About Justice for Girls

Justice for Girls works to promote social justice and an end to violence, poverty and racism in the lives of Young Women's Intership Programteenage girls who are low income or homeless. We fight for social justice based on the feminist belief that young women in poverty are the experts of their own experience. We stand beside young women and provide support and resources to them so that girls can act on their own behalf to create personal and social change. We recognize that girls' lack of institutional power and credibility (because of discrimination) is a real barrier to young women regardless of their skills, intelligence, or ability to articulate their needs.

Justice For Girls uses knowledge of institutions, such as the criminal justice and child welfare systems, to assist young women in their day-to-day struggles with violence, poverty and racism. One of our fundamental goals is to promote community among young women because we believe that young women coming together is key to their freedom and safety.

JFG believes in young women's leadership and pushes for young women to be at the forefront of designing law, policy, and programs that affect their lives. Our work is guided by the leadership and experience of numerous young women for whom we have advocated and/or who are part of the organization as staff, interns, and board members.

Teenage girls should not live in poverty: they need age-specific services that respond to violence, homelessness and oppression.  Our work is guided by our understanding of how multiple forms of oppression impact girls' day to day lives. In other words we understand that for girls to be truly free they must be free from violence, racism, homophobia, sexism, and all other conditions of oppression.
Legal Advocacy Program
Justice for Girls takes action in these areas: Criminal Justice Monitoring, Advocacy, Young Women's Anti-Poverty & Housing Strategy , Access to Education Project and Public Education Program.
We work in these areas with the awareness that there is a gap between the ideas set out in laws and policies--international treaties, federal, provincial, and municipal laws--and the reality of young women's lived experiences of oppression and discrimination. We promote laws and policies that ensure young women's rights to safety, dignity, and equality. At the same time, we challenge laws and policies that violate girls' rights or liberties.

Criminal Justice Monitoring
JFG works to increase homeless and low-income girls' access to justice in cases where girls are victims of violence or persons accused of a crime. On the basis of our observations in court, review of current Canadian research and ongoing work with girls, we make recommendations to increase girls access to justice at each point in the criminal justice system--police, courts, corrections.

The advocate works with individual teenage girls and at a systemic level to promote the health, equality, and human dignity of teenage girls (under 19) who are living in poverty. For more information about the Advocacy Program please go to Just for Girls.

Young Women's Anti-Poverty and Housing Strategy
This strategy focuses on the need to rid poverty from the lives of teenage girls and to make it possible for girls to experience life free from violence. We believe that for homeless girls to be safe, a feminist model of housing for girls is critical. We are working to fight girl poverty and homelessness by promoting laws and policies (such as a National Housing Act) that would prevent girls' and women's poverty and create safe accessible housing for teen girls.

Girls Access to Education
Through this project we documented educational experiences of homeless young women in Canada. We began from the premise that there are significant institutional and structural barriers impeding homeless young women and girls’ access to education within the Canadian nation. These barriers effectively deny homeless and marginalized young women one of their constitutionally entitled rights as enshrined through the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Education Acts governing Canada’s provinces and territories. The denial of access to education is also a direct contravention of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Canada is a signatory. Read the report, Struggles for Access: Examining the Educational Experiences of Homeless Young Women and Girls in Canada.

Young Women's Internships
JFG intermittently offers paid work experience and career support to low income and formerly homeless young women. Through JFG internship positions young women have gained experience in social policy analysis, criminal justice monitoring, media analysis, and community development. Young women have also assisted JFG in public education campaigns and day to day office functions.  Please call the organization to find out more. Also, see Just for Girls.

Public Education
Public education is a critical part of our work to prevent violence against girls, to educate people about poverty in girls lives, and to educate people about the criminalization of girls in Canada. We provide speakers for community forums, university and college classes, elementary and high schools, conferences, community organizations, and more. Justice for Girls also hosts law students through ProBono Students Canada. If you would like more information please contact us at: justiceforgirls@justiceforgirls.org

Funders and Donors
We would like to sincerely thank our funders as well as private donors for their financial contributions towards the work of Justice for Girls.

CKNW Orphans' Fund