Canada`s Temporary Foreign Worker Program & Human Trafficking

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Canada’s Temporary Foreign
Worker Program & Human
Trafficking
Shelley Gilbert
Windsor Essex Anti-Human Trafficking Action Group (WEFIGHT)
Legal Assistance of Windsor
March 2012
Overview

A Brief Overview of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
(TFWP) in Canada
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How we got here & why
Key Aspects
Policy
Impact
Human Trafficking in Windsor/Essex
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Definitions
Elements of Trafficking
Forced Labour as Trafficking
Hawaii Case
Common Elements of the TFWP & Human Trafficking
Temporary Foreign Workers
Definition
 All persons admitted on a temporary basis to
Canada in order to work
The TFWP Then and Now
The Non-Immigrant Employment
Authorization Program (1973)

Assigned to specific employer

Occupation, residence and length
and terms of employment
specified

Change in conditions only
permitted with written
authorization from immigration
officials

Employment driven quotas

Not a pathway to permanent
residency
The Non-Immigrant Employment
Authorization Program (2012)

Assigned to specific employer

Occupation, residence and length
and terms of employment
specified

Change in conditions only
permitted with written
authorization from immigration
officials

Employment driven quotas

Not a pathway to permanent
residency

Expansion in numbers, countries
and occupations
Temporary Foreign Worker Program
(2002)

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High Skilled Temporary
Workers
Pathway to permanent
residency opened
Ability to be
accompanied by family
members
Not affected by proposed
regulatory changes (4
years in Canada, 6 year
ban)
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Pilot Project for
Occupations Requiring
Low Levels of Formal
Training
Seasonal Agricultural
Worker Program SAWP
No pathways to
permanent residency
Family ‘left behind’
Regulatory Changes
Applicable April 2011
Policy Shifts
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When Conservatives took power, there was a rapid
expansion of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Between 2004 and 2008, temporary foreign worker
admissions increased 71%
In 2008, Canada admitted 192,519 temporary foreign
workers vs. 149,072 permanent residents who entered
Canada through the Economic Immigrant Class
Statistics do not include TFW who had their work permits
renewed inland, or those who remained on two year
contracts. Some researches suggest that if these figures
are included 300,000 vs 150,0000
Most Recently
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The federal government expanded the
TFWP without simultaneously
implementing monitors and controls to
protect the foreign worker
Position of the federal government has
been that provinces hold legislative
jurisdiction over employment matters
Restrictions
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Labour mobility
Physical mobility
Limited healthcare
Access to education
Collective bargaining/Associations
Inability to address exploitation/ abuse because
employer has the power to terminate employment
and deport
Barriers to Full Participation
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Language barriers
Geographic isolation
Lack of community connections and social
isolation
Inability to access language or settlement
services
Lack of awareness and understanding of
Canadian laws
Recruitment Practices Add to Worker
Vulnerability
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Recruitment fees
Deception
Monitoring within Canada
Threats of deportation
Statistics
It is estimated that 12.3 million adults and children are
forced into labour, bonded labour, and commercial sexual
servitude at any given time”.
(International Labor Organization, 2005)
The total yearly profits generated by the human trafficking
industry is $32 billion
 $15.5 billion of this is made in industrialized countries
 On average, $13,000 per year is generated by each
“forced laborer.” This number can be as high as $67,200
per victim per year.
Palermo Protocol
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in
Persons, especially Women and Children


Trafficking in persons" shall mean the recruitment,
transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by
means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion,
of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of
a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of
payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having
control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.
Ratified by Canada in 2002
Four Elements of Human Trafficking
1.
Recruitment: Lured by false promises, deceived by working
conditions, or enticed through newspaper, magazine or internet
2.
Movement/Transportation: internationally: new, unfamiliar country
3.
Coercion/Control: The use or threat of force, coercion, abduction,
fraud, deception, abuse of power or payment to others in control of
the victim
4.
Exploitation: For the purpose of sexual exploitation…servitude,
slavery or practices similar to slavery
Forced Labour/Bonded Labour
Recruitment

Lured, deceived &/or kidnapped into coming to Canada with promises of work
and a living wage. Pay large recruitment fees in order to get the job
Movement
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May come with temporary work permit or deceived into making a false refugee
claim and then moved about within the country.
Control/Coercion
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Economic control is most often exerted
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Workers are forced to remain with employer due to TFW program requirement

Documents may be taken
Exploitation
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Sold to various employers by unscrupulous recruiters/agents and put at risk for
imprisonment

Not paid what was originally promised/not paid overtime

Forced to continue using employers’ agents who continue to charge outrageous
fees to workers for “keeping their jobs
Supply & Demand
Supply:
Socio-cultural:
Demand:
Socio-cultural:
Patriarchy

Illiteracy

Inadequate educational and employment
opportunities

Racial discrimination, racism and related
intolerance

Media and new technologies
Economic:
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Economic disparities
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Feminization of poverty
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Globalization and its differential impact on
women

A lucrative business with high monetary
returns
Political:
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Feminisation of international migration
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Civil and military conflicts
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Growth of transnational crime
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Weak law enforcement mechanisms
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Corruption of police and law enforcers
Male attitudes and perceptions of women in
society
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Consumerist behaviour with the
commercialization and commodification of
women’s bodies
Economic:
Demand by employers for an unskilled and
cheap labour market
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Confinement of women's labour in the
domestic and entertainment spheres and in
the informal sector
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Development policies and patterns that
depend on temporary migrant workers
Political:
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Unequal and exploitative political and
economic relations
Restrictive migration policies
Sales of arms and increased armed conflicts
Weak law enforcement mechanisms
(JPIC Working Group on Trafficking
in Women and Children, 2003)
The Hawaii Case
In the old days, they used to keep slaves
in their place with whips and chains,"
Simon said in an interview. "Today, it
is done with economic threats and
intimidation." FBI Agent Tom Simon: Honolulu Star;
Sept. 3, 2010
Common Elements of the Temporary Foreign
Worker Policy and Human Trafficking
Elements of the TFWP
Elements/Indicator of Human Trafficking

Attractive to individuals who are living
in poverty
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Women, youth, visible
minorities, individuals with
limited education
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Vulnerable individuals who are living in
poverty
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Women, youth, visible
minorities, individuals with
limited education

Individual MUST remain with specific
employer for work permit to remain
valid or face deportation
•
Often live in housing supplied by
the employer or his/her agent

Coercion/Control

“use or threat of force, of
coercion, of abduction, of
fraud, of deception, of the
abuse of power or of
vulnerability”
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Is not free to leave or come
and go as he/she wishes
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Can not bring their families to Canada
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Identification of abusive employers
responsibility of the worker
Not allowed to speak with/have contact
with family
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Survivors must self-identify to CIC
Windsor Essex Anti-Human Trafficking
Action Group
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The action group provides direct services to persons who are found to
be trafficked and develops effective community strategies in
collaboration with organizations who may provide assistance.
In addition, the group provides education and awareness building to
the general public and to service providers in the Windsor and Essex
county area about the presence of trafficked persons in Canada and
within our area.
Committee Organizations:
Legal Assistance of Windsor
Victim Services of Windsor Essex
Children’s Aid Society
New Canadian Centre of Excellence
University of Windsor, School of Social Work
Bi-lingual Legal Clinic
Teen HealthCentre/Street Health
New Canadian Centre/YMCA
Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor
Diocese of London Ministry to Refugee Claimants
City of Windsor, Social Services
Victim Witness/Windsor Essex
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