Documents, Research & Special Reports

See also our periodical publications:

The Impact of COVID-19 on Refugee Claimants and other precarious populations

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen how longstanding inequities have been disproportionately magnified and continue to affect and marginalize refugee claimants and other precarious populations.
– Who is considered a precarious migrant?
– Barriers faced by precarious migrants are magnified by COVID-19
– COVID-19 and the new measures implemented on the refugee process
– Impact of COVID-19 on the immigration system and how it is affecting precarious populations

Going back to School during COVID-19

Many parents are worried about sending their kids back to school. During this session the FCJ Primary Care Clinic will walk you through some of the safety measures for kids, providing tips for the new school year. We will talk about new routines, the use of mask, physical distancing, social bubble, school transportation, etc. Presentation in English | Video in English

A muchas familias les preocupa que sus hijos vuelvan a la escuela. Durante esta sesión, la Clínica de Atención Primaria de FCJ lo guiará a través de algunas de las medidas de seguridad para los niños y brindará consejos para el nuevo año escolar. Hablaremos de nuevas rutinas, uso de máscara, distanciamiento físico, burbuja social, transporte escolar, etc. Presentación en español | Vídeo en español

How to find help during the COVID-19 crisis

This is a toolkit with information about how to find support during the crisis of the COVID-19. The document provides helpful resources. Keep in mind that most of the information is focused in Toronto. We are trying to keep the resources up-to-date as possible.

Including: Health support, access to foodbanks, shelter in Toronto, what to do in domestic violence situations, access to Ontario Works.

Housing Needs for Precarious Populations: House Searching 


Housing challenges during COVID-19, Types of Housing, Sharing a Budget, Where and How to search, Viewing the apartment, Rental applications, Signing the rental contract, Moving supports, Your rights and responsibilities, Available support.

Watch the video webinar

Refugee Hearing Preparation Kit

This Kit is produced by the University of Ottawa Refugee Assistance Project (UORAP), an access to justice initiative funded by the Law foundation of Ontario. UORAP aims to assist unrepresented refugee claimants in Canada as they prepare for the refugee hearing. For more information please visit This Kit and its contents are intended as general legal information to assist refugee claimants and those assisting them to prepare for their refugee hearing without compensation.

Refugee Hearing Preparation Updated

On 14 August 2020, the Federal Government announced a temporary pathway to permanent residency for refugee claimants working in the health-care sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. This presentation covers:

– Updates on the Refugee Process
– Gathering Evidences
– Refugee Hearing Day

Watch the video webinar

Ontario Coalition of Service Providers contact list

The Coalition includes refugee houses and agencies who work with vulnerable populations across Southern Ontario and 2 in the United States.

The coalition meets every 2 months to share information and resources; identify and communicate operational needs; and to raise public awareness of refugee issues.

To see the contact list please click here.

Legal Aid Questionaire Guide

Legal Aid Ontario provides legal help in English and French for financially eligible low‑income Ontarians in family law, refugee and immigration law, criminal law, mental health law, and clinic law. Services include: a toll‑free telephone line that includes 20 minutes of free legal advice for family law matters, same day courthouse services including duty counsel, paralegals and court workers, staff lawyers who represent clients, representation by a private lawyer through our certificate program, web‑based information and referrals, support for 72 independent legal clinics and seven student legal aid services societies throughout the province.

When calling legal aid, please make sure that you have the following details available. To read the Questionaire please click here.

Breaking Barriers: Services and Resources for undocumented Torontonians and precarious migrants 

The intention of this tool kit is to share information with people with precarious status about access to services, what are the possibilities to regularize their immigration status, and what are their rights.

The FCJ Refugee Centre recognizes that all uprooted people have strengths and capacities to contribute to the host country where their migration status is irregular. We understand and empathize with the experiences of precarious migrants who are viewed as disposable/temporary labour in Canada. The Centre strives to offer holistic support and find ways and means to help people formalize their status where possible.

R. P. D. Preparation / Representation Guidelines

The following guidelines provide steps that can be taken by refugee houses/NGO staff to assist refugee claimants in preparing for and representing themselves at the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board when legal representation cannot be secured due to recent legal aid funding cuts.

To read the guidelines please click here.

R. A. D. Appeal Guidelines

The following guidelines provide steps that can be taken by refugee houses/NGO staff to assist refugee claimants in submitting an appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division at the Immigration and Refugee Board when legal representation cannot be secured due to recent legal aid funding cuts.

To read the guidelines please click here.

FCJ Refugee Centre report on the experience of refugee claimants and other precarious migrants navigating the housing system

Displaced persons and precarious migrants are particularly vulnerable to a range of other human rights violations that can then impact their right to housing. They are particularly vulnerable to discrimination, racism and xenophobia, which can further interfere with their ability to secure sustainable and adequate living conditions. People who have been forcibly displaced will often have suffered trauma during their journey, and will have lost familiar coping strategies and support mechanisms. Often unable in practice or because of their legal status to rent adequate accommodation, many are forced to live in overcrowded and insecure conditions. These challenges are compounded by Toronto’s ongoing housing crisis, which is a long-standing problem.

