Established in 2009, RED Legal is a volunteer-driven and non-profit network of public legal educators and legal advocates for the rights of migrant workers in British Columbia, Canada.
We work collaboratively with academics, activists, grassroots and community service organizations at promoting and providing public legal education and information services for migrant workers in BC.
Red Legal is active member of the following coalitions and umbrella organizations:
Rising Up Coalition for Migrant Workers and Against for Unjust Recruitment Practices in British Columbia.
Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) Migrant Workers’ Committee.
Why is Red Legal needed?
According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the number of temporary foreign worker (TFWs) permits issued in 2009 made up almost half of all the temporary resident visas in British Columbia. In 2008 and 2009, and for the first time in Canadian history, the number of migrant workers entering in Canada outnumbered the number of migrants coming in as permanent residents. Today there are approximately 280,000 migrant workers in all Canada.
The nature of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) makes most TFWs ineligible for permanent residency in Canada. In British Columbia, immigrant settlement service organizations receive no government funding to assist TFWs. TFWs are not eligible to free programs and services for low-income immigrants with permanent resident visa. TFWs cannot access government funded programs such as employment counselling, ESL classes; legal advocacy; and help accessing food banks, housing.
We have identified three categories of TFWs extremely vulnerable to exploitation and abuses of their legal rights, including human trafficking: Live-In Caregivers (LCPs), Seasonal Agriculture Workers (SAWPs), and TFWs in Low-Skills Occupations (Such as janitors, construction workers, food and beverage servers).
Our volunteer-driven network, enables us to provide free reliable support for frontline workers and community-based organizations interested at helping TFWs. know and defend their legal rights in British Columbia.
We also are collaborating with human rights organizations at researching and analyzing laws, policies and regulations that are needed to address the many well documented in-justices and problems found in Canada’a Temporary Foreign Workers Program.
Our members come from diverse and complementary expertises: facilitators, trainers, legal educators, legal advocates, researchers, analysts, legal interpreters, certified translators, communications, and social workers, and immigrant settlement counselors.
If you are a legal educator or legal advocate and would like to join our volunteer network, we have opportunities for you. We are currently in need of Spanish and/or Filipino speaking volunteers to help in the development of resources and workshops. Commitment is 2-5 hours a month for a period of 6-12 months. We usually meet on the last Sunday of every month. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Angela Sterrit
We acknowledge our central office is based in East Vancouver, British Columbia, which is land of the Coast Salish people.
Vancouver is situated in the traditional territories of Coast Salish First Nations, specifically the Skwxwú7mesh, Xwméthkwyiem and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. This land has never been surrendered. According to the Royal Proclamation of 1763, it is the “hunting grounds” “reserved” for the “Indians” where they “should not be molested or disturbed.”