Colombia Profile

General

Major political, social and economic problems in Colombia have fuelled high rates of emigration from this country. These include 40 years of armed conflict, a drug trade and failed peace negotiations. As a result, Colombian migration is an issue which has been framed within the broader national security agenda. Research and policy debates have centered on legal and illegal migration for economic reasons, forced displacement of people, and the movement of refugees. In 2005, 10% of the Colombian population was living abroad. Today, it is estimated that over three million Colombians were forcibly displaced from their place of residence and nearly 300,000 emigrated to near and distant countries including Canada. Colombia also has one of the highest rates of forced migration in the world.

Canada and Ecuador rank the highest as recipients of Colombians seeking protection. In 2004, Colombia represented the primary source country for refugee claimants in Canada. However, the passing of the "Safe Third Country Agreement" between Canada and the United States has reduced the net inflow of Colombian refugees. The Agreement stipulates that refugees passing through the United States to Canada must seek refuge in the United States, or the country of first safe entry, thereby, when Colombian migrants decide to use this passage, they can no longer seek refuge in Canada. Prior to this agreement, the acceptance rate for refugees to Canada was 81%, and in the first half of 2005, the number of claimants dropped by 70%.

As Figure 1.1 indicates, remittances from Colombians across the world have been increasing year over year from 2005 to 2008. In 2005, the level of remittances was US$3.35 billion and by 2008 it had reached US$4.88 billion.

illustration

Temporary Labour Migration to Canada

As depicted by Figure 1.2, temporary migrant workers from Colombia rose rapidly between 2005 and 2008, from 137 to 723. However, they fell rapidly between 2008 and 2009, from 723 to 261. Further, Colombian migrants to Canada are predominantly refugee and humanitarian entries, and less so in the Temporary Foreign Worker category. This is partly related to the fact that Colombia is not a participating country in the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) and due to poor socio-political conditions; there is a much greater movement of refugees from the country. With the introduction of the NOC C & D Pilot Project, there has been an increase in the number of temporary migrants coming from Colombia.

illustration

References

Myriam Bérubé (2005), "Colombia: In the Crossfire," Migration Information Source, http://www.migrationinformation.org/Profiles/display.cfm?ID=344

Myriam Bérubé (2005), "Colombia: In the Crossfire," Migration Information Source, http://www.migrationinformation.org/Profiles/display.cfm?ID=344

Myriam Bérubé (2005), "Colombia: In the Crossfire," Migration Information Source, http://www.migrationinformation.org/Profiles/display.cfm?ID=344

Pilar Riaño Alcalá, Martha Colorado, Patricia Díaz, and Amantina Osorio (2008), "Forced Migration of Colombians: Colombia, Ecuador, Canada," Vancouver: Corporación Región.

"Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement," Citizenship and Immigration Canada; http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/laws-policy/menu-safethird.asp

Janet Dench and Rick Goldman (2005), "Canada Not Meeting its Obligation Toward Refugees, " The Montreal Gazette, http://www.ccrweb.ca/op-ed10aug.html

"Workers Remittances and Compensation of Employees, Received (Current US$)", World Development Indicators, online at: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/BX.TRF.PWKR.CD.DT/countries/latest?display=default

back

El Salvador Profile

General

El Salvador is a small Central American country, with a population of 6.1 million (2008). It is estimated that over 25% of the country's population migrated during the civil war that lasted from 1979 to 1992. It is highly dependent on remittances, which have been increasing steadily since 2005 (as indicated by Figure 1.1). In 2005 the level of remittances was US$3.03 billion and this rose to US$3.8 billion in 2008. However, in 2009, El Salvador experienced an 11% reduction in the level of remittances from the United States and Canada. Remittances represent over half of El Salvador's export revenues and more than 17% of its GDP. The remittances are generally spent on health, education, food and utilities, as well as savings.

illustration

Temporary Labour Migration to Canada

In 2002, the government introduced the NOC C & D Pilot Project for Occupations Requiring Lower Levels of Formal Training which allows employers to bring in workers from countries not covered by the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) as well as from across other sectors such as services and hospitality. In 2005, 358 workers entered Canada from El Salvador under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), with the total number of migrant workers increasing in 2006 and 2007 but declining in 2008.

