Political advocacy and Education
The RHFW and its members regularly produce analysis and reports/submissions, and collaborate as well with partners to achieve various rights education activities.
Recent reports & submissions
Band-aid on a bullet wound: Open work permits for employer-tied migrant workers facing workplace abuse (2021)
In June 2019, the federal government implemented the Open work permit for vulnerable workers policy. This policy allows immigration officers to issue open work permits to migrant workers on an employer-specific work permit who can demonstrate that they are experiencing abuse in the context of their employment in Canada. Launched one year after the measure came into force, this empirical study sought to assess the policy’s potential to act as a remedy capable of negating the problematic effects of the employer-specific work permit. The research confirmed that the policy leaves unaffected the structural obstacles that prevent workers from being able to legally change employers.
As part of Canada’s 2019 National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, the CBSA’s Trafficking in Persons Analyst Group sought the input of NGO’s in order to produce a baseline national and regional assessment of the scope of trafficking in persons in Canada. RHFW, in partnership with Services Étoile Filante (SEF), submitted a brief outlining how Canadian immigration law contributes to the trafficking of individuals who come to Canada as temporary foreign workers. The brief included a summary of a recent Quebec case that aptly illustrates how the trafficking of migrant workers happens through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
Mémoire à la Commission de l’économie et du travail de l’Assemblée nationale sur le projet de loi nº59 (2021)
In October 2020, the Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité Sociale introduced a new bill modifying Quebec’s health and safety legislation, among other reasons to end the discriminatory treatment of domestic workers, historically excluded from the automatic protection extended to all other workers. The bill maintained however an exclusion for domestic workers based on the number of hours worked. RHFW submitted a brief arguing that the new exclusion perpetuated the discrimination and called for the government to extend to domestic workers the same type of protection offered to all other workers.
In 2019, policy modifications of Canada’s temporary labour migration schemes were implemented, and further elements of reform were announced. This synthesis offers a broad overview of the four main policy changes advanced by the federal government; two implemented in 2019 and two that were still under development.
Les aides familiaux et travailleurs agricoles migrants, le droit canadien et le travail non-libre (2018)
French version of the report Migrant Care and Farm Workers, Canadian Law, and Unfree Labour (2018).
This analysis demonstrates how Canadian employer-tying measures, such as those that were integrated within the Live-in Caregiver Program and the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP), are incompatible with the constitutional rights of workers in Canada under foreign worker status.
Collective publication with Pinay, Caregivers’ Action Centre, Vancouver Committee for Domestic Workers and Caregivers Rights, Caregiver Connections, Education and Support Organization, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change and Migrante Alberta.
Written submissions to the Canadian House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights (JUST).
Written submissions to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada by MigrantWorkersRights and RHFW outlining the need for a comprehensive review of the Caregiver stream of Canada’s Temporary foreign worker program.
Selected analysis by our members
State restriction of workers’ rights to equality, liberty, security and access to justice through employer-tied labour (im)migration programmes: The Canadian example (Eugénie Depatie-Pelletier, Hannah Deegan & Marie-Eveline Touma 2021)
Le recrutement des travailleurs agricoles saisonniers en vertu du programme des travailleurs agricoles saisonniers : Étude des conditions de recrutement des travailleurs et travailleuses provenant du Mexique (Gabrielle Morneau El-Hajal, 2020)Geopolítica de las Emociones: masculinidades y subjetividades de los trabajadores agrícolas transmigrantes mexicanos y guatemaltecos que laboran en Quebec (Lina Maria Campos-Flores 2019)
Association for the Rights of Household and Farm Workers (RHFW)
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