Temporary Migrant and Undocumented Workers

According to the ILO, there are 150 million migrant workers worldwide, where 83.7 million are men and 66.6 million are women (ILO, 2015). Labour migration is a phenomenon that is present across the world. The proliferation of temporary worker programs has led to the creation of precarious jobs and ephemeral legal status for temporary migrant workers. Very often, migrant domestic workers face mobility restrictions and abuse due to the uneven power relations between employer and workers in migrant domestic labour schemes. Workers encounter further obstacles including separation from families, lack of social protection, stigma, xenophobia, and racism. These issues are further compounded for undocumented workers as they lack legal status and are denied their rights in destination countries. Agricultural migrant workers in countries, such as Canada, are vulnerable to exploitation as work visa permits are linked to a single employer and migration streams like the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program have no pathway to permanent residence. Often overlooked, the vulnerabilities of temporary and undocumented migrant workers must be further addressed in research projects, policy briefs and policy points dealing with the topic of Labour Migration.