TORONTO, Jan. 12, 2016 /CNW/ - The Law Foundation of Ontario has made a
grant of nearly $90,000 to support free legal help that will assist the
arrival of Syrian refugees in the Toronto area. The grant furthers the
partnership of Lifeline Syria and the Refugee Sponsorship Support
Program, a pro bono lawyer co-ordination effort led by the University
of Ottawa's Refugee Law Hub.
Together, the organizations provide private sponsors with free legal
services to help them navigate the refugee sponsorship process in the
Toronto area. Nationally, more than 1,000 lawyers and supervised law
students in five Canadian cities have volunteered with the Refugee
Sponsorship Support Program to provide these services and the efforts
are expanding rapidly.
"This Law Foundation funding is coming at a critical time and will help
us mobilize volunteers and support those who have taken on the
responsibility of sponsorship," says Ratna Omidvar, Chair of Lifeline
Syria and Executive Director of the Global Diversity Exchange at
Ryerson University. "Delays in processing these applications mean
refugees continue to live in deplorable and unsafe conditions."
The Law Foundation of Ontario is making the grant through its Access to
Justice Fund which currently has enhancing access to justice for
refugee populations as one of its five priority areas.
"The Law Foundation of Ontario identified the legal needs of refugees as
a priority for the 2016 Access to Justice Fund granting," says
Foundation Chair, Paul Schabas. "The arrival of Syrian refugees
highlighted these needs, and we're pleased to be able to respond so
quickly to support access to legal services to assist the sponsorship
of our newest Canadian residents. This grant will bolster the good work
these organizations are doing and give sponsors access to the legal
experts they need to get Syrian refugees here as soon as possible."
2016 Access to Justice Fund Call for Applications now open
The Law Foundation of Ontario created the Access to Justice Fund (ATJF)
in 2009 after receiving a $14.6 million cy-près award. The ATJF is a
unique, permanent fund that is being used to improve access to justice
The 2016 Access to Justice Fund Call for Applications is now open and is accepting Letters of Intent until April 1, 2016. To
be considered, applications must be from a Canadian non-profit
organization and be for projects that address legal needs of or
relating to one or more of the following priority areas: 1. Children
and youth; 2. Consumers; 3. Public legal education, intake and
referral; 4. Racialized groups; 5. Refugees.
Full details of the granting criteria and application process can be
found on the Foundation's website at www.lawfoundation.on.ca.
About The Law Foundation of Ontario (www.lawfoundation.on.ca)
Established by statute in 1974, The Law Foundation of Ontario is the
sole foundation in Ontario with the mandate of improving access to
justice. Through granting and collaboration, the Foundation invests in
knowledge and services that help people understand the law and use it
to improve their lives.
About Lifeline Syria (www.lifelinesyria.ca)
Lifeline Syria recruits, trains and assists sponsor groups as they
welcome and support Syrian refugees coming to Canada as permanent
immigrants to resettle in the GTA over the next two years.
About Refugee Sponsorship Support Program (SSP) (www.refugeessp.ca)
Refugee Sponsorship Support Program is a nation-wide project that trains
lawyers to assist groups seeking to privately sponsor refugees. Based
at the University of Ottawa's Refugee Law Hub, the program recruits
lawyers from any discipline, provides them with comprehensive online
and in-person training and provides expert support to help them
navigate the private sponsorship system.
SOURCE The Law Foundation of Ontario
Image with caption: "The Law Foundation of Ontario (CNW Group/The Law Foundation of Ontario)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160112_C9773_PHOTO_EN_44601.jpg
For further information:
and to schedule an interview:
Nathalie Noël, Communications Specialist, The Law Foundation of Ontario
416-598-1550 ext. 312, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kirsti Mathers McHenry, Director, Policy & Programs, The Law Foundation of Ontario
Ratna Omidvar, Chair, Lifeline Syria
Jacqueline Swaisland, Co-founder and Toronto Co-ordinator of Refugee SSP