News: MOAS Podcast: Rohingya Migrants Prepare for Extreme Weather

How do you protect over one million Rohingya refugees during the monsoon season? It’s difficult. In a few short weeks, the cyclone and monsoon seasons will hit Bangladesh bringing with them wind speeds of up to 100 kilometres and almost two metres in rainfall in some places. That’s why we’re exploring what’s going on the ground, why this year could be deadly and how the aid agencies are preparing for a multitude of emergencies. Joining us to discuss this are Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, Dave Petley and WASH Officer for UNHCR, Emmett Kearney.

Dave Petley @davepetley
Emmett Kearney @emmettjk


Emergency Cyclone and Monsoon Appeal:

Emergency Cyclone and Monsoon Appeal 2018

Event: Narratives of Central American Migrants Living in Mexican Limbo – March 26th 12:00-1:30

Narratives of Central American Migrants Living in Mexican Limbo: Student-Led Research in Mexico

Large-scale Central American migration to the United States is not new or unique. The Northern Triangle region of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras continues to suffer from poor political and socioeconomic conditions, including some of the world’s highest homicide rates and widespread gang violence, which drive ongoing migration toward the north. Men, women and children enter Mexico through its southern border with Guatemala and attempt to make the dangerous journey north to the United States. What is new about this phenomenon, however, is that Mexico is no longer a transit country for Central American migrants, but rather a receiving country where these people must exist in a state of precarious limbo. Deterred from crossing the northern border by the anti-immigration legislation of the current presidential administration in the United States and unwilling or unable to return to where they came from, many migrants are now staying in Mexico. This presentation will focus on the estimated thousands of Central American migrants who stay in Mexico and do not reach the coveted “north”. Informed by an anti-oppressive theoretical framework and the first-person narratives of migrants residing temporarily in shelters in central Mexico, the presentation will explore how Central American migrants from the Northern Triangle negotiate through the new environment in Mexico, including economic survival, violations of basic human rights, and the bureaucratic hurdles of making asylum claims. The presentation will be based on qualitative interview data collected by Laurier undergraduate students who participated in my HR361 Migration and Human Rights Field Course in 2017.

About the Speaker:

Stacey Wilson-Forsberg is an Associate Professor in the Human Rights & Human Diversity program at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford campus. Stacey’s research broadly focuses on Immigration and multiculturalism. She is especially interested in the experiences of immigrant youth in schools and smaller communities, migrants with precarious immigration status in Canada, the United States, and Mexico, and the development of intercultural competence in university students. Her ongoing research includes a SSHRC-funded study of the challenges and opportunities faced by male African immigrant youth when attempting to access the support they need to make informed decisions about post-secondary education in Ontario, and qualitative student-led interviews with Central American migrants transiting through Mexico. Recent publications include a textbook published by Oxford University Press edited with Laurier colleague Andrew M. Robinson called Immigrant Youth in Canada: Theoretical Approaches, Practical Issues, and Professional Perspectives. Along with human rights courses, Stacey teaches HR365 Immigrant Youth in Canada, HR261 Multiculturalism, and HR328 the United Nations in the 21st Century. Prior to joining Laurier University, Stacey worked for several years in the government and non-governmental sectors in a number of areas, including: Canada’s foreign policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean, North American integration, the inclusion of non-governmental actors in multilateral organizations and summits, social policy and poverty eradication, and more recently, foreign qualification recognition.

Free Event. Light lunch offered. RSVP by Sunday March 25th.

Support IMRC’s Annual Dr. Kerry Preibisch Lecture Series

On November 16, 2017 IMRC hosted the 2nd Annual Kerry Preibisch Lecture Series – Film Screening of Migrant Dreams: A Film by Min Sook Lee and Lecture with Min Sook Lee and Q&A

Dr. Kerry Preibisch was a prolific scholar in the area of social justice and migration, who died of cancer in January, 2016, at the height of her career. The intention of this annual memorial lecture/event will be to add to the myriad ways that scholars and students can keep her research and vision of promoting migrants’ human rights alive into the future. Invited speakers must bring a global social justice perspective to their lecture pertaining to migration, and are encouraged to engage directly with Kerry’s work.

