TORONTO, June 24, 2014 /CNW/ - With the addition of gender identity and
gender expression to the Ontario Human Rights Code, the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO) is leading a Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) funded project to help ensure that the legal needs of trans
people in Ontario are being met and determine the barriers that trans
people face in accessing justice.
"Trans" is an umbrella term referring to people whose gender identity or
gender expression isn't reflected by the gender assigned to them at
"Unfortunately, pervasive experiences of discrimination, harassment, and
social marginalization exist for trans people," explains Nicole
Nussbaum, LAO Staff Lawyer and project lead.
Ryan Peck, Executive Director of HALCO, adds, "Our goal for this project
is to help a wide range of legal service providers make their vital
services more available and accessible to all trans people."
With funding from LAO, HALCO is launching the Trans Legal Needs
Assessment project to:
document the need for legal services among trans people
identify barriers to accessing legal services through a series of focus
groups and a province-wide survey
develop strategies to address barriers
"Given the distinct legal issues and challenges faced by trans
communities, this project will make an important difference in the
ability of trans people to access justice," says John McCamus, Chair of
LAO. "We are pleased to support HALCO in this initiative."
The Trans Legal Needs Assessment project is one of 15 community and
legal aid clinic projects that LAO is investing in. LAO has committed
$9 million over the next three years for 15 projects to support
community and legal aid clinics to improve access to justice and
enhance outcomes for low-income Ontarians.
The funding is thanks to $30 million in additional funding from the
provincial government in May 2013. LAO has invested 30 per cent ($3
million for 2013/14) in two new LAO funds for legal clinics, student
legal aid services societies and other community agencies who need
funding to support projects that focus on delivering integrated
services through existing community access points. These funds also
support clinic law service modernization.
HALCO is a charitable, not-for-profit, community-based legal clinic that
provides free legal services to people living with HIV in Ontario.
LAO is an independent, publicly funded not-for-profit corporation that
promotes access to justice throughout Ontario for low-income
SOURCE: Legal Aid Ontario
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