As news of the Taliban’s advance across Afghanistan filled the international news, many Canadians were alarmed by the stories of fear and desperation. Firm members asked how they could help.
“Before the fall of Kabul, BLG launched a national pro bono project in partnership with a Toronto-based human rights and immigration law firm, Landings LLP,” said Hugh Meighen, a Toronto BLG partner who is leading the project.
Its purpose: to use Landings’ referral network and refugee expertise together with BLG’s national resources to rapidly identify, prepare, and assemble applications for vulnerable Afghans, and particularly those that assisted the Canadian mission in Afghanistan, seeking evacuation under the government’s special immigration measures.
BLG was able to scale up this national pro bono effort rapidly with the help of lawyers and students in each of the Firm’s offices.
“When Kabul fell, BLG lawyers continued their efforts to prepare and submit applications for individuals in dire need of evacuation,” continued Hugh.
Lawyers, articling students and assistants across the country are continuing to assist Afghans in Kabul facing difficult circumstances.
“We expanded our efforts in response to the growing emergency to collaborate with international firms and allies in the United States, Britain and around the world,” said Hugh.
With the window for immediate evacuation by Canada now closed, BLG intends to continue assisting those it can continue to reach to help them find ways to safety and ultimately resettlement in peace.
The national pro bono effort is ongoing for all individuals BLG has already assisted, but BLG is not currently conducting further consultations. For inquiries about refugee resettlement, please see the following links:
- Afghans who worked for Canada can read more about current programs
- Additional information on the requirements for refugee resettlement in Canada