Evaluation of protections for migrant workers: A Report Cards Series by the CCR

Red Legal Collective is proud of been member of The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR). We are active members of the CCR’s Migrant Workers’ Issues committee.

Early in 2013, the CCR launched a project to evaluate protection mechanisms and services, federal and/or provincial levels of government, for the protection of the rights of migrant workers in Canada. The research phase of the CCR project included interviews and surveys for government (federal and provincial) agencies, non-profits, and with grass-roots organizations helping and/or interested at migrant workers’ issues.  All that information collected by the CCR, which was collaboratively and rigorously classified and analyzed. The Report Cards Series on Migrant Workers Protections (May 2013 edition) is now available as an excellent public information and advocacy tool in the advancement of migrant workers’ human and legal rights in Canada.

The following is the Press Release by the CCR and links to the Report Cards:

 

The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) issued today a series of report cards, summarizing the approaches of the provincial and federal governments on protecting the rights of migrant workers in the “low-skilled” streams of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

“We hope these report cards will be a useful tool for decision makers to identify areas for improvement and to raise awareness among the public and those concerned about migrant workers,” said Loly Rico, CCR President.

Migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse because of their precarious status, work permits tied to a single employer and factors such as isolation, lack of access to support services and lack of access to information on their rights.  These report cards examine progress, province by province, in introducing protections and supports for migrant workers.

Recently the federal government announced certain changes aimed at giving Canadians priority for job openings. However, none of the changes are designed to protect migrant workers from abuses.

The CCR welcomes the measures being adopted by some provinces to address the vulnerability of migrant workers, and urges other provinces and the federal government to do more to fill gaps in protection.

Nevertheless, the CCR believes that temporary migrant worker programs are not the answer. Governments need to return to policies of permanent immigration. Long-term temporary labour migration has negative impacts on both migrant workers and Canadian society.

The Canadian Council for Refugees is calling for protection of migrant workers’ rights, access to permanent residence, and access to services, including newcomer settlement services.

To read the report cards: http://ccrweb.ca/en/migrant-workers-report-cards

For more information on migrant workers in Canada and the CCR’s concerns: http://ccrweb.ca/en/migrant-workers

—Source: www.ccrweb.ca  June 2013