Please show your support by donating to the Kerry Preibisch Scholarship Fund

Welcome and Introduction
Lecture with Min Sook Lee
Film Screening – Migrant Dreams

A powerful feature documentary by multiple award-winning director Min Sook Lee (El Contrato, Hogtown, Tiger Spirit) and Emmy award-winning producer Lisa Valencia-Svensson (Herman’s House), tells the undertold story of migrant agricultural workers struggling against Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) that treats foreign workers as modern-day indentured labourers. Under the rules of Canada’s migrant labour program, low wage migrants are tied to one employer. …

Migrant Dreams exposes the underbelly of the Canadian government labour program that has built a system designed to empower brokers and growers to exploit, dehumanize and deceive migrant workers who have virtually no access to support or information in their own language. Workers willing to pay exorbitant fees to work at minimum wage jobs packing the fruits and vegetables we eat in our homes. Migrant workers who deserve basic labour and human rights. Canada it seems, has failed them.

Read more here:
Press Kit:

Q&A Period

News: 2017 Gunn Award Winner Iain Wilson Receives Certificate

The 2017 Gunn Award prize has been awarded to Iain Wilson, an MA student in the Department of History at Queen’s University, Kingston. He has a BA from Victoria College at the University of Toronto. Iain has also won the Michael Bliss Essay Prize in Canadian Political History and the George Metcalfe Memorial Scholarship for High Standing in Canadian History. He is currently studying Canadian state policy towards Indigenous peoples in the late 19th century.

Iain’s essay is titled, “Organic Settlement in Pre-19th Century Newfoundland”. The essay explores why, despite the considerable value of Newfoundland’s fisheries (one of the most potent in the world until recently) and the strong state interest of the English Crown in maintaining this economy, European migration to Newfoundland remained relatively inconsiderable until the 19th century, why those who did settle chose to do so, and how these organic communities created the foundations for future migration influxes. Click here to read the essay.

IMRC Receives 2017 President’s Achievement Award!

News: IMRC’s Dr. Janet McLaughlin in the news!

Check out the Star’s article, a documentary, and WLU highlight of her research.


News: Article on IMRC’s Associate Director Kim Rygiel

Laurier political scientist researching what makes communities embrace or reject newcomers 

Join the IMRC Community

The International Migration Research Centre (IMRC) is a research centre serving as a focal point for debate, research, policy analysis, and proposal development related to international migration at the global, national and regional scale. The IMRC fosters research in new policy development and alternative models and practices of managing temporary, circular and permanent forms of international migration. Our research is relevant to practice and policymaking in the areas of international governance, mobilities, critical border issues, diaspora and development, labour relations, transnationalism and human security.

Our mission is to develop and sponsor research linkages and activities with scholars, and share and discuss the implications of this research with nongovernmental and governmental actors and representatives from across Canada and around the world. We are building a network of scholars, community representatives and policy-makers in order to foster relevant and innovative research and partnerships – so, affiliate with the IMRC and connect!

IMRC Organizational Structure

The research centre structure involves a Director, an Associate Director, Executive Committee and a Board of Directors drawn from our Research Associates, Research Affiliates, Community/Institutional Affiliates and Student Affiliates. Research associates/affiliates requests are to be submitted to the executive committee (via email or hard copy), and new members will be determined by a majority vote. To become an IMRC Research Associate or Affiliate, submit the application form with a recent CV demonstrating research interests in the field of international migration. Community/Institutional Affiliates are asked to contact the Director or Associate Director directly prior to submitting the form, since in some cases it will not be required. Students are asked to submit the form, and undergo an interview with the Director or Associate Director.

