Refugees 101 and Advocacy Training

February 1, 2019 @ 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM
York University Senate (North Ross Building, Room N940)
4700 Keele Street

Amnesty International at York, Centre for Refugee Studies & its Syria Response and Refugee Initiative

This event is part of Refugee Awareness Week 2019

Please RSVP to:

*** Students from other universities, colleges and community guests are welcome.***

Guest Speakers:

Francisco Rico Martinez
Co-Director of the FCJ Refugee Centre, Toronto

Justin Mohammed,
Human Rights Law and Policy Campaigner, Amnesty International Canada

John Carlaw,
Project Lead, Syria Response and Refugee Initiative
Graduate Research Fellow, York University Centre for Refugee Studies.

Cassandra DeFreitas
President, Amnesty International at York

Event Moderator:

Humaima Ashfaque
Amnesty International at York
Refugee Sponsorship Program Coordinator, WUSC Keele Campus Committee
Project Ambassador, Syria Response and Refugee Initiative, Centre for Refugee Studies, York University


This session will help students and attendees learn about key public policy issues and obstacles to the promotion and protection of refugees’ human rights in Canada and opportunities to work for better public policies to address them.

The event will include both guest speakers and the opportunity to immediately gain hands-on advocacy experience.

After a welcome from Amnesty at York President Cassandra DeFreitas, Francisco Rico Martinez will share some of his personal and organizational experiences, having come to Canada himself as a refugee from El Salvador and becoming a leading voice and activist for the rights of migrants and refugees in Canada, including as the first refugee to hold the position of President of the Canadian Council for Refugees.

Justin Mohammed will discuss some of Amnesty Canada and International’s current refugee-related campaigns and efforts, as well as ways students can get involved in and support them.

John Carlaw will deliver a talk entitled “Refugees 101” for policy-making and advocacy, placing refugee policy in the Canadian and global context.

Following the guest speakers students will be given the opportunity to join several “hands-on” advocacy efforts.