workers coming to Canada are subjected to labour trafficking and exploitation
due to systemic shortfalls of the Canadian immigration and labour laws. The
lack of viable pathways to permanent residency, work permits that tie workers
to one employer, and the inability to form a union are among the many policies creating
conditions for exploitation. Migrant workers are routinely underpaid, overworked,
abused and taken advantage of by employers, recruiters and landlords. In
addition, migrant workers do not qualify for settlement or other support
services, further inhibiting them from advocating for and demanding the
protection of their rights.
purpose of this forum is to:
- raise awareness among settlement, social service
workers and other professionals about the issues related to migrant
exploitation including policy gaps impeding the protection of their rights.
resources and establish collaboration among local community organizations to create
a network of support for migrant workers.
- establish a
network of migrant workers, community members, settlement workers and others to
organize and advocate for the protection of migrant workers’ rights on local,
provincial and federal level.
Those goals will be achieved
through day-long activities, including:
- experiential learning activity to immerse
participants into the daily struggles of migrant workers while in Canada.
- panel discussion with migrant workers and
community advocates to highlight policy inconsistencies and protection gaps.
- table discussions and other activities to
provide opportunities for networking among local and other organizations and community
8:30 am Registrations
8:45-9:00 am Welcome, land acknowledgment and housekeeping
9:00-10:30 am Migrant Workers Exploitation Exercise: an experiential workshop
workshop to provide participants with understanding of the main issues
of exploitation/human trafficking affecting migrant workers and policy
10:30-11:00 am Break and exercise debrief
11:00-11:45 am The Spectrum of Exploitation with Sue Wilson, CSJ
Trafficking is a complex phenomenon touching upon various social,
economic, and legal aspects of our society. The exploitation of human
beings exists on a spectrum from minor labour violations to gross
criminal activities amounting to human trafficking.
Sue Wilson CSJ, PhD is Director of the Office for Systemic Justice, Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada.
11:45-12:00 pm Open mic/introductions
12:00-12:45 pm Lunch
12:45-2:15 pm Panel discussion
of cases, community collaboration models, new policy tools available to
migrant workers in situation of exploitation/trafficking.
Migrant Worker: TBD
Luis Mata, Coordinator, Migrant Workers Mobile Clinic, FCJ Refugee Centre
Emily Keene and Travis McKay, Lawyers, Mobile Legal and Social Justice Initiative
Santiago Escobar, National Representative, United Food and Commercial Workers Canada
2:30-3:00 pm Networking table discussions
Facilitated small table discussions
3:00-3:15 pm Wrap up
Local organizing committee:
Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre
Mobile Legal and Social Justice Initiative
Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support