Many of our clients facing this situation came to FCJ Refugee Centre looking for support. This report shares our findings on the challenges that refugee claimants and precarious migrants face in finding a place to stay in the city, whether that is a temporary shelter or more permanent housing through the rental market. We are grateful to those who shared their stories with us. We wanted to bring attention to these issues as these vulnerabilities are not given the due attention they deserve, either in the media or in government policies. To read the report please click here.

Humanitarian and Compassionate Application Document Gathering

This document is a list containing some of the most common documents that H&C applicants can use to support their case. It is not required that you gather all of the documents on this list. However, the more supporting documents the better argument we can make for your case. Please bring only the supporting documents that are applicable in your case. Letters from official places should look official, for example they should be on official letterhead of their organization or office. Letters from individuals in your application should include the status documentation for that individual.

English version
Portuguese version
Spanish version

From Youth To You

This is a toolkit for 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.

This is a resource that prioritize newcomer youth voices in fostering promising practices and addressing the less visible challenges faced by diverse newcomer youth populations.

The toolkit also outlines the FCJ Youth Network’s current model of youth-engagement and youth leadership. Through this tool we want to encourage other newcomer youth serving organizations to duplicate this model to have more community-centered youth-engagement policies and practices.We are incredibly grateful for all of the support we received over the course of this project and know that we couldn’t have done it without the generous support of the Laidlaw Foundation, our allies and community partners.

Uprooted Education: 2016 Ontario Report

The Uprooted Education 2016 Ontario Report t is the result of a project undertaken by members of the FCJ Youth Network to explore how the unique trajectories and social locations of migrant youth with precarious immigration status intersect with access to, and involvement in, Ontario high schools. The report attempts to detail these experiences through five salient themes, and offer insight into promising practices and possibilities to ignite change.

We would like to especially thank the Laidlaw Foundation for their support, as well as the many organizations and individuals that lent their voices to this project.

We consider this report to be an organic document, and hope that it is valuable in not only raising awareness of this issue in Ontario, but laying further groundwork for its continued exploration across Canada. As such, this project has been inspired and influenced by many others, and hope that it will continue to be improved upon and made relevant to other institutions, organizations and areas of work.

Integrated Model of Refugee Protection and Integration

The FCJ Refugee Centre Integrated Model provides supportive services to ensure that refugee claimants, particularly uprooted women and women victims of violence, receive the appropriate information and support to navigate the complex Canadian refugee system. The centre offers an integrated model of refugee protection, settlement services and education, including shelter and transitional housing for refugee women and their children.Ourintegrated model follows a refugee’s journey from the time they make a claim (and sometimes before), until they become permanent residentsof Canada. This model has two core components: Refugee Protection and Integration Process (focus on uprooted women) and Popular Education and Networking.

Exclusionary Changes in the Conservative Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Policies: The Beginning of the End

By Francisco Rico-Martinez.- In June 2008, Bill C-50 gave the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada broader power to change or cancel any Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) program or class through Ministerial Instruction (MI), without oversight by any parliamentary body or institution; in other words, the ability to run the Ministry by decree. This heralded a disturbing new tradition in Canadian legislation and policy implementation, one that contradicts the often quoted claim: “Canada has the fairest immigration and refugee system in the world.” [Keep reading]

Citizenship & Immigration: Changes for Exclusion

By FCJ Refugee Centre, March 2015. Including: 2008 Ministerial Powers, Ministerial Instruction 13 (MI13), Ministerial Instruction 14 (MI14), How Does This Affect Existing LICs, Ministerial Instruction 15 Express Entry Program, Humanitarian & Compassioned Application, Removals to Haiti and Zimbabwe, Assisted Voluntary Returns Program by CBSA, Changes under the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, Change in Work Permit Fees, Changes to the Definition of a “Dependent Child”, Court challenge to IFH cuts for Refugee Claimants, Refugees Claimants and access to social assistance, People smuggling, Supreme Court and Humanitarian Work, etc. To read the whole report please click here.

Child Trafficking: Global Perspectives and Best Practices

21 million people are victims of forced labour across the world, trapped in jobs which they were coerced or deceived into and which they cannot leave, including human trafficking. 5.5 million (26%) are below 18 years. 1.2 million worldwide trafficked children remains the reference. An estimated 27% of all trafficking victims detected globally are children.

A presentation by Dr Antonela Arhin, from the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies, University of Toronto (February 20th, 2014).

Tool-Kit | Undeserved Communities Research

This tool-kit was made possible by the generosity of UNIFOR The Union.

Please see also the presentations.

