Refugee Rights Day 2013 - Toronto



Celebrate refugee rights in Canada on April 4!

Refugee Rights Day is commemorated on April 4 every year in Canada to bring attention to the advances made in the protection of refugee rights in Canada as a result of the Supreme Court Singh decision in 1985. Join us this year to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the 'Singh Decision'.

Scroll down to see a list of activities in Toronto that you can join. The activities are free of charge. Everyone is welcome.

Click here for MEDIA RELEASE: Refugee Rights Day 2013.

What is Refugee Rights Day?

April 4, 1985 was a milestone for refugee rights in Canada. On that day, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the right of refugee claimants in Canada to life, liberty and security of the person, and that claimants are therefore entitled to an oral hearing, in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice and international law. This ruling has become known as the 'Singh decision' in recognition of Harbhajan Singh, Sadhu Singh Thandi, Paramjit Singh Mann, Kewal Singh, Charanjit Singh Gill, Indrani and Satnam Singh who brought their cases to the Court.

To learn more about the 1985 Singh decision, check out this video with Barbara Jackman, one of the lawyers who argued the case.

Click here for resources and more information from Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR).

Refugee Rights Day 2013 events in Toronto

Tuesday April 2 - Friday April 5, 2013

Refugee Rights Day Display

Time: All day

Where: Rotunda, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West

What: Visual display featuring information on recent changes to refugee system and its impact, and information tables by community organizations.


Wednesday April 3, 2013

Subway Smart Mob

Time: Between 5pm and 6pm

Where: The TTC Subway Line (meeting at Dundas Square)

What: Click here for details, and how to participate.


Thursday April 4, 2013

Salvation Army - Harbourlight Ministries Refugee Rights Day Commemoration

Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Where: 160 Jarvis St, Toronto (Jarvis & Shuter)

What: Salvation Army - Harbourlight Ministries presents a Refugee Rights Day commemoration focusing on the issues of homelessness and refugees.

Event Contact: Rochelle McAlister – Tel. 416.682.2515

Click here for event flyer.

Refugee Law: What's new for front-line workers

Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Where: Toronto City Hall, Committee Room 3

What: A chance to hear about the impact the new legislation is having on refugee claimants and to explore CLEO's new website Refugee Rights in Ontario: Information for front-line workers. Presented by Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) and Parkdale Community Legal Services (PCLS).

Click here for event flyer.

Refugee rights are human rights

Time: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Where: Beit Zatoun – 612 Markham Street (Bathurst & Bloor St. West)

What: Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Roma Community Centre present an evening of art, presentations and conversation about Canada's changing refugee policies and the Roma community, followed by the gala opening of Roma Rising Art Exhibit.

Click here for event poster.


Wednesday April 17, 2013

Refugee Rights Celebration

Time: 7:30 pm

Where: 519 Church Street Community Centre, 519 Church Street (Church & Wellesley)

What: CultureLink in partnership with 519 Church Street Community Centre and Express group from Supporting Our Youth (SOY) a program of Sherbourne Health Centre.

Event Contact: Carolina G'ala, CultureLink Settlement Services te: 416.588.6288x240 email:

Please RSVP by Friday, April 5, 2013.

Toronto Refugee Rights Day 2013 planning committee:

Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) | Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) | CultureLink | Davenport-Perth Community Health Centre | FCJ Refugee Centre | OCASI - Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants | Quaker Committee for Refugees |Roma Community Centre | The Salvation Army THLM Immigrant & Refugee Services | St. Christopher House

Contact: Amy Casipullai