For decades (PDF) we’ve been clear that crossing an international border does not negate a person’s human rights. Refugee rights are human rights. Framings that talk about refugees as a “security risk” are deeply harmful to us all.
We do not offer refugee sponsorship. Our leading to support refugees instead caused us to become members of the Canadian Council for Refugees and to financially support the Quaker Committee for Refugees of Toronto Monthly Meeting. The Quaker Committee for Refugees offers all sorts of free support services for refugees and newcomers after they've arrived in Toronto. For those already in Toronto, call their staff person Eusebio Garcia at 416-964-9669.
Eusebio assists refugees and other migrants in:
- filing forms,
- applying for work permits,
- accessing healthcare coverage,
- obtaining necessary documents,
- connecting to legal services,
- finding housing,
- understanding educational options and openings,
- receiving employment training, and more.
The Spring 2015 issue of our newsletter Quaker Concern (PDF) has a lead article by Eusebio about the journey that brought him to work for the Quaker Committee for Refugees. It provides some excellent background about the refugee support services CFSC helps finance.
In 2006, CFSC produced a discussion paper that lays out aspects of refugee rights issues that are still highly relevant today. We invite you to read Rethinking Security: Refuge, Power, and Privilege.
The Quaker Committee for Refugees also helps detainees at the Immigration and Refugee Detention Centre at Rexdale and Martin Grove in Toronto to meet legal requirements, obtain necessary additional documents, and access other services that may be of assistance. Friends have been visiting the Detention Centre weekly since the early 1990s, inspired by the example of Nancy Pocock, the founder of Toronto Monthly Meeting’s Quaker Committee for Refugees.