TORONTO, Sept. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Canada's reliance on low-wage migrant
workers with temporary immigration status is growing but our laws make
them vulnerable to abuse, says a new report published by the Metcalf
Made in Canada: How the Law Constructs Migrant Workers' Insecurity shows that low-wage migrant workers are brought into Canada on terms
that leave them open to exploitation and that present barriers to
enforcing basic rights to decent work.
The report highlights that the number of temporary foreign workers in
Canada has more than tripled in the past decade. Most low-wage migrant
workers in Ontario labour as live-in caregivers; as agricultural
workers; and in sectors such as hotels, restaurants, food processing,
and construction. They are frequently underpaid, overworked, and denied
basic rights like decent housing, and health and safety.
"Since migrant workers don't enjoy the same legal status and protections
as permanent residents, they are at higher risk of abuse by employers
who take advantage of their vulnerability," says the report's author
Fay Faraday, a respected constitutional, labour, and human rights
"It's time to put an end to this type of exploitation," says Faraday.
"It's a Made in Canada problem - it reflects the way immigration and
labour laws and policies fail to adequately regulate Canada's migrant
labour market. But there is a Made in Canada solution."
While federal immigration and provincial employment law and policy are
typically developed separately, Made in Canada examines the two systems in an integrated way and recommends our federal
and provincial governments do the same.
"At each stage in the labour migration cycle, migrant workers face
insecurity that is either created through law or sustained because the
law fails to prevent practices that are known to undermine workers'
security and capacity to enforce their rights," Faraday says.
Her report documents detailed policy and legal changes that would
improve the situation. Sandy Houston, President & CEO of the Metcalf
Foundation, calls on federal and provincial governments to take a close
look at the flaws in immigration and labour migration policies.
"Cycling a renewable pool of precarious workers in and out of the
country is not a model for building a sustainable economy, for building
secure communities, or for building a nation," Houston says. "We can do
To download the report, visit: www.metcalffoundation.com.
SOURCE: Metcalf Foundation
For further information:
Colette Murphy, Metcalf Foundation
(647) 969-0297, firstname.lastname@example.org