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“Caught in the Same Webs”—Service Providers’ Insights on Gender-Based and Structural Violence Among Female Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada

Chantal Robillard (), Janet McLaughlin, Donald C. Cole, Biljana Vasilevska and Richