Home Canada Migrant farmworkers need feds to behave on higher employer-provided housing: report

Migrant farmworkers need feds to behave on higher employer-provided housing: report

2021-06-11 03:31:00

Migrant farmworkers say there’s an absence of privateness and hygienic circumstances in employer-based housing, they usually’re calling on the federal government to be faster about its dedication final yr to implement stronger nationwide requirements, in line with an advocacy group’s report.

The Migrant Rights Community report launched on Thursday — comprising testimonies, surveys, and images from 453 migrant farmworkers — describes a litany of points in employer-provided housing. These embody overcrowding in bedrooms and shared areas, little to no personal areas, an absence of unpolluted ingesting water, unsanitary circumstances in loos and showers and even pest infestations.

“We’re all people however some employers deal with us like objects,” mentioned considered one of unnamed migrant staff quoted within the report. “We have now no indoor rest room. We have now to make use of a transportable bathroom outdoors or pee in a bottle. No web or tv… We wish respectable homes, not stables.”

Many lamented not having any personal area to spend with household or pals, with one employee saying they wished “much less interference of the employer in the home, as a result of he decides who can are available.”

Syed Hussan, Migrant Rights Community secretariat, instructed CTVNews.ca in a cellphone interview “as you may see, what staff are asking for is the naked minimal… probably the most mundane and banal and basic items.”

The crux of the problem specified by the report is the lack of enforceable nationwide housing requirements for a side of the Short-term Overseas Employee Program, the place employers present correct lodging to their migrant farmworkers. In March, Employment and Social Improvement Canada (ESDC) mentioned it was nonetheless reviewing consultations it started in October.

Hussan mentioned the truth that farmer staff are nonetheless demanding the fundamentals reveals they’re being exploited.

Within the report, when it got here to employer-provided housing, 51 per cent of the respondents mentioned the dearth of privateness was their largest concern. Two out of 5 staff known as for more room, together with for storage to maintain soiled work garments away from cooking and resting areas.

One out of three respondents wished the next high quality of life, together with having laundry, kitchen, bathe and loo services beneath one roof, in addition to having houses nearer to grocery shops, remittance providers and well being services.

General, 1 / 4 of respondents mentioned they merely wished extra management over their lives, reminiscent of the flexibility to decide on after they need to be alone or not, which is troublesome with little to no privateness in communal housing, in line with the Migrant Rights Community report.

Different advocates previously have outlined how the COVID-19 pandemic has exasperated migrant staff’ precarious conditions, in that they fear in the event that they complain, bosses will fireplace them they usually’ll lose their capability to remain in Canada.

“On the finish of the day, the rationale now we have to have particular guidelines for farmworkers’ housing is as a result of migrant farmworkers are excluded from rights and protections all of us [Canadian citizens] have,” Hussan mentioned.


When employers apply to be within the authorities’s Main Agriculture Stream program, they have to define the lodging they’ll present staff, and have that housing inspected beforehand by provincial or territorial our bodies, or authorised personal inspectors.

However there isn’t any minimal nationwide normal for employer-provided lodging, in line with Employment and Social Improvement Canada, so consultations started in October to enact these requirements.

A press launch from March pledged a tip line and pilot mission to conduct extra in-depth inspections of employers at larger danger of not dwelling up their program functions. However the authorities said then that “enter acquired via this session is at present being reviewed, and can inform the Authorities’s actions within the coming months.”

Hussan mentioned “there isn’t any time to attend” as a result of even when the federal government introduced housing requirements tomorrow, he mentioned employers will probably name for extra funding or time to implement requirements. And he additionally identified that the implementation of an enforcement regime will must be arrange too.

And he mentioned these steps will solely lengthen the precarious conditions of farmworkers. As a substitute, Hussan advocated granting everlasting residence standing for all migrant and undocumented individuals.

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Supply by [earlynews24.com]