Legal Aid Services for Immigrants and Refugees

Last month, June 2017, The Legal Services Society (LSS) announced that it would stop taking applications for immigration and refugee services effective August 1, 2017, due to a lack of funding to keep up with increased demand. Battered Women’s Support Services released a statement in regards to the cut in services and the importance of the federal government fulfilling its responsibility to provide legal aid for immigration and refugee law matters to ensure that women’s lives do not hang in the balance.

Today, July, 25, 2017, LSS has confirmed that the federal government will provide additional funding for immigrant and refugee cases which allows LSS to maintain services until November 2017. We hope that the federal government will continue to ensure they are meeting their constitutional obligation of providing legal aid beyond November and that LSS will not have to stop services for immigration and refugee cases which would put many women’s lives in danger.

 At Battered Women’s Support Services every day we see how important access to justice for immigrant and refugee women. The present geopolitical condition worldwide means that we are seeing an increase of women from around the world leaving violence in their home countries to come to Canada. Many of these women have fled gender persecution and others continue to face violence and isolation by their male partners and are afraid to report violence usually in fear of deportation or further violence. It is important that Canada continue to provide necessary services to increase women’s access to justice and safety.


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