Within the province of Manitoba, El Salvador is one of the top five source countries for temporary migrant workers. In 2002, Maple Leaf Foods, which is the largest recruiter of temporary migrant workers, had recruited 44 workers from El Salvador. In 2006, approximately 400 employers were given assistance in hiring temporary migrant workers for Manitoba and these workers have been encouraged to apply for permanent residency through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

References

World Development Indicators, World Bank, online at: http://data.worldbank.org/country/el-salvador

Sarah Gammage (2007), "El Salvador: Despite End to Civil War, Emigration Continues," online at: http://www.migrationinformation.org/Profiles/display.cfm?ID=636

Michael Fix, Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Jeanne Batalova, Aaron Terrazas, Serena Yi-Ying Lin, and Michelle Mittelstadt (2009), "Migration and the Global Recession," Migration Policy Institute and the BBC World Service, online at: http://www.migrationpolicy.org/pubs/MPI-BBCreport-Sept09.pdf

Sarah Gammage (2007), "El Salvador: Despite End to Civil War, Emigration Continues," online at: http://www.migrationinformation.org/Profiles/display.cfm?ID=636

Sarah Gammage (2007), "El Salvador: Despite End to Civil War, Emigration Continues," online at: http://www.migrationinformation.org/Profiles/display.cfm?ID=636

"Workers' Remittances and Compensation of Employees, Received (Current US$), World Development Indicators, online at: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/BX.TRF.PWKR.CD.DT/countries/latest?display=default

Ann Weston (2007), "The Changing Economic Context for Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program," The North-South Institute, online at: http://www.nsi-ins.ca/english/pdf/economic_context%20_CSAWP.pdf

"Facts and figures 2008 – Immigration overview: Permanent and temporary residents, "Citizenship and Immigration Canada, online at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/statistics/facts2008/temporary/04.asp

Jill Bucklaschuk (2008), "Overview of Temporary Foreign Workers in Brandon, Manitoba: Expectations, roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders – governments, communities, and employers," The Rural Development Insitute. Online at: http://www2.brandonu.ca/organizations/rdi/TFW/RDI_DiscussionPaper1.pdf

back

Guatemala Profile

General

High rates of emigration from Guatemala are due to reasons which are common in most Central American countries, including political instability, fewer economic opportunities and natural disasters. The 36 year long civil conflict that ended in 1996 caused thousands of political refugees to flee to Canada, the United States and Mexico. Further, migration rose again after the 1976 earthquake and rose even further in the 1980s. Remittances represent a major form of support for thousands of urban and rural families in Guatemala. As Figure 1.1 indicates, remittances have been increasing every year between 2005 and 2008.

illustration

Temporary Labour Migration to Canada

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) began a temporary migration program between Guatemala and Canada in 2003 as a two year pilot project with 215 participants. By 2007, the number of participants had increased to 2,255 and 46% of these were participating a second time, with 30.6% having participated at least three times. By the end of 2009, the IOM estimated an increase to 3500 participants. In general, migrants are from the poorest parts of Guatemala with 27.6% from areas that have a poverty rate of more than 71%. Around 94% of the migrants travel to the province of Quebec where the IOM works with the employer association Fondation des Entreprises en Recrutement de Main-d'oeuvre agricole Etrangere (FERME) which coordinates the seasonal hiring of temporary foreign workers.

Wages earned in Canada are increasingly being used to buy land and improve homes in Guatemala as well as improve access to education for migrant families. Wages received by Guatemalan migrants to Canada under this program are higher than Canada's minimum wage and are covered by Canadian labour laws. Guatemalan workers also have access to life and health insurance through their employers and provincial access is gained after a three month waiting period. As part of this program, the IOM and its partners also provide a health care plan to migrant's families who do not have health care in Guatemala. Migrants are also required to return to their country of origin after the end of the contract period which is generally four to eight months and there is no access to permanent residency in Canada.

References

James Smith (2006), "Guatemala: Economic Migrants Replace Political Refugees," Inforpress Centroamericana, online at: http://www.migrationinformation.org/Profiles/display.cfm?ID=392

James Smith (2006), "Guatemala: Economic Migrants Replace Political Refugees," Inforpress Centroamericana, online at: http://www.migrationinformation.org/Profiles/display.cfm?ID=392

"Workers Remittances and Compensation of Employees, Received (Current US$), World Development Indicators, online at: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/BX.TRF.PWKR.CD.DT/countries/latest?display=default

"Temporary Labour Migration Programme to Canada from Guatemala Reaches Milestone" (2009), International Organization for Migration, online at: http://www.iom.int/jahia/Jahia/media/press-briefing-notes/pbnAM/cache/offonce?entryId=25318

"Temporary Labour Migration Programme to Canada from Guatemala Reaches Milestone" (200), Online at: http://www.iom.int/jahia/Jahia/media/press-briefing-notes/pbnAM/cache/offonce?entryId=25318

"Survey of Temporary Labour Migration from Guatemala to Canada," International Organization for Migration, online at: file:///C:/DOCUME~1/user/LOCALS~1/Temp/IOM%20-%20Press%20Briefing%20Notes%20-%20Survey%20of%20Temporary%20Labour%20Migration%20from%20Guatemala%20to%20Canada.htm

"Temporary Labour Migration Programme to Canada from Guatemala Reaches Milestone" (2009), International Organization for Migration, online at: http://www.iom.int/jahia/Jahia/pbnAM/cache/offonce/lang/en?entryId=17007

"Temporary Labour Migration Programme to Canada from Guatemala Reaches Milestone" (2009), International Organization for Migration, online at: http://www.iom.int/jahia/Jahia/media/press-briefing-notes/pbnAM/cache/offonce?entryId=25318

"Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program- Guatemala and Canada" (2008), International Organization for Migration, online at: http://www.iom.int/jahia/webdav/site/myjahiasite/shared/shared/mainsite/activities/countries/docs/guatemalan_seasonal_workers_summary08.pdf

Jenna Hennebry (2011), "Gaining Perspective on Low-Skill Temporary Labour Migration in Canada", Policy Paper August 2011, online at: http://www.mappingmigration.com/pdfs/Labour_Mobility_Gaining_Perspective_on_Low-Skill_Temporary_Labour_Migration_in_Canada_Hennebry_e(2).pdf

back

Jamaica Profile

General

The Caribbean region is a migration hub, with people migrating within the region as well as to a group of major host countries. These host countries include the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and France. Jamaica has one of the lowest percentages of citizens who are abroad yet it is still one of the major source countries for migrants within the region. This paradox is resolved by the fact that it has a much higher population than other countries in the Caribbean so a lower percentage of Jamaican citizens who are abroad does not translate into lower levels of emigration.

One of the major impediments to understanding Jamaica's migration patterns is a lack of comprehensive data. According to a household survey of 1,000 Jamaicans in 2007 by the Global Development Network and the Institute for Public Policy Research, there is considerable evidence suggesting that despite more stringent migration rules in host countries, migration is still an integral part of Jamaica's economy: 2 percent of Jamaican households contain one or more immigrants, and 28 percent have one or more migrants who have returned to Jamaica after working abroad. The Jamaican Diaspora is estimated to be as large as the national population, with most people being concentrated in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Figure 1.1 provides a summary of Jamaica's emigration trends:

illustration

Although Jamaica is a middle-income country and is politically stable, it still relies heavily on remittances. In general, the level of remittances has been rising, with levels more than doubling between 2000 and 2007 . Figure 1.2 provides a summary remittance trends between 2005 and 2008. In 2005, the level of remittances was US$1.78 billion and this number rose to US$2.18 billion by 2008.

illustration

It is estimated by the Agro-Socio Economic Research Center in Jamaica that 35% of remittances are spent on children's education.

Temporary Labour Migration to Canada

Jamaica was the first country to participate in Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP). This program is based on memoranda of understanding between a number of sending countries. The first such agreement was the Commonwealth Caribbean Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (CC/SAWP) agreement which was signed in 1966. This agreement between Canada and Jamaica was expanded to include other countries in the Caribbean region in 1967. According to 2006 HRSDC (Human Resources and Skill Development Canada) estimates, Jamaica is amongst the two highest participating countries in the SAWP, and is the seventh highest participant in all temporary foreign worker programs in Canada.

In general, Jamaican workers are employed in low-skill jobs, typically in agriculture, manufacturing, and more recently, in service sector jobs. Whereas the number of temporary workers from Jamaica has been declining in the United States since the 2008 economic downturn, workers in Canada have been rising. Between December 2008 and 2009, there was a 9 percent increase in the number of Jamaican migrant workers in Canada, from 6,667 to 7,316. Further, in 2001, the average wage being earned by Jamaican migrant workers was $225 per month.

References

Alex Glennie and Laura Chappell (2010), "Jamaica: From Diverse Beginning to Diaspora in the Developed World," Institute for Public Policy Research, online at: http://www.migrationinformation.org/Profiles/display.cfm?ID=787

Alex Glennie and Laura Chappell (2010), "Jamaica: From Diverse Beginning to Diaspora in the Developed World," Institute for Public Policy Research, online at: http://www.migrationinformation.org/Profiles/display.cfm?ID=787

Alex Glennie and Laura Chappell (2010), "Jamaica: From Diverse Beginning to Diaspora in the Developed World," Institute for Public Policy Research, online at: http://www.migrationinformation.org/Profiles/display.cfm?ID=787

Alex Glennie and Laura Chappell (2010), "Jamaica: From Diverse Beginning to Diaspora in the Developed World," Institute for Public Policy Research, online at: http://www.migrationinformation.org/Profiles/display.cfm?ID=787

World Bank Migration and Remittance Factbook-Jamaica, World Bank, online at: http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPROSPECTS/Resources/334934-1199807908806/Jamaica.pdf

"Workers Remittances and Compensation of Employees, Received (Current US$), World Development Indicators, online at: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/BX.TRF.PWKR.CD.DT/countries/latest?display=default

Tanya Basok (2007), "Canada's Temporary Migration Program: A Model Despite Flaws," University of Windsor, online at: http://www.migrationinformation.org/Feature/display.cfm?ID=650

Janet McLaughlin (2009), "Trouble in our Fields: Health and Human Rights among Mexican and Caribbean Migrant Farm Workers in Canada," PhD Thesis, University of Toronto, Canada. At 40

Janet McLaughlin (2009), "Trouble in our Fields: Health and Human Rights among Mexican and Caribbean Migrant Farm Workers in Canada," PhD Thesis, University of Toronto, Canada. At 37

Alex Glennie and Laura Chappell (2010), "Jamaica: From Diverse Beginning to Diaspora in the Developed World," Institute for Public Policy Research, online at: http://www.migrationinformation.org/Profiles/display.cfm?ID=787

Roy Russell (2004). "Jamaican Workers' Participation in CSAWP and Development Consequences in the Workers Rural Home Communities." Agro-Socio Economic Research, Kingston, Jamaica. Ottawa: North-South Institute. Executive Summary online at: http://www.nsi-ins.ca/english/pdf/exec_sum_russell.pdf

back

Mexico Profile

General

Mexico is the second largest economy in Latin America with a population of 107.8 million (2008) and a GDP per capita of US$8,135 (2009). Migration is a crucial part of Mexico's economic development as the economy depends heavily on remittances sent by millions of migrant workers, mainly in the United States. In 2008, remittances were equal to approximately 3% of Mexico's GDP; they exceeded foreign direct investment by 30% and were equivalent to 60% of the country's oil revenue. Figure 1.1 provides a summary of the level of remittances from 2005 to 2008. In 2005, the level of remittances was US$23.06 billion and rose to US$26.30 billion by 2008.

illustration

In 2009, remittances decreased by 15.7%. This decline was largely due to the global financial crisis and more specifically, the bust in the US housing sector which left large numbers of migrant workers unemployed from the construction sector. The level of remittances to Mexico peaked in 2007, but began to fall as the US economy started to enter a recessionary phase. In 2007, it was estimated that one in every five migrants from Mexico were employed in the US construction sector. The dependency of remittances on the construction industry is evident in that remittances kept on rising during the 2001 US recession because the housing sector was still performing well.

