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Drawing on a survey of nearly 600 migrant farm workers in Ontario, Canada, we investigate the ways in which the liminality of temporary migrants is both conditioning and consequential in terms of health for these migrants. In particular, we demonstrate how the liminality inherent in managed temporary migration programmes creates the conditions for heightened vulnerability, which also have consequences for the health of migrant workers and their access to care. We discuss common barriers to health care access experienced by migrant workers, including employer mediation, language differences, and hours of work.
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... These vulnerabilities include a lack of personal protective equipment crowded living conditions, lack of paid sick time, and the temporary and conditional nature of migrant worker programs that discourage help-seeking because of significant pressure to be the 'ideal worker' [8,16]. Health barriers and challenges faced by migrant agricultural workers, although exacerbated by COVID-19, are long-standing and multi-faceted [8,[17][18][19]. Yet very few quantitative studies exploring the prevalence of these issues have been undertaken. ...
... Prior research has made evident that issues such as wage theft, workplace assault and discrimination, breaches of contract, and employer gatekeeping in healthcare, and medical repatriation occur among this population [23][24][25]. Yet aside from a few exceptions [19,26], attempts to quantify these incidents are rare, especially outside of Ontario. ...
... A lack of independent transport and isolation is a key barrier for accessing basic amenities and health services [25,33]. Given that workers often rely on employers or supervisors to access services and community supports, including medical care, receiving necessary follow-up medical care and maintaining communication with relevant support services is often difficult [19,34,35]. ...
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In this paper, we provide descriptive data that characterize the health, safety, and social care environment of migrant agricultural workers in British Columbia, Canada. Through the administration of surveys (n = 179), we gathered information in three domains: (1) living and working conditions; (2) barriers to rights, health, safety and advocacy/reporting; (3) accessibility of services. Our study confirms what predominantly qualitative studies and Ontario-based survey data indicate in terms of health, legal, and social barriers to care and protection for this population. Our findings also highlight the prevalence of communication barriers and the limited degree of confidence in government authorities and contact with support organizations this population faces. Notably, survey respondents expressed a strong intention to report concerns/issues to authorities while simultaneously reporting that they lacked the knowledge to initiate such complaints. These findings call into question government responses that task the agricultural industry with addressing access and service gaps that may be more effectively addressed by government agencies and service providers. In order to improve supports and protections for migrant agricultural workers, policies and practices should be implemented that: (1) empower workers to independently access health, social, and legal protections and limit workers’ dependence on their employers when help-seeking; (2) provide avenues for increased proactive inspections, anonymous reporting, alternative housing/employment and meaningful 2-way communication with regulators so that the burden of reporting is lessened for this workforce; (3) systematically address breaches in privacy, translation, and adequate workplace injury assessments in the healthcare system. Ultimately, the COVID-19 context has put into sharper focus the complex gaps in health, social and legal services and protections for migrant agricultural workers. The close chronology of our data collection with this event can help us understand the factors that have resulted in so much tragedy among this workforce.
... Separation from families may contribute to this feeling of loneliness, as the Seasonal Agricultural Work Program (SAWP) does not allow for visitor's visas or work permits for family members. As a result, SAWP workers, of which 95% have children, will not see their family for up to eight months per year, sometimes for decades in a row ( McGrady and O'Hagan, 2015, Unheeded warnings, 2012, Hennebry et al., 2016. Additionally, it has been reported that during the pandemic, the mental health of migrant workers has considerably worsened ( Doyle, 2020 ;Evra and Mongrain, 2020 ). ...
... While TMAWs face greater work-related injury and disease risks than their Canadian counterparts, they also face greater barriers when accessing healthcare. An Ontario study found that almost 20% of surveyed migrant workers did not have a health card and that 55% worked despite illness or injury for fear of telling their employer ( Hennebry et al., 2016 ). TMAWs' lack of knowledge on how to navigate and use the healthcare and compensation systems, in combination with language barriers and relatively limited literacy, have often been reported to limit their access to healthcare services ( Unheeded warnings, 2012 ). ...
