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March 30, 2001
City of Toronto celebrates Refugee Rights Awareness Week
Mayor Mel Lastman will proclaim April 2 to 8, 2001 Refugee Rights Awareness
Week. An event sponsored by a coalition of refugee service providers and
advocacy groups in collaboration with the City's Access and Equity Unit will
take place on Wednesday, April 4 at Metro Hall (rotunda).

Guests include master of ceremonies Miranda Pinto, Executive Director, Catholic
Cross-Cultural Services and keynote speaker Carole Devin from Médecins Sans
Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). Workshops, in Room 308 from 1 to 4:30
p.m., will be presented by
  • representatives from the Ontario Works Program and the City of Toronto's Social Services Division: information sharing for frontline and settlement workers
  • Jack Martin, Director, Refugee Law Office: overview of New Immigration Act -- Bill C-11

Participating agencies include the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture,
Catholic Cross Cultural Services, City of Toronto, Eelam Tamil Information
Centre of Toronto, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI),
Toronto Refugee Affairs Council, Working Group on Refugee Resettlement.

The first Refugee Rights Day was on April 4, 1985, when the Supreme Court of
Canada released its first decision about refugees based on the Canadian
Constitution. The Singh decision recognized that refugee claimants are entitled
to protection under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the right
to an oral hearing, which is a fundamental principle of justice.

For more information, call Mohamed Ahmed at 416-363-1066, ext. 34.

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