In this issue: Missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls pre-inquiry survey and meetings updates, Interim Federal Health Program restored, new CCR joint study on migrant workers, and upcoming webinars and events…
Issue No. 23 - April 2016
As of 1 April, the government restored health care coverage through the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) to all eligible individuals, including trafficked persons who have been issued a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP), resettled refugees, other protected persons, asylum claimants, rejected claimants, immigration detainees, and other specific groups identified by the Minister.
Like others covered by IFHP, a trafficked person who has received a TRP is entitled to basic, supplemental and prescription drug coverage for the duration of the permit. Basic coverage includes:
- Hospital services;
- Services of health care professionals licensed in Canada; and
- Laboratory, diagnostic and ambulance services.
IFHP also covers the cost of one Immigration Medical Exam (IME) and IME-related diagnostic tests required under the Immigration Refugee Protection Act for trafficked persons with a TRP, refugee claimants awaiting decision, ineligible refugee claimants, and detainees.
Full IFHP policy details are available here.
The Summary of IFHP Coverage is available here.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada News Release, 18 February, 2016 available here.
CCR Statements: International Women’s Day and Migrant Workers’ Rights
International Women’s Day
On 8 March, International Women’s Day, the CCR reflected on the situation of newcomer women in Canada, and on opportunities for improvements in the coming years. The government’s promise to repeal conditional permanent residence and recent reflections about finding solutions for undocumented migrants, many of whom are women, were warmly welcomed by the CCR.
At the same time, the CCR marked the occasion by voicing concerns with existing barriers faced by women with precarious status in Canada, including non-citizen women who have been trafficked into Canada. Among other calls to action, the CCR urged the government to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to guarantee protection to survivors of trafficking, and to offer adequate support to trafficked persons, as well as faster access to permanent residence.
The full statement is available here.
Migrant Workers’ Rights
The CCR has written an open letter to the Ministers of Labour and Immigration on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program review announced by the government in February.
The letter welcomes the review of the program and calls for a focus on the rights and voices of migrant workers, noting the vulnerabilities to exploitation and abuse of migrant workers created by the TFWP. To date, 35 organizations have endorsed the letter.
The Open Letter is available here.
Update: National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
The online pre-inquiry survey launched by the government in January has been closed, and the input received through the online survey, cross-Canada meetings and other submissions is currently being reviewed by the government.
All meeting summaries are now available online here.
In the recently announced federal budget for 2016, the government proposes to allocate $40 million toward the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls over two years, beginning in 2016-2017.
Details are available here.
Some responses to the inquiry:
Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) - Recommendations for the National Inquiry: http://bit.ly/21bMZSB and Press Release: http://bit.ly/1SUyOAr.
British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) - Endorsement of Coalition on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Submission regarding National Inquiry Design: http://bit.ly/1N6mafN.
This Canada-wide study focuses on access to settlement and support services for migrant workers in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (including Caregivers) and the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program. It is a joint project by Canada’s nine national, regional and provincial umbrellas of organizations serving newcomers, including the CCR, Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC (AMSSA), Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA), and Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI).
This study compiles the responses from 167 organizations on the needs and realities of migrant workers, by province and region. The report concludes that all migrant workers should have access to settlement services and permanent residence.
The project backgrounder, the full report, and the individual provincial/regional and federal reports are all available here.
Nannies looking for changes, as fed gov't reviews foreign worker program, NEWS 1130, 18 February 2016: http://bit.ly/1S3MYtI.
The Trafficked: It’s time to end the attitude of entitlement, The Globe and Mail, 18 February 2016: http://bit.ly/25Xadiw.
The Trafficked: We need more than laws to end exploitation of women, The Globe and Mail, 16 February 2016: http://bit.ly/1S7xPtH.
Indigenous Affairs Minister says new approach needed to tackle trafficking, The Globe and Mail, 15 February 2016: http://bit.ly/1qG5bqH.
The Trafficked: The story behind our investigation into the exploitation of indigenous women and girls, The Globe and Mail, 10 February 2016: http://bit.ly/1T1wq83.
The Globe and Mail investigative piece, "Missing and Murdered: The Trafficked", 10 February 2016: http://bit.ly/23Zrs1P.
Man accused of human trafficking arrested in Cole Harbour, Global News, 19 March 2016:http://bit.ly/1SLgjJm.
Halifax human trafficking victim one of youngest in decades, officer says, CBC News Nova Scotia, 22 March 2016: http://bit.ly/1qNp8Mo.
Doreze Beals found not guilty of kidnapping, sexual assault, CBC News Nova Scotia, 14 March 2016: http://bit.ly/25Xabap.
Andre Gray sentenced to time served in human trafficking case, CBC News Nova Scotia, 25 February 2016: http://bit.ly/1UYyKjF.
Man, woman from Brampton arrested in human trafficking investigation, Global News, 8 April: http://bit.ly/1RRxrRb.
Woodstock and Brantford police work together targetting human trafficking, CTV News London, 5 April 2016: http://bit.ly/22rF0PZ.
Human traffickers, and how they could be named dangerous offenders, CBC News Toronto, 24 February 2016: http://bit.ly/1SwpYTy.
Strategy for human trafficking 'crisis' expected in June: Wynne, CTV News Toronto, 18 February 2016: http://bit.ly/1SdonIp.
Ontario government to unveil strategy to tackle human trafficking, The Globe and Mail, 12 February 2016: http://bit.ly/1V8iY2z.
New trial for Vancouver man once convicted on human trafficking, CKNW News, 4 April 2016: http://bit.ly/25XfUwV.
CCR Webinars (in French): Intersections: Violence against women and immigration policy, Parts 1 and 2, 20 and 27 April 2016
The presenter will look at the political and practical implications of newcomer women's migration status and their experience of gender-based violence, and offer tools and resources for front-line workers supporting newcomer women in situations of violence.
Webinar registration and more information is available here.
*These webinars will be presented in French. English versions of these webinars were presented in January 2016. For more details on how to access the resources from the English versions of these webinars, please visit: ccrweb.ca/webinars*
CCR National Spring Consultation, Saskatoon, SK, 2-4 June 2016
The Canadian Council for Refugees Spring Consultation will address issues affecting refugees and other vulnerable groups of migrants, including trafficked persons and migrant workers, as well as newcomer settlement. All are welcome to participate. We are pleased to announce that the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, John McCallum, will be participating.
Workshop on trafficking in persons
A workshop will be dedicated to discussing issues affecting trafficked persons on Thursday, 2 June.
Information about the Consultation, including registration and the program, is available here.
Register by May 13 to take advantage of reduced fees.
CCR National Meeting on Migrant Worker Issues, Saskatoon, SK, 5 June 2016
This full-day meeting will be a skill-share and strategy session for migrant workers and people in diverse sectors across Canada that work with and/or advocate for the rights of migrant workers.
Details and updates are available here.
Report on International Organization for Migration and Canada's Partnership
The report Building Better Futures: Canada and IOM by the IOM provides a general overview of the major areas of cooperation between Canada and the IOM. It includes information on some of the programs, as well as figures, concerning the main anti-trafficking efforts carried out as part of this partnership on an international level.
The report is available here.
Anti-Trafficking Review Call for Papers, Themed Issue: “Where's the Evidence?”
The Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women (GAATW) has released a call for papers for the Anti-Trafficking Review journal. The issue will critically explore questions of evidence in both how human trafficking is characterized and how the value and results of anti-trafficking work are evaluated.
Deadline for submission is 1 July 2016 to be published in April 2017.
Details are available here.
Previous issues are available at: antitraffickingreview.org.