Immigrant & Migrant Workers

Does Canada have a shameful history of exploiting immigrant and migrant workers? Yes. Racism has deeply influenced policy regarding immigration and exclusion, while contemporary temporary foreign worker programs continue to refuse permanent residency status and family unification. The slogan of the labour movement is “good enough to work, good enough to stay” and the labour movement strives to end this racist exploitation.

Migrant Resource Centre BC 

The Migrants Resource Centre BC has the best resources on this topic, including legal help for current migrant workers. An overview of their resources and services are below: 

  • COVID-19 Resources. During the pandemic, the Centre has continued to provide legal help, advocacy on behalf of members, and other valuable resources such as fact sheets. 
  • Annual Reports. Interested in learning more about their impact? Read their annual reports. 
  • Learn About Labour Exploitation and Trafficking. Labour exploitation occurs when employers treat workers in ways that break the law. Labour trafficking is a type of human trafficking. Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, or harbouring of persons for the purpose of exploitation.
  • Respect at Work Legal Clinic. As part of Respect at Work Legal Clinic, Migrant Workers Centre’s legal team provides free legal advice to newcomers to Canada who have faced or are facing sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Okanagan Project. The Okanagan Project is a collaborative effort between the Migrant Workers Centre, RAMA Okanagan and researchers from UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College to develop an effective model for providing comprehensive legal services to migrant agricultural workers in the Okanagan valley region.
  • List of other organizations that help migrant workers. This list includes help for employment standards complaints, human rights complaints, divorce, immigration matters, workplace safety, legal issues, and labour exploitation & trafficking. 
  • Fact Sheets & Workshops. Factsheets and recorded workshops are related to employment issues and immigration law. Resources are available in various languages. 
  • Reports. MWC reports focused on issues related to migrant workers in British Columbia.

Other Organizations

Migrante Canada. Migrante Canada is a chapter of Philippine based Migrante International, a global alliance of over 200 member organizations in 23 countries. Migrante Canada was founded in October 2010 and has 13 chapters and member organizations across Canada. They are based in Vancouver, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Winnipeg, Toronto, Barry, Ottawa, Montreal, Sherbrooke and Quebec City.

Migrant Rights Network. The Migrant Rights Network is a cross-Canada alliance to combat racism and fight for migrant justice. They are a network of organizations of migrants including farmworkers, careworkers, international students, undocumented people as well as allies.