The general decline in remittances can also be explained by the decline in net emigration to the US from Mexico. Net emigration fell by 61% in 2009 from its peak in 2006, primarily due to dwindling job prospects in the US. Overall, the level of remittances is likely to recover, but slowly. Though growth rates are expected to be both positive and increasing for 2010 and 2011, the commercial construction industry is still in a state of decline and the job market has still not completely recovered from the recent financial crisis.

Temporary Labour Migration to Canada

The Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) began accepting Mexican migrants in 1974 and Mexico is now the largest source country for migrant workers in the program. In 2006, over 13,000 spots were for Mexican workers and according to 2004 data, only 3% of the workers were women, most of which were single mothers. By 2009, 9,522 vacancies in the SAWP were approved for Mexican workers. Migrant workers under the SAWP provide labour for activities such as fruit harvesting, bee and flower production, and their wage rate is approximately CAD$8.58. This rate is negotiated annually amongst Mexican and Canadian industry representatives.

References

Mexico Country Brief, World Bank, online at: http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/LACEXT/MEXICOEXTN/0,,contentMDK:22252113~pagePK:1497618~piPK:217854~theSitePK:338397,00.html

"Remittances to Mexico: Cross-Border Money Flows Slowed by U.S. Slump," (2010), Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, online at: http://www.dallasfed.org/research/swe/2010/swe1001d.pdf

"Workers Remittances and Compensation of Employees, Received (Current US$), World Development Indicators, online at: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/BX.TRF.PWKR.CD.DT/countries/latest?display=default

Mexico Country Brief, World Bank, online at: http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/LACEXT/MEXICOEXTN/0,,contentMDK:22252113~pagePK:1497618~piPK:217854~theSitePK:338397,00.html

Remittances to Mexico: Cross-Border Money Flows Slowed by U.S. Slump," (2010), Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, online at: http://www.dallasfed.org/research/swe/2010/swe1001d.pdf

Remittances to Mexico: Cross-Border Money Flows Slowed by U.S. Slump," (2010), Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, online at: http://www.dallasfed.org/research/swe/2010/swe1001d.pdf

Remittances to Mexico: Cross-Border Money Flows Slowed by U.S. Slump," (2010), Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, online at: http://www.dallasfed.org/research/swe/2010/swe1001d.pdf

Janet McLaughlin (2009), "Migration and Health: Implications for Development- A Case Study of Mexican and Jamaican Migrants in Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program," Canadian Foundation for the Americas, online at: http://www.focal.ca/pdf/Migrant%20Health%20McLaughlin%202009.pdf

Sandra Elgersma (2007), "Temporary Foreign Workers," Political and Social Affairs Division-Library of Parliament, online at: http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/prb0711-e.htm#canada

Tanya Basok (2007), "Canada's Temporary Migration Program: A Model Despite Flaws," University of Windsor, online at: http://www.migrationinformation.org/Feature/display.cfm?ID=650 http://www.farmsontario.ca/pages.php?_ID=5

Tanya Basok (2007), "Canada's Temporary Migration Program: A Model Despite Flaws," University of Windsor, online at: http://www.migrationinformation.org/Feature/display.cfm?ID=650

back

Trinidad&Tobago Profile

General

One third of all Caribbean migrants immigrate to Trinidad and Tobago. On the other hand, emigration from Trinidad and Tobago is also common and the country currently faces a major brain drain problem, with over 75% of graduates and skilled workers migrating out of the country. In general, the government has been criticized for focusing on the brain drain problem at the expense of the integration issues faced by migrant groups within the country. As Figure 1.1 indicates, the level of remittances to the country rose between 2005 and 2007 from US$92.4 million to US$109.4 million, remained steady between 2007 and 2008 and declined to US$103.3 million in 2009.