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In 2018, 55,734 jobs in Canadian agriculture were filled by temporary migrant workers, accounting for nearly 20 percent of total employment in this sector. Though referred to as temporary, those migrant workers often fill long-term positions and provide crucial support to the Canadian agricultural industry, which has seen an increasing disengagement from the domestic workforce in the last fifteen years. Health vulnerabilities faced by temporary migrant workers are already well documented. In addition, there are multiple systemic factors inherent within the structure and implementation of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program that contribute to the perpetuation of health inequities within this population. The COVID-19 pandemic has both exacerbated many of these disparities and further increased the risk of labour rights violations and vulnerability to exploitation for these workers. As Canada's 2020 growing season comes to an end, thousands of temporary migrant agricultural workers are returning to their native countries. With planning for next year's growing season already commencing, this timely analysis aims to examine health vulnerabilities faced by TMAWs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Five key areas are examined: occupational injuries, substandard living conditions, psychological difficulties, lack of access to healthcare and barriers in exercising labour rights. Building on this analysis, recommendations for policy and practice aimed at improving migrant workers’ health are discussed.
... Housing is often employer dependent and contingent (Nakache 2012). Access to health care, education and social services is also wrought with challenges (Hennebry, McLaughlin, and Preibisch 2015;Campbell et al. 2014;Magalhaes, Carrasco, and Gastaldo 2009. The various manifestations of their precarity lead back to the legal and social construction of migrant workers. ...
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In recent years the issue of migrant workers with precarious status has increased in importance in Canada, in large part due to economic and policy changes that have led to greater numbers of migrant workers remaining in the country post permit expiry. This study tracks the employment experiences of low-skilled migrant workers who arrived through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and who remained following their permit expiry. Using a temporal analysis , the study identifies four timepoints that shape the workers' employment outcomes both pre-and post-expiry. Events at these timepoints create differing employment pathways that, in turn, reveal different aspects of the workers' precarity. In addition to pathways, workers' ability to access informal support networks shape their employment outcomes as workers with precarious status.
... It also requires employers to ensure migrant farmworkers are registered for provincial/territorial health insurance. 6 Yet despite high rates of work-related illness and injury in agriculture, migrant workers often delay or do not seek the medical attention they require (Hennebry et al., 2016). Together, long working hours, limited knowledge of health insurance and/or coverage and how to access it, lack of independent modes of transportation (Barnes, 2013), social isolation (Horgan & Liinamaa, 2017), and fear of lost paid hours of work, termination, or medical repatriation (Orkin et al., 2014) create barriers to seeking healthcare. ...
Article
In 2020, migrant farmworkers in Canada, cast as essential to sustaining the national food supply, experienced relatively high COVID-19 infection rates. Taking Southern Ontario as its focus, this article reveals how the federal government response to COVID-19 in agriculture perpetuated the effects of longstanding laws and policies requiring migrant farmworkers, circumscribed in their ability to politically mobilize on account of their institutionalized deportability, to shoulder disproportionate amounts of economic, social, and health risks. Centering the transnational character of migrant farmworkers’ renewal, it identifies meaningful interventions to limit the structural disempowerment of migrant farmworkers and the externalization of their social reproduction.
... In fact, the difficulty in accessing public goods and services varies significantly among groups with different backgrounds, economic capabilities, and social status. Existing research points out that low-income groups [22], migrants [23], racial/ethnic minorities [24,25], and other vulnerable groups are usually disadvantaged in terms of access to public services [26][27][28]. When investigating educational equality, we should not only concentrate on "place prosperity" but also pay attention to "people prosperity" [29,30]. ...
