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Dear IMRC, Affiliates, Associates, and Friends,

On March 8th, the global community celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and reflects on the progress yet to be made in moving towards gender equality. We would like to honour this occasion by highlighting the significance of migrant women and their development potential, and by sharing some of the gender-focused work of the IMRC.

Women constitute almost half of the 247 million people who live and work outside their countries of birth, ranging from 52% in the global North to 43% in the global South. Contrary to popular discourse, which has painted women as passive actors who either migrate alongside their families or stay behind in the country of origin, there has been an increasing feminization of migration, driven in part by the lack of decent work for women in countries of origin, and the increase in the demand for labour, particularly that which subsidizes care deficits in destination countries.

While women migrants face gender-specific vulnerabilities, like discrimination, violence, health risks and exploitation at various stages of migration, they are increasingly being recognized for their potential to contribute to development. For instance, it is reported that by sending a higher proportion of their often lower wages, migrant women are responsible for half of the World Bank’s estimated $582 Billion in global remittances.

Through ongoing research and collaboration with international organizations and partners, IMRC affiliates and associates are working on a number of projects and initiatives focused on gender and migration.

Within the last year, the IMRC participated at the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in the Third Thematic meeting— “Recognizing the contributions of women migrants to economic and social development in countries of origin and destination and addressing their specific needs”, particularly concerning respect for their human rights. (Read the Director’s Closing Remarks here).

The IMRC collaborates with UN women on the “Promoting and Protecting Women Migrant Workers’ Rights and Human Rights” project which aims to strengthen international human rights mechanisms by including a gender focus.

Stay tuned for more forthcoming material on our work with UN Women at also to be made available on

Many of our Associates and Affiliates currently are conducting research which examine gendered dimensions of migration including one of the emerging researchers at the IMRC, Dr. Bree Akesson, who focuses on the experiences of pregnant refugee women from Syria.

IMRC Student Affiliate and Vanier Graduate Scholarship recipient, Bharati Sethi,  draws on her personal experiences to study the linkages between employment and mental health in terms of immigrant women.

The topics of other ongoing projects led by IMRC associates and students include highly skilled migration (led by Dr. Margaret Walton-Roberts), internationally educated nurses, care work, migrant worker health and immigrant women and mental health.

Best wishes,



The first annual Dr. Kerry Preibisch Global Social Justice and Migration Lecture 

Dear Affiliates, Associates, and Friends,

We are pleased to announce the first lecture of the annual Dr. Kerry Preibisch Global Social Justice and Migration Lecture Series organized by the International Migration Research Centre.

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 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.

Our first lecturer will be Dr. Janet McLaughlin, an Assistant Professor of Health Studies and a Research Associate with the International Migration Research Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University. For over a decade her research, community work and scholarship have focused on health and human rights issues facing migrant workers, primarily from Jamaica and Mexico, who labour in Canadian agriculture. Dr. McLaughlin is also co-founder of the Migrant Workers Health Project, which aims to raise awareness and improve health care access for migrant workers across the country. 

This year’s lecture will be taking place on March 31st; further details on time, location, and registration for this event will be made available on social media and email in the coming week. We encourage all to attend.


Update: Dr. Kerry Preibisch

A short piece about Dr. Kerry Preibisch was recently published in the Guelph Mercury. It is written by colleague, and IMRC Associate, Dr. Janet McLaughlin. Please follow the link to read the article:

In addition, there has been a graduate scholarship created in Kerry’s honour at the University of Guelph with her friends and family. This scholarship will be awarded to a graduate student in any department at the University whose research involves fieldwork and will have a demonstrated benefit to the migrant worker community in Canada, and especially women. Read here for more details:


Honouring Dr. Kerry Preibisch


Dear IMRC Affiliates, colleagues and friends,

It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to a dear friend and esteemed Guelph professor, Dr. Kerry Preibisch. After a brave battle with cancer, Kerry passed away the morning of January 28.