illustration

Temporary Labour Migration to Canada

Trinidad and Tobago is one of the five countries represented under Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP). Between 2008 and 2009, the Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Services (F.A.R.M.S.) reported an 11.6% drop in the number of vacancies that were approved from Trinidad and Tobago and a 5.9% reduction in the number of arrivals of workers. From 2001 to 2009, there has been a trend towards a decline in the number of migrant workers from Trinidad and Tobago in Canada. This decline is illustrated in Figure 1.2. In 2001 there were 1,873 migrant workers and by 2009 there were 1,197.

illustration

References

http://sta.uwi.edu/conferences/salises/documents/Reis%20%20M.pdf

"Workers' Remittances and Compensation of Employees, Received (Current US$), World Development Indicators, online at: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/BX.TRF.PWKR.CD.DT/countries/latest?display=default

http://www.farmsontario.ca/pages.php?_ID=5

back

Income & Remittances

One of the most important factors that attract temporary migrant workers from LAC to Canada is the expected economic benefits that employment in Canadian jobs can provide for migrants and their families. For example, temporary migrant workers can expect to earn higher wages in Canada compared to what they would earn in their home country. Furthermore, high unemployment rates and poor income security leaves many with few other options, particularly those with lower levels of formal education and training.

For sending countries, remittances play a large part in facilitating social and economic development. Remittances are important to sending communities as they have the potential to improve social well-being (e.g. by providing resources to send children to better schools), to stimulate economic growth (e.g. by providing resources to start micro-enterprises) and to reduce poverty (e.g. by increasing the economic resources that are available to families).

At the national level, sending countries can measure economic impacts through an increase in the levels of consumption and production, as well as through education levels of the children of temporary migrants. Evidence suggests that income levels increase with the acquisition of new skills and training, which can provide more opportunities for returning migrants in the labor market. However, these benefits also largely depend on the capacity of each country to implement policies that manage and mobilize remittances within a broader development strategy. Examples include matching program or investment initiatives. Opportunities for investments, micro-credit loans, business development and knowledge transfer/exchange are of growing interests.

| Canada | Colombia | Guatemala | Jamaica | Trinidad&Tobago |

back

Migration & Health

Research examining health and temporary migration has highlighted some of the challenges and problems faced by migrant workers while employed in Canada. For example, temporary migrants under the NOC C&D Pilot Project in Canada, encounter a waiting period to be eligible for Canadian health coverage. Further, migrant workers employed in agriculture also have difficulties receiving health care (e.g. due to language barriers) and access to health services (e.g. due to lack of transportation) and in many cases, are not informed of compensation resulting from work accidents and/or injuries.

Researchers in Canada and in sending countries are also examining the impacts of work environments on temporary migrants' health (e.g. exposure to pesticides, unsanitary living conditions, unsafe work environments) and the short and long-term impacts of health problems for temporary migrant workers (as a result of working in Canada) upon returning to sending countries (e.g. side effects of working with pesticides or injured workers not eligible to return to Canada to work or not able to work in the sending country).

In sending countries, remittances provide financial resources necessary for migrants' families to access health services and in some cases (e.g. Guatemala); participation in temporary migrant worker programs provides access not only for the migrant worker but for his or her family as well.

| Canada | Jamaica | Mexico |

back

back

Migration & Education

Apart from economic benefits, some migrant workers may gain new skills and knowledge as a result of participating in temporary migration programs – skills and knowledge that they may not have access to in their sending country. For example, participation in some temporary worker programs offers migrant workers the opportunity to learn a new language (e.g. English language skills) and acquire new skills and knowledge through on the job training. Education is important as it can improve employment prospects for temporary migrant workers upon their return home and therefore, increase their income-earning potential. However, there are few opportunities for migrant workers, particularly those in agriculture, to access training opportunities. This is due to long work hours, social isolation, or lack of interest on the part of employers. There are currently no formal skills training programs offered for SAWP or NOC C&D workers.

It is necessary also to consider how to recognize the qualifications and accreditations of temporary migrants coming to Canada. In some cases, migrant workers are over qualified for the type of work they perform but because their qualifications are not recognized in Canada they are not able to work in the area in which they were trained. Recognizing skills and knowledge acquired in sending countries would allow temporary migrant workers to participate in other labour sectors and allow for these workers to utilize their potential-a sure benefit for workers and employers alike (particularly in agriculture).

