Human Rights Legal Support Centre

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Wait times

Wait times on our phone lines are longer than usual due to staff shortages. Please read the information on our website as this may answer your questions and avoid an extended wait time on our phone line. Wait times are generally shorter from 9 am to 11 am on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. We regret any inconvenience caused by the wait times.

Welcome to the Human Rights Legal Support Centre

The Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC) offers human rights legal services to individuals throughout Ontario who have experienced discrimination contrary to Ontario's Human Rights Code. Our services may include legal assistance in filing applications at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO), and legal representation at mediations and hearings.


Land and Treaty Acknowledgement

The HRLSC provides services throughout Ontario and has lawyers located in Toronto, Guelph, Hamilton, London, Thunder Bay, and Windsor. Accordingly, we acknowledge our presence on the traditional territories of the Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, and Anishinaabeg, Attawandaron and Leni-Lunaape, the Métis homeland and particularly the Mississauga of the Credit. The place now called Ontario is home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work and operate in this land. 
 
The HRLSC also recognizes and acknowledges we are in the territory subject to the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Anishinaabeg and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the land and waters of the Great Lakes region.


Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence: Pursuing a Claim at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario

Survivors of sexual harassment and violence in the workplace and in other specific social settings (for example, in schools, at your doctor’s office, on campus) have the right to protection under Ontario’s Human Rights Code.   This is in addition to participating in a criminal process, or, as an alternative to a civil lawsuit. Claims of sexual harassment can be filed directly at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.  If you want to pursue a claim, you can obtain free legal services from the Human Rights Legal Support Centre.

Read more


Steps to Justice

Steps to Justice, led by CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario) gives comprehensive online information on common legal problems that people experience in family, housing, employment and other areas of law. 

 

 

What's new at the HRLSC?

Increasing legal services for workers who have experienced sexual harassment and sexual violence

The Human Rights Legal Support Centre is pleased to announce that we have been selected by the Department of Justice to implement a new project relating to workplace sexual harassment.

The Department of Justice funding will be used to increase the provision of legal advice and information to survivors and to increase overall awareness of the right to work in an environment free from discrimination based on sex. The HRLSC will also develop and implement an outreach program that will educate workers and assist in preventing incidents of harassment and violence. Our new team will consult extensively throughout the project with other organizations and individuals engaged in similar advocacy and service delivery. We are excited about expanding our reach and ensuring that all workers, including the most vulnerable, understand the range of criminal and other legislative options for redress in these difficult situations.

“We are honoured to have been awarded this opportunity to contribute to this very important issue. With our extensive experience in delivering client-centered, culturally-appropriate legal services, the HRLSC is well-placed to provide enhanced services to survivors of workplace sexual harassment and promote human rights in our workplaces.”

– Sharmaine Hall, Executive Director.

Read the Department of Justice press release.


Video: Defending your human rights in Ontario – what you need to know

This video takes Indigenous people through every-day discrimination scenarios at home, when shopping and at work. It provides information about Ontario’s Human Rights Code and how to get free legal help from the Human Rights Legal Support Centre. The video is a joint project of the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres and the Human Rights Legal Support Centre, funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario.


Mediation Program Receives Amethyst Award

In September 2018, the Human Rights Legal Support Centre’s Mediation Program received an Amethyst Award, which recognizes service excellence within the Ontario Public Service.

The Mediation Program, which has been in place for five years, moved early stage (called the application stage) client services from lawyers to a team of legal service representatives. This allows the HRLSC’s lawyers to almost exclusively do mediation and hearing cases.

In addition to increasing the number of human rights applicants who are represented by the HRLSC at mediations by an average of 84%, the program has resulted in significant and sustained increases in the number of cases settled by the HRLSC, diverting disputes from the public and private costs of adjudication. The program has resulted in an average 75% increase in the number of mediation files settled.