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Equal compulsory education is an important way to realize social and spatial equality, while the uneven allocation of educational resources in different regions and groups results in inequality of opportunity and solidification of social strata. Traditional research conducted on the basis of fixed search range ignores the special institutional background of Chinese school district system. In this paper, an improved Gaussian two-step floating catchment area model is developed taking into consideration the school district system, while the bivariate local spatial analysis method and geographically weighted regression model are employed to study the social and spatial differentiation of compulsory education accessibility and its capitalization effects in Hangzhou. Results show that (1) the improved Gaussian two-step floating catchment area model is more in line with the national condition of China’s “nearby schooling” policy; (2) the accessibility of compulsory schools in Hangzhou shows an obvious core-periphery typology, and the aggregation effect of primary school accessibility is more significant than that of secondary schools; (3) compared to groups with high socioeconomic status, vulnerable groups are highly disadvantaged in terms of access to educational services; (4) spatial heterogeneity exists in education capitalization, and the areas where education accessibility has the strongest impact on housing prices are in the central city with rich high-quality educational resources; (5) high-quality educational resources, high-priced communities, clusters of high socioeconomic status groups, and communities enjoying high-level education accessibility are highly consistent in all spaces, which is the spatial expression of educational inequality. The research on Hangzhou, a regional central city, provides a theoretical basis and technical support for the humanistic shift in the allocation of educational resources.
... Finally, temporary labour migrants also face exclusion from formal and informal access to state entitlements, such as health care (Landolt, 2020). Temporary agricultural workers have formal access to federal health insurance but often encounter barriers to accessing care and may be deported following work-related injuries (Hennebry et al., 2016). ...
Article
‘Mechanisms of Migrant Exclusion’ focuses on the exclusionary measures that migrant workers confront. Although migration studies have long attended to various social and structural systems of exclusion, for instance, xenophobia and nativism (De Genova, 2005, https://doi.org/10.1515/9780822387091; Golash‐Boza, 2011, https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203123928, and 2015, https://doi.org/10.18574/nyu/9781479894666.001.0001), recent global shifts in immigration politics and temporary labour regimes have increased the urgency of attending to the rise of global and transnational systems or regimes of exclusion. Internationally, noncitizens have grown increasingly vulnerable to detention and deportation (Mountz, 2020, 10.5749/j.ctv15d8153), whereas migrant contract workers continue to be systematically denied rights and protections in the labour market (Strauss and McGrath, 2017, 10.1016/j.geoforum.2016.01.008). These mechanisms of exclusion illustrate the range of limitations faced by migrants, particularly those who are undocumented, refugees, or temporary workers.
... In addition to the scholarship on immigrant wellbeing, an important body of literature captures the mental and physical health outcomes associated with temporary labour migration (Bernhard et al., 2007;Fuller and Vosko, 2008;Bahn, 2015;Caxaj and Diaz, 2018;Salami et al., 2015). While many of the experiences are similar, mapping onto social inequity, racism and other forms discrimination in Canada, for those who arrive as temporary foreign workers, wellbeing may be further adversely effected by exposure to workplace injury and illness, and compounded by an inability to access health care (following the restrictions of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program) (Hennebry et al., 2016;Preibisch and Hennebry, 2011). For some workers, notably those in agricultural, this is further exacerbated by inadequate housing and sanitation, a lack of clean water, and proximity to chemicals and pesticides (Magalhaes et al., 2010;Helps, 2020). ...
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Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in rural Manitoba and the Philippines, this paper uses the example of the small town of Douglas, which since 2009 has been home to a small Filipino community, as a tenuous counter-point to the accounts of exclusion that dominate the scholarship on Temporary Foreign Labour in Canada. This paper draws on ethnographic research conducted in Manitoba with the region’s newest immigrants—those recruited to ensure the viability of the new, diversified rural regional economy, and more specifically, the tourism and hospitality sector, established in the 1970s. In 2009, unable to meet its labour needs regionally, a local hotel began recruiting temporary foreign labour. By 2014, the Hotel had recruited 71 workers from the Philippines, most of whom arrived through Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program; others having arrived through the province’s immigration scheme, the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP). A reflection of the ubiquity of globalized Filipino migration, the well-being of these workers had long been informed by economic development in the Philippines and the centrality of international labour mobility to that state project. What emerges from the data is a simultaneous acceptance and contestation of the conditions of transnational family life, and moreover—reflecting the focus of this special issue—the extent to which migrant well-being shifts in accordance to labour mobility regimes responsive to development. Migrant workers and their families are implicated in these connected, yet differently motivated, state projects. And while particular narratives concerning their contributions come to be valorized and even celebrated, their mental, physical, affective, and relational well-being is often over-looked by those who benefit from their labour and mobility. Of equal importance is the provincial state’s participation in this process through the provision of permanent residency to existing and in-coming migrants. While this benefits individual families, it does not inherently challenge the logics of neoliberalism; rather, drawing on its nuances, it create new possibilities for capital accumulation and exploitation, while offering some protection for select families who are willing and able to abide by the terms established by their employer and the Manitoba state.