We want to honour the memory and legacy of Kerry Preibisch, a feminist sociologist and an internationally recognized scholar. Throughout her successful career, Kerry contributed actively to vast areas of research, such as: gender, migration, and rural livelihoods; temporary migration programs, migrant rights, and development; migration and social change, as well as ethical food production. This work was published in countless distinguished scholarly journals, and shared with colleagues and students. During her life, Kerry tried to transform the world through her research and outreach by engaging with migrant communities and working diligently to shape migration policies through engagement with national and international actors. Her work in these areas awarded her the César E. Chávez Black Eagle Award in migrant rights. She has shaped knowledge, influenced policy  and directly contributed to the social movement in Canada aimed at improving the rights of migrant workers. She was an exceptional mentor, engaging collaborative scholar, and a wonderful friend.

We are all lucky to have known her – her heart, her ideas and her strength.

We will notify our network of any upcoming initiatives aimed at continuing Kerry’s legacy.


Jenna Hennebry

Director, IMRC

IMRC Headlines

2016-03-08 Interview with IMRC Associate Director, Dr. Margaret Walton-Roberts at the 2015 Canadian Science Policy Conference

2016-03-01 Now available as an e-book: “Diasporas, Development and Governance“, Abel Chikanda, Jonathan Crush, and Margaret Walton-Roberts

2015-11-05 New Report: International Students in Ontario’s Postsecondary Education System, 2000-2012: An evaluation of changing policies, populations and labour market entry processes, Keegan Williams, Gabriel Williams, Amy Arbuckle, Margaret Walton-Roberts and Jenna Hennebry, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO)

2015-07-17 How Can Rust Belt Cities Attract More Immigrants?, article in the Pacific Standard featuring Dr. Margaret Walton-Robert’s work on second-tier cities

2015-06-26 Why newcomers are beginning to bypass Canada’s big cities, Globe and Mail article featuring Dr. Margaret Walton-Roberts

2015-04-22 Despite System’s Flaws, More International Students Coming to Ontario, a New Canadian Media article featuring Dr. Margaret Walton-Roberts

2015-04-12  Gujarati to Odia, Canada has ’em all, a Hindustan article featuring Dr. Margaret Walton-Roberts

2015-03-02 Migration Research Center at Koç University: International Summer School Opportunity

The Call for Applications is now opened. Submissions are due by midnight GMT on Sunday, 25 April 2015. This year MiReKoc Summer School will explore the theme of “Diasporas and Transnational Communities”.

2014-10-21 Congratulations to Lualhati Marcelino for winning the Student Poster Award Competition at the Canadian Health Workforce Conference in Ottawa. A copy of the poster can be found in the Other Documents page of the website.

2014-10-02 Apprehended: Securitization Meets Humanitarianism in Kenyan Refugee Camps by Dr. Jennifer Hyndman

Thursday, October 2 at 4 pm in the Senate and Board Chamber at Wilfrid Laurier University


What happens when spaces of counterinsurgency and humanitarianism collide? Who is apprehended in such contexts, and how is visibility catalyzed? Twenty-two years after they opened, refugee camps for Somalis in Dadaab, Kenya currently house almost half a million people. Refugees in these camps are not, for the most part, apprehended as humanitarian subjects in Kenyan public discourse or in international media. With the emergency phase over, they do not register, and have become the ‘remnants’ of the global polity, the flotsam and jetsam of ongoing conflict in Somalia. The ‘war on terror’ in southcentral Somalia has, however, shifted the ground and re-calibrated the meanings of camps and refugees, with Al Shabab (‘the youth’) rebels operating in and them. Subjectivity and apprehension are probed in this context.

