My name is Mario Guilombo and I am the Founder and & Human Rights Program
Director at the Canadian Human Rights International Organization. I
wanted to give you a brief background on our organization and we look
forward to continue working with you in the future and help more people in
need with Global Legal Empowerment Network support and your guidance.
Founded in 2003, the Canadian Human Rights International Organization
(CHRIO) is a non-profit organization located in the heart of the vibrant
Jane and Finch community. We work in the field of human right issues and
support hundreds of victims of armed conflict, refugees, displaced
persons, and their relatives that were unable to leave their countries of
origin. We function without a steady source of funding and rely on the
generosity of donations and a very passionate and dedicated team of
professional volunteers. We have continued to grow and now have close to
600 international missions.
The mission of CHRIO is to defend and fight for fundamental rights such as
life, dignity, liberty, security and gender equality. Our organization
helps fight against all forms of discrimination such as race, creed,
gender, sexual orientation, physical and mental disabilities in accordance
to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights set forth by the United
Nations. CHRIO recognizes and upholds the human right laws enacted by the
municipal, provincial and federal levels of government under the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent United Nations conventions and
declarations in Canada and abroad by:
- Educating the public through the provision of courses, workshops, and
seminars on matters relating to human rights.
- Researching issues relating to human rights and the people we serve.
- Assisting individuals in bringing their complaints before the Ontario
Human Rights Tribunal and the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights
and International Criminal Court and others International Tribunals and
Human Rights Commissions.
- Relieving poverty through the provision of basic amenities to refugees,
immigrants and others in need.
- To provide counselling, education, and other support services to
immigrants and refugees, including language instruction, employment
training, job search programs, translation services, and
information/assistance on Canadian culture and life.
CHRIO seeks to materialize the truth, justice and complete reparation for
serious violations of human rights, through legal and political actions at
the international, national and local level in countries where human
rights have been systematically violated.
We work for the complete affirmation of the rights of people through the
formation, organization, denouncing, and realization of legal and
political actions at the local, national and international level in
coordination with other organizations defending human rights.
Programs we offer and Populations we serve
We have helped and assisted over 16,000 families around the world free of
charge. The clients we assist are from our local communities, citizens
from across Canada and people from around the world who have little or no
access to human rights resources or the funds to access these resources.
We are the helping hand to those people that are dealing with human rights
violations within and outside of Canada. Some of the programs we have
organized and implemented are:
- Human Rights Defence Program
- Youth Human Rights Program
- Mental Health Program with free counselling sessions for clients
- Pardon & Waiver Program
- Seniors Program
- Student Placement Programs for University & College Students
Aside from the clients that we assist on a daily basis, we here at CHRIO
lead long-term research projects that we develop into policy-prescriptions
for world leaders to adopt in the field of human rights.
Our Regularization Proposal was recently submitted to all members of the
Federal Parliament of Canada as well as the Ontario Provincial Parliament.
In it, we advocated on behalf of the estimated 500,000 people in Canada
who live without status. Their plight is related to the fact that they do
not have access to the same social, medical, and labour rights as people
having status, be they either Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents, or
others. Such a situation contravenes the commitments to non-discrimination
that Canada has bounded itself by and so we pushed for the granting of
status to individuals who have resided in Canada for five years, have
demonstrated substantial community involvement, know either one of the
official languages (French or English), and have no Criminal Record. CHRIO
had the honour to present the project to the Honourable John McCallum,
Federal Minister of Immigration, who demonstrated a favourable view of the
facts and recommendations we presented in this regard.
As well, we have just finished writing a proposal entitled Addressing the
Plight of Skilled Immigrants in which we identified the severe barriers
that skilled immigrants face in Canada in finding employment suited to
their skills. We argued that putting skilled immigrants in a situation
where they are explicitly discriminated against by the regulations set up
in the form of credential recognition and the implicit racist mentalities
employers have of skilled immigrants is unacceptable in Canadian society.
Among the solutions we provided, one was the financial support of the
federal government for skilled immigrants when they first arrive to Canada
so that they do not take on menial, low-skilled word that they eventually
will become dependent on for survival. Indeed, Canada is not a country
where immigrants should come to survive, but the thrive.
We hope that from the above mentioned examples of our projects, we have
made our commitment to human rights clear. Many individuals can also
attest to the positive impact that CHRIO has had in attaining their human
rights and their subsequent stable and dignified lives.
I look forward to having you join the Canadian Human Rights International
Organization and I look forward to hearing from you.
They participated actively in the elaboration of projects submitted at all
levels of government.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about our organization and if
you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.