Research Associates are typically faculty members from Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Waterloo and/or the Balsillie Scohool of International Affairs who are interested in participating in IMRC events and research initiatives. IMRC Research Associates may: utilize the IMRC’s research space, conference/meeting area, and visiting scholar offices; participate free of charge in centre events; contribute papers to the online working paper series and other IMRC publications; administer grants or contracts through the IMRC; draw on IMRC research assistants and administrative support when available for research or events hosted by the IMRC; be eligible to apply for financial support or research assistantships when available; advertise events and circulate information through the IMRC website; be sent regular updates on centre events and research, internal and external funding opportunities, conference announcements, calls for papers, and new publication releases related to international migration; participate in yearly workshops and sessions organized by the IMRC at WLU, at National and International Metropolis Conferences, and other venues; utilize the IMRC reference library, migration research and teaching resources (e.g. the IOM/FOCAL Online Migration Mapping Project, and journal subscriptions); help initiate new proposals and research perspectives and help to develop the ongoing network collaborations between academic and community members. IMRC Associates may be considered for positions on the executive committee, or for the positions of Director and Associate Director. Research Associates must have a demonstrated research interest related to international migration.

Research Affiliates include faculty and researchers (e.g. PhD students, lecturers, independent scholars) from across Canada, as well as international scholars with an interest in international migration research. IMRC Research Affiliates will be sent regular updates on centre events and research, funding opportunities for faculty and students, conference announcements and calls for papers, and new publication releases related to international migration. Affiliates may contribute papers to the online working paper series and other IMRC publications, and may participate in centre events, workshops and conferences.

Our Partners and Networks include community members, policy makers, non-governmental and governmental representatives and other organizations who are involved in work related to immigrants or migration more broadly. These affiliated individuals and groups will be sent regular updates on centre events and research, and new publication releases related to international migration.

Student Affiliates are graduate students from any faculty, department or campus who have an interest related to international migration.  Students wishing to be affiliated with the centre are asked to submit this form to either the Director or Associate Director. Students will be able to take part in the centre’s events, utilize research resources, and apply for funding, scholarships and research assistantships.

Guidelines and Application Form

Welcome from New IMRC Directors

Dear colleagues,

Summer’s greetings from the IMRC! We hope that this finds you immersed in fruitful field research, cool summer activities, and rest.

We are writing to announce our arrival as new directors at the IMRC, to introduce you to the Centre’s new Administrative Assistant Kirsten Pries, and to thank outgoing directors Drs. Jenna Hennebry and Margaret Walton-Roberts. As founding directors, Jenna and Margaret established a thriving Centre and set a high bar for IMRC activity. We have been grateful to enjoy the Centre as an intellectual and politically-engaged home, and look forward to contributing to the life of the Centre with the same energy and spirit of inclusion and meaningful engagement established by Margaret and Jenna.

Many of you proposed stimulating ideas at the general meeting held at the Balsillie School of International Affairs last fall, and we are excited to implement and move forward with these ideas. In the months ahead, you can expect to hear from us about upcoming lectures, films, conferences, committees, and roaming coffee klatches. We will be embarking on a five-year visioning exercise for the Centre, and also have a new communications strategy in the works (thanks to Shawna Reibling and Research Services!).

We would like the opportunity to share your work with broader communities and are eager to showcase the wonderful research being carried out by affiliated students, faculty, and visiting scholars. The extent of collaboration across campuses and international boundaries is impressive. We want to see you and hear what you have been up to.

Please check out the updated website when you have a chance (, let us know any thoughts you have, and look for messages from us over the usual channels: the IMRC email listserve, twitter (@imrconline), and facebook (@internationalmigrationresearchcentre).

We look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead to continue to build a vibrant intellectual home for research and public engagement at the IMRC.


Alison Mountz (Director) and Kim Rygiel (Associate Director)

Migrant Mobility Initiative

Providing free bicycles to migrant farm workers in Ontariobike sign

Migrant farm workers can experience restrictive circumstances working in Ontario. Simple things like long hours and distance from important services are obstacles. Easy, safe and affordable transportation can remove some of them.

Providing bicycles to groups may help to increase their mobility, allowing individuals and groups to better access things they need.

Your donations will go directly to the purchase of bicycles that will be given, free of cost, to migrant farm workers. The more donations we receive, the more bikes we can purchase.

Donate to IMRC today!

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