2014-09-22 to 2014-10-31 Exhibits in the Library: “Do you see what I see?” by Bharati Sethi

2014-05-08 IMRC Associate Dr. Jonathan Crush co-editor of new book: A New Perspective on Human Mobility in the South

2014-05-09 IMRC Associates proudly celebrate Associate Director, Margaret Walton-Roberts and her Laurier Faculty Mentoring Award

2014-05-06 IMRC releases Policy Points Issue VI The Migrant Farmworker Health Journey: Identifying Issues and Considering Change across Borders

2014-05-01  IMRC Director, Jenna Hennebry, interviewed by CBC about temporary foreign worker numbers rising steeply in Kitchener and Guelph

2014-03-13  IMRC sponsors the S.A.M.E. Awareness Tour 2014

2014-03-04 IMRC Affiliate, Moniruzzaman Mohammad, awarded Laurier’s GSA Researcher of the month

2014-02-11 IMRC Associate, Dr. Jonathan Crush, interviewed on micro-entrepreneurs as targets of violence in SA

2014-01-31 IMRC Associate Dr. Robert McLeman launches new book, Climate and Human Migration

2014-01-18 IMRC sponsors CACS-ACEC keynote, Mimi Thi Nguyen “Damage Control, and the Art of Governing Freedom”

2014-01-17 CACS-ACEC presents a free screening of “Dal Puri Diaspora: The journey of Indian rotis across three continents”

2014-01-16 IMRC Associates go to Dispersion 2014 CACS-ACEC annual national conference

2013-12-12  IMRC releases the 2012-2013 Annual Report

2013-12-05 “Inner-city ‘cleansing’ eats away at food security” by Jonathan Crush, Business Day BDLive

2013-11-29  IMRC Affiliate, Maissaa Mustafa talks to CBC about the barriers new Canadians and refugees face

2013-11-18  Robert McLeman comments on climate and refugees in the Globe and Mail

2013-11-08  “IMRC presents migration lectures with Mat Coleman and Kathy Kopinak”

2013-10-28  “Should international law recognize ‘climate change refugees’?” The Current, CBC

2013-09-12  “Grant helps Laurier researchers bring mirgration research to public” WLU Headlines

2013-09-10  “Filling the labour gaps” Chris Sorensen, Macleans

2013-08-20  IMRC faculty release new edited book, Territoriality and Migration in the EU Neighbourhood

2013-06-24  “Most who leave SA are economically lost to the country” Jonathan Crush, Cape Times

2012-10-10  “Can we keep our doctors and get back those who left?” Jonathan Crush, The New Age

2012-10-05  Publication from Assessing the Complexities of South Asian Migration Conference

2012-10-04  “The Ambivalent Diaspora: what South African Canadians think”, blog post by Jonathan Crush

2012-10-04  Upcoming public lecture October 17, “The Ugandan Asian Refugee Movement 1972”

2012-09-12  Lastest Policy Points III now posted

2012-08-13  Podcast: Luin Goldring and Janet McLaughlin, about temporary migrants and “deeming”

2012-08-08  AFSUN-SAMP-IMRC Conference, University of Cape Town Nov 26-27 – Abstracts due

2012-08-08  Attend the El Contrato Documentary screening for free in Toronto on August 28

2012-08-08  Migration and Development Journal, New 2012 Release

2012-07-23  CIHS Bulletin, July 2012

2012-06-21  IMRC researchers study health across borders

2012-06-07  Public lecture by Sucha Singh Gill on Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in India

2012-06-06  Long-form census remains hot topic for Canadian researchers

2012-05-12  Diaspora newsletter “Roots & Routes” released

2012-04-23  “Temporary Foreign Workers Canada Blacklist: Jason Kenney wants permanent ban on employers who abuse migrant workers” Rachel Mendleson, Huffington Post

2012-04-15  Jenna Hennebry and Janet McLaughling on CTV’s ProvinceWide

2012-04-16  Getting Used to the Quiet: Immigrant Adolescents’ Journey to Belonging in New Brunswick, Canada

2012-01-26  “Illegal migration and policy challenges in Nigeria” Lanre Ikuteyijo, Africa Portal Backgrounder No. 21