Intersection of Canadian policy parameters affecting women with precarious immigration status: a baseline for understanding barriers to health.

Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la violence familiale et la violence faite aux femmes, Université de Montréal, Case postale 0128, succursale Centre-ville Montréal, QC Canada, H3C 3J7.
Journal of Immigrant Health 10/2005; 7(4):247-58. DOI: 10.1007/s10903-005-5122-2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Canadian federal policy provides a framework for the immigration and health experiences of immigrant women. The official immigration category under which a migrant is admitted determines to what degree her right to remain in the country (immigration status) is precarious. Women immigrants fall primarily into the more dependent categories and they experience barriers to access to health services arising from this precarious status. Federal immigration and health policies create direct barriers to health through regulation of immigrants' access to services as well as unintended secondary barriers. These direct and secondary policy barriers intersect with each other and with socio-cultural barriers arising from the migrant's socioeconomic and ethno-cultural background to undermine equitable access to health for immigrant women living in Canada.

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    ABSTRACT: A. Introduction The objective of the Safety of Immigrant, Refugee and Non-Status Women Project is to address serious policy gaps or problems that compromise the safety of refugee, immigrant and non-status women who experience violence. This literature review is one of a series of documents and reports produced by the project. Preliminary research In 2003, EVA conducted a consultation with immigrant serving organizations. We had a roundtable discussion with immigrant women of colour working as frontline advocates for immigrant, refugee and visitor women. We also invited the Phillippine Women's Centre, Vancouver and Lower Mainland Multicultural family Support services, MOSAIC, the Prince George Elizabeth Fry Society and Battered Women's Support Services as well as a prominent immigration lawyer to provide us with written submissions on policy issues impeding the safety of immigrant, refugee and visitor women experiencing violence. We received written submissions from three of the six invitees: the Vancouver and Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Support Services, the Prince George Elizabeth Fry Society and Battered Women's Support Services. We incorporated findings from the 2003 consultation into our source materials for the Safety of Immigrant, Refugee and Non-Status Women Project. Complete copies of the 2003 submissions can be 1 For simplicity, the term "immigrant" is used here to include everyone who has immigrated and chosen to live in Canada whether they have landed-immigrant status or Canadian citizenship. The term "refugee" includes a person who has had to flee his or her country because of a well-founded fear of persecution, regardless of whether they are refugee claimants or have been granted asylum.
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May 22, 2014