gender-based violence. Even where they’re not complicit, they are generally ineffective in stopping the violence.

Not surprisingly, hundreds of thousands of people have fled these countries, exercising their right to seek asylum.

Raftsmen set off across the Suchiate River carrying unregulated people from Guatemala into Talisman, Mexico in June 2019 headed ultimately for the United States. (AP Photo/Oliver de Ros)

The Trump administration, however, has done everything it can to discourage these asylum seekers from coming to U.S., despite international legal obligations to provide protection to refugees.

Some of the harsher measures include: forcibly separating asylum-seeking families, detaining children and adult asylum-seekers in inhumane conditions, militarizing the southern border, firing tear gas across the border at women and children asylum seekers, declaring that people facing gang violence or gender-based violence do not qualify for asylum, and, of course, building (or at least talking about building) a border wall.

Inspired by Canada

The United States has even drawn inspiration from Canada in its bid to block the arrival of Central American asylum seekers, using the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) as a model.

Under the STCA, Canada returns to the U.S. most refugee claimants who present themselves at the border. The United States is seeking to persuade Mexico and Guatemala to agree to similar arrangements that would allow the U.S. to send asylum-seekers who make it to the United States back to those countries. Absent such agreements, the U.S. has used threats of tariffs to induce both countries to block asylum seekers in transit with the aim of preventing them from getting to the United States in the first place.

The U.S. has also announced that, in contravention of international law, it will no longer provide asylum to most applicants who travelled through any country where they could have sought refugee protection — essentially all Central American asylum seekers.

In all of this, Canada has been remarkably quiet. Under the STCA, Canada continues to turn away Central American refugee claimants who present themselves at an official border crossing. Canada has also initiated discussions with the U.S. about expanding the STCA to cut off other routes into the country involving irregular border crossing.

Read more: The deadly consequences of proposed Canadian asylum restrictions

Nonetheless, Central American asylum seekers who circumvent these barriers and who make it to Canada will mostly be recognized as refugees. According to statistics produced by Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board, the refugee claim grant rates in 2018 for these countries were: El Salvador, 72 per cent; Guatemala, 64 per cent; and, Honduras, 57 per cent.

So when the Trump administration attacks this group of asylum seekers and denies them protection, they are attacking people who mostly meet Canada’s refugee definition. Canada must not be complicit in these attacks against refugees.

At a minimum, Canada should not be sending refugee claimants from these countries back to the United States under the STCA. The U.S. is simply not safe for them.

But Canada should do more than that.

Canada should stand up for international law by condemning the American assault on this group of refugees.

And Canada should do its part by helping refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras get around the barriers that the U.S. is placing in their path by bringing them to the country under refugee resettlement programs.

Increasing the number of orientation sessions in Toronto to help refugee claimants prepare for their hearings

We are excited to announce the  increasing number of orientation sessions in Toronto to help refugee claimants prepare for their hearings. A Ready Tour is a refugee hearing orientation session and has become a key resource for unrepresented claimants. After the legal aids cuts we see an increasing number of participants with no legal representative.

  • As you know Ready Tours are scheduled twice a month. However, due the increased number of registrations, the program will expand. Starting in August there will be one session per week depending on the demand.
  • Besides the expansion, the session also will be facilitated in other languages depending on the participants needs. The first session  is scheduled is in Spanish  on August 30
  • This is the calendar for the upcoming sessions:

August  1st    

August  15th

August 29th

August 30th  pilot session in Spanish

 

For registrations  just send the above information to readytour@fcjrefugeecentre.org

  1. First name:
  2. Last name:
  3. E mail:
  4. Telephone number:
  5. Country of origin:
  6. Date of claim :(Month/Year)
  7. Hearing date :(Month/Day/Year)
  8. Do you have a legal representative?
  9. Who referred you to the Ready Tour, how did you learn about it?
  10. What do you want to learn during the Ready Tour?
  11. If you want to refer a group of participants from your agency, just fill out the following chart with the information and send it to me:

 

 

First name Last name Country of origin Refugee claim date Refugee Hearing date E mail
(this is optional if you want me to send confirmation directly to your clients
           
           
           

 

I am sending the current flyer we are using. I will send the new one as soon as it is ready.

Thank  you

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