Canadian Council for Refugees
For immediate release
16 May 2013
New report cards evaluate protections for migrant workers across Canada
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
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