Migrant Agricultural Workers

Welcome to our resource hub for addressing the systemic marginalization of migrant agricultural workers in Canada.

Understanding the Context

Caxaj, C.S.; Cohen, A. “I Will Not Leave My Body Here”: Migrant Farmworkers’ Health and Safety Amidst a Climate of Coercion. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2643. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16152643

What Can Nurses Do?

  1. Identify who may be a migrant agricultural worker in order to plan appropriate care
  2. If English is not the person’s first language, provide a third-party translator
  3. Give your patient repeated opportunities to disclose a workplace injury
  4. Respect the privacy and confidentiality of migrant agricultural workers

Nurses’ role in improving health care access for migrant agricultural workers, Canadian Nurse, Mar 02, 2020, By Susana Caxaj and Katrina Plamondon

Best Practices for Support People

Best Practice #1: Anticipating & Addressing Barriers

Support people work to “circumvent potential coercion or scrutiny on the part of a worker’s employer. Others anticipated cultural or language barriers that could affect a worker’s level of understanding or ability to maintain continuity of care.”

Best Practices #2: Building Trust and Community

“Creating neutral social spaces were important to participants because it offered reprieve from often uncomfortable or unsafe work dynamics. Others sought to connect workers across social groups and workplaces in order to build a sense of solidarity and a more diverse sense of belonging in the region.”

Best Practice #3: Acknowledging Rights & System Accountability

It is important that migrant agricultural workers are able to understand and exercise their rights, “while also acknowledging that more work needed to be done to ensure that these rights were fully protected.”

Best Practice #4: Bearing Witness & Looking to the Future

Highly effective support people are able to “feel the weight” of the injustices experienced by migrant agricultural workers and are yet able still imagine solutions to address these issues.

Citation for section

COVID-19 Policy Responses

Government COVID-19 guidelines gamble on the lives of migrant agricultural workers, Canadian Science Policy Centre (April 21, 2020)