This lecture is the first 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.
Dr. Jenna Hennebry will introduce this new lecture series with the short talk, Mapping Migrant Worker Health into the Global Health and Migration Nexus.
This presentation positions migrant workers within the intersection of global health, public health and occupational health debates, and points to the need to mainstream migrant worker health into the centre of global health and migration policy.
Dr. Hennebry’s talk will be followed by a lecture by Dr. Janet McLaughlin Harvesting Justice: Towards Securing the Health and Human Rights of Migrant Agricultural Workers in Canada.
2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program, which employs thousands of migrant farm workers from Mexico and the Caribbean on seasonal contracts throughout Canada. Throughout most of the program’s history, little attention has been paid to the human rights and health concerns of workers, who have remained largely invisible to Canadian society. Welcome to work, but not to immigrate, these workers have quietly become a permanently temporary labour force, one that provides vital, if unrecognized, support to local food systems and agricultural economies. Employed in some of the most difficult and dangerous jobs in Canada, migrant workers are regularly exposed to risks and rights violations, yet they face multiple barriers, both structural and practical, to accessing protections and benefits. Based on a decade of ethnographic and survey-based research with workers and their families in Mexico, Jamaica and Canada, this presentation documents migrants’ health journeys across borders; explores the successes and limitations of recent initiatives aimed at supporting workers; and outlines recommendations for fundamental changes to protect their health and rights moving forward.