Also, it is common for remittance income to be spent on educating the children of migrant workers. In 2010, United Food and Commercial Workers Union of Canada (UFCW) launched a new scholarship program designed for the families of temporary workers in Canada. The new scholarship, named the UFCW Canada Migrant Worker Scholarship Program will give five scholarships of $1000 each. Those eligible include the children, grandchildren, sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews of migrant workers in Canada. The children do not have to reside in Canada and can be of any nationality.

| Canada | Guatemala |

back

back

Migration & Gender

Traditionally, temporary migrant workers, particularly those in agriculture have been male, however trends over time show that there has been an increase in the number of women participating as temporary migrant workers in Canada. However, the Live-In-Caregiver Program – which is another long-standing stream of Canada's temporary foreign worker program – has long been dominated by female migrants primarily from the Philippines and the Caribbean. The participation of women in temporary migrant worker programs can provide opportunities for women to improve their own livelihoods and also the social and economic well-being of their families. In particular, participation could grant them new, important sources of income while also granting them greater independence. However, temporary migrant worker programs can also expose women to new vulnerabilities and challenges while also facing a new set of challenges and discriminations both in sending and receiving countries (e.g. leaving children behind, inequalities in the work place and social barriers, slotting workers into highly gendered jobs). Migration and gender deserves particular attention because of the unique vulnerabilities and challenges faced by female migrant workers, as well as particular consequences of circular or labour migration on families, and the gendered nature of temporary migration streams. For example, it is important to understand the impact of labour migration for gender roles in migrant families, and better understand the gendered nature of the culture of migration which has taken root in LAC.

| Canada| Guatemala | Jamaica | Mexico | Trinidad&Tobago |

back

back

back

back

back

back

Migrant Rights

It is vital to investigate and better understand the relationship between labour migration and rights. Labour migration has the potential to increase the social and economic well-being of individuals, and this in turn can bolster self-respect, and encourage empowerment of migrants. However, temporary migrant workers have historically faced differential rights and treatment compared to domestic workers in host countries, doing dirty, dangerous and difficult work that domestic workforces refuse. In some cases migrant workers have come together with domestic workers and community organizations to advocate for their rights in host societies, or even to push for greater rights in their countries of origin. Though Canada provides significant rights for migrant workers, such as the right to health care, there are many barriers to accessing these rights, particularly among vulnerable workers. Canada and many other host countries are not signatories to international human rights conventions with respect to migrant workers. It is important to understand the rights of migrant workers both in their countries of origin and in Canada, including labour protections, access to permanent immigration status, etc. How can governments and community organizations help empower migrant workers to better understand and access their rights, and to push for change in both Canada and in their countries of origin?

| Canada | Mexico | Guatemala |

back

back

Migration Policies

Canada has an extensive policy framework for temporary labour migration – with program streams operating in numerous levels and sectors of the economy for over forty years. The Canadian Foreign Worker Program policy framework is organized around providing mechanisms to process and evaluate employer demands for workers – the very demand that has driven the significant growth of temporary migration in Canada since its inception. Recent policy developments have included an expansion of the regulatory and monitoring apparatus, in addition to the expansion of programs aimed at providing pathways to permanent residency for higher skilled temporary migrants and students. Sending countries also have an important role in the management and regulation of temporary labour migration flows, playing roles that range from recruitment and selection, to health exams and liaising with employers, industry groups and governments. There is also a growing role being played by non-state, labour and private organizations ranging from industry groups, to immigration recruiters and consultants, to international organizations such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) involved in a wide range of service provision, such as recruitment, mediation and transportation.

Evidence suggests that countries with policies that regulate and manage migration processes and programs have a greater potential to harness positive development outcomes resulting from circular migration patterns – particularly for sending countries. For example, sending countries have attempted to harness potential development impacts of remittances being sent to sending countries through matching programs, saving schemes and health insurance plans for families of migrants (e.g. Guatemala).

| Canada | Colombia | Mexico |

back

back

HOME | THE PROJECT | MIGRATION MAPS | MIGRATION&DEVELOPMENT| PARTNERS | CONTACT | LINKS | FORUM