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Occupationally mobile families exist in multiple forms globally. While these families contribute significantly to the socioeconomic life of the locations that they traverse, sometimes their mobilities generate hostility in those locations. This hostility in the form of an anti-nomadic/sedentarist ideology creates corresponding difficulties for the schooling options and outcomes of the children of these mobile families. This paper explores the educational applications and implications of the anti-nomadic/sedentarist ideology as experienced by occupationally mobile families globally, and investigates also several successful schooling approaches for their children. The analysis identifies effective forms of schooling provision implemented in specific ways in these distinctive learning contexts. The author posits that ‘innovative’ in relation to the education of occupationally mobile communities is enacted in the historically constructed and materially grounded mobilities of each community, and ‘works’ and ‘makes sense’ only when conceptualised with references to those mobilities.
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In 2007, Canada expanded the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to include service and hospitality sectors. By 2010, more migrants entered Canada with temporary visas than as permanent residents. While some found employment in hospitality and tourism, most were concentrated in the fast food sector. Working transnationally, this paper uses Tim Hortons’ concurrent global expansion and its arrival in the Philippines as a case study of the global mobilities and intersecting pathways of capital and labour. Drawing on the theoretical contributions of feminist political economy, it illustrates how the aspirations and mobilities of the Filipino workers at the centre of this study are organized in the service of capital; capital, in this example, as represented by the globally ambitious Tim Hortons’ parent corporation, Restaurant Brands International (RBI) and, more specifically, the Brazilian American global investment firm that owns and manages RBI, 3G Capital, as well as by the efforts and objectives of franchise holders.
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As national borders tighten against undocumented migrants, agricultural employers throughout North America have pushed governments for easier access to a legalized temporary farm workforce. Some U.S. farmers and policymakers are seeking to expand the country's temporary agricultural guest worker program (H-2A visa), while Canada's longstanding Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program has been elevated as an international role model because it fulfills employer demands for a stable workforce, enables state control over migration flows and, at least on paper, safeguards workers' rights. However, researchers have documented systemic violations of workers' rights in both countries. In this paper we ask: How do the Canadian and U.S. agricultural guestworker programs measure up against international standards of best practices for the treatment of migrant workers? We draw on a food regime framework to historicize agricultural labour-migration policies in both countries within broader patterns of capital accumulation in the global agri-food system, and we argue that Canadian and U.S. agricultural guestworker programs offer evidence of the substantiation of a third food regime. Finally, we argue that despite differences in the policy environments and structures of these programs, their future expansion would further entrench systemic violations of international standards for the treatment of migrant workers by host country governments.
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Growing numbers of migrant workers worldwide face human rights violations, exploitation and mistreatment, and lack broader social protections granted to permanent residents in countries where they work. Protecting migrant labour was an objective at the founding of the International Labour Organization (ILO), documented within the Declaration of Philadelphia in 1944. Yet, more than 60 years on, despite numerous United Nations (UN) conventions, declarations and frameworks aimed at protecting their rights, migrant workers remain marginalized. In the context of globalizing labour markets and economic crises, migrant workers are a particularly vulnerable group. This article will discuss the extent to which the Global Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF) has addressed this group, and will assess how well existing international, bilateral and national frameworks for social protection extend to migrant workers.
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