Immigration and Refugee Policy Changes


Citizenship, Family Class Changes (Sponsoring spouses, Sponsoring dependent children, Sponsoring grandparents/parents), Economic Class Program Changes (Federal Skilled Workers, Canadian Experience Class, Provincial Nominees, Entrepreneurships & Immigrant investors), Temporary Stay (Temporary Foreign worker, Refugee Class Changes (New classifications, Conceptual Changes, New Refugee Process, new H&C limitations, new PRAA limitations, Health plan changes).

Refugee Claim Applications

Applications to file a refugee claim. Including:

– Generic Application
– Schedule 12
– Schedule A
– Basis of Claim Form

Building Collaboration to Combat Human Trafficking in Toronto

Presentation by Karlee Sapoznik, October 28, 2013. Including:

– Introduction
– Forms of Human Trafficking in Toronto
– Legislation, Policy and Emerging Grey Zones
– Building Collaboration
– Conclusion

Roundtable Series on Human Trafficking

Presentations (October 2013):

Human Trafficking Forum on Forced Labour

Presentations (April 2013):

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, NGOs, Syrian refugees, as well as visits to immigration reception centers in Bulgaria. A short video was also produced to reproduce parts of the conducted interviews and comments gathered during the visit.

Human Trafficking for Forced Labour Forum: Summary Report

The Forum on Human Trafficking for Forced Labour: Raising Awareness and Building Response was organized by the FCJ Refugee Centre and was made possible with the financial support of the Department of Justice Canada, and took place during the National Victims of Crime Awareness Week 2013: We All Have a Role. The forum was focused on persons trafficked internationally for the purposes of forced labour, the programs that increase people’s vulnerabilities to this crime, and the barriers to services and protection for these populations. Approximately 100 participants took part in the event, mostly from Toronto and the GTA.

Request for Action and Recommendations

The FCJ Refugee Centre presented a request for action, suggesting policies for protection and services tailored to the needs of internationally trafficked persons.

The request for action was debated among the participants who provided input and also developed their own recommendations.

To read the document please click here.

Open Letter: Fund Legal Aid Ontario

Open Letter from the Coalition of Service Providers for Refugee Claimants in Southern Ontario calling on Federal and Provincial governments to fully fund Legal Aid Ontario’s immigration and refugee services.

The Coalition of Service Providers forRefugee Claimants in Southern Ontario calls on the Federal and Provincialgovernmentsto immediately increase funding to Legal Aid Ontario(LAO)to ensure that serious cuts are not made to immigration and refugee law services.

To read the document please click here.

How to provide support clients detained under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

This document has 2 sections: the first section is an explanation of what happens at the Toronto Immigration Holding Centre. The second section describes how a refugee house or any other agency can become a community-based alternative to detention. The FCJ Refugee Centre has been supporting detainees at the Immigration Holding Centre through the Toronto Refugee Affairs Council (TRAC) for more than a decade. Through this experience the Centre is trying to identify how the refugee houses at the Coalition of Service Providers, or any other agency, can provide a better support to this population.

The guide provides a quick overview of the release process for detained immigrants at the Toronto Immigration Holding Centre (TIHC). Our goal is to increase awareness among service providers and the wider population about issues of detention. We hope this guide is a helpful tool on procedures and promising practices to best support detainees in their transitioning process to independent living.

To read the document please click here.

Housing Needs of Precarious Populations Guide

The Housing Needs of Precarious populations Guide addresses the barriers, priorities, promising practices and gaps in terms of accessing housing for precarious migrants.

The document highlights existing limitations of the settlement programs that exacerbate the vulnerability of those populations to homelessness.

To read the document please click here.

The Precarious Migrant Protection and Support Program Resources

The Precarious Migrant Protection and Support Services allows the FCJ Refugee Centre to strengthen the service provision for precarious migrant populations living in Toronto.

Through the program we welcome new clients who are looking for support regarding immigration and settlement issues.

One of the components of this program is The Precarious Migrant Protection and Support Directory.

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 report please click here.

The Inland Regularization Class

As part of our 25th Anniversary Celebration, the FCJ Refugee Centre is proposing a program aimed at providing a new avenue for regularization for many migrant populations that find themselves in various states of immigration status limbo, including legacy claimants. We anticipate that this proposed program could impact more than 360,000 residents of Canada – a group that represents 1% of the “censused” population. This program involves the development of a new immigration class through which individuals will be assessed on various criteria surrounding their time in Canada, including their involvement in different institutions and community groups, economic integration, as well as social and familial ties. This new class will fill the gaps in existing legislation whereby refugee claimants are unable to submit an application for permanent residency on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, despite having set roots, and becoming well-established in Canada.

Take a look at the complete document: Click here.

Audit Report Access T.O. Initiative

FCJ Refugee Centre reporting to the City of Toronto, Department of Social Policy, Analysis and Research.

Objective:To identify areas of improvement in service delivery and implementation of the Access T.O. initiative.

Key performance indicator: Services providecorrect information to the public (Knowledge of identification requirements with regards to immigration status, Knowledge of data protection policy, Overall customer service).