Migrant Worker Justice Organizations
These are websites of national and local organizations that work for migrant justice. The websites have links to campaigns for better treatment of migrant workers, and changes in policies related to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (MWAC) is an alliance of migrant workers, activists, grassroots community groups, community faith groups, and labour organizations . They focus on service provision, advocacy and legal reform.
Coalition for Migrant Workers Rights Canada is comprised of organizations of migrant workers from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, PEI and Quebec working on re-building the immigration system to ensure basic dignity and fairness for everyone.
Canadian Council for Refugees is a national non-profit umbrella organization committed to the rights and protection of refugees and other vulnerable migrants in Canada and around the world and to the settlement of refugees and immigrants in Canada. The membership is made up of organizations involved in the settlement, sponsorship and protection of refugees and immigrants. The Council serves the networking, information-exchange and advocacy needs of its membership.
Justicia 4 Migrant Workers (J4MW) is a volunteer-run political collective comprised of people from diverse walks of life (including migrant workers, labour organizers, educators, researchers, students and racialized youth). J4MW strives to promote the rights of migrant farm workers (participating in the Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program, the Low Skilled Workers Program and other programs) and farm workers without status.
Migrante Canada is a chapter of Migrante International, a global alliance of over 100 organizations in more than 22 countries. It especially focuses on Filipino migrants by providing assistance, campaigning and advocating for their rights and well-being and recognizing the root causes of their migration. They also work towards raising public awareness on the Filipino migrants’ plight and providing a critical analysis of the Philippine government’s labor export policy program as the main factor responsible for the commodification of Filipino workers.
Caregivers Action Centre (CAC) is a grassroots organization made up of current and former caregivers, newcomers and their supporters. Since 2007, they have been advocating and lobbying for fair employment, immigration status, and access to settlement services for caregivers through self-organizing, research, and education.
Legal Information for Migrant Workers: Fact Sheets and Legal Guides
This is legal information for migrant workers who are experiencing difficulties with violations of their legal rights.
2011. Know Your Rights at Work! is a factsheet for seasonal agricultural workers. Note that the information about minimum wages is outdated.
2015. Migrant Worker Guide is a guide for seasonal agricultural workers that explains the laws, and covers some of the key issues that affect migrant workers. Also available in French and Spanish.
2018. Farm Workers is a website of the province of British Columbia and contains a link to the fact sheet available in multiple languages with information on wages, deductions, overtime and vacation pay. Some information may be specific to the province of British Columbia. Please refer to “Migrant Worker Guide” for Canada-wide information
2018. Know Your Rights (long version) is a summative list of migrant caregivers’ rights with links pointing to where to find further information.
2018. CAREGIVERS Know Your Rights! A shorter version by the MWAC.
2018. Temporary Foreign Workers: Your Rights Are Protected is a Canadian Government website page dedicated to temporary foreign workers’ rights available in multiple languages, and provides contact information for reporting any offences.
2015. Undocumented Workers Have Rights is a fact sheet with information on what rights and services are available to undocumented workers.
Reports about how the inequalities faced by migrant workers result from the policy choices of governments, and recommendations about how this can be changed.
2018. Shaping Canada’s New Caregiver Program Post November 2019 is KAIROS’ submission to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada.
2016. Decent Work or Entrenched Exploitation for Canada’s Migrant Workers? is a report from human rights lawyer and Innovation Fellow Fay Faraday details the continued exploitation faced by migrant workers — including unscrupulous recruitment practices, employment mobility restrictions, and a lack of protection from rights abuses— and provides clear policy recommendations to strengthen protections and build employment security for Canada’s migrant workers.
2013. Migrant Workers Report Cards. This Canadian Council for Refugees webpage provides links to report cards that identify areas for improvement for provincial and federal governments and raise awareness among the public and those concerned about migrant workers.
These resources outline the rights of migrant workers in international law.
1990. International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their families. This is a United Nations treaty governing the protection of migrant workers and their families that outlines the rights of migrant workers’ and their families as well as the rights and obligations of State Parties in relation to the Convention.
1948. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declarations provides an overview of individual’s rights and constitutional liberties and the defence of those rights, and defines the duty of the individual to the community.
2017. Migrant Dreams (Feature Version) is a documentary that follows the journeys of Indonesian migrant workers trapped in a form of debt- bondage in Leamington, Ontario.
2009. Borderless is a documentary poem that shows a series of snapshots of the Third World inside Canada’s borders and gives voice to the dreams and struggles of undocumented workers in Canada.
Books and Academic Articles on Migration in Canada
2012. Legislated inequality: temporary labour migration in Canada critically evaluates the Canadian immigration policy shift towards focusing on temporary labourers as opposed to admitting migrants who were expected to become citizens. It argues that it threatens to undermine Canada’s success as an immigrant nation.
2016. Unfree Labour?: Struggles of Migrant and Immigrant Workers in Canada explores labour migration to Canada and how public policies of temporary and guest worker programs function in the global context of work and capitalist restructuring.
2013. “Pathways to Precarity: Structural Vulnerabilities and Lived Consequences for Migrant Farmworkers in Canada.” (pp. 175-194). This chapter argues that Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) creates a system of structural vulnerability which generates precarious circumstances in MFWs’ everyday lives.
Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights Canada has an extensive latest news section on their website.
KAIROS Migrant Justice provides an overview of the work being done by the organization as well as latest news on policies, KAIROS’ activity and useful resources.
Reporting Abuses of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
You can report suspected misuse or abuse by calling the toll-free Service Canada Confidential Tips Line at 1-866-602-9448.
You can also report abuse of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program using the online fraud reporting tool. If you report abuse and wish it to remain confidential, confirm it with the person you communicate with. They will not release your identity unless you provide your consent.
Legal Aid: People with low income are eligible for a free lawyer (paid by legal aid) no matter what their immigration status. Here is a list of reliable lawyers who will work for legal aid. NOTE: if your lawyer is working on legal aid, he or she should not ask you for additional fees. Please notify Solidarity Across Borders if your lawyer is asking for additional fees.
Access a list of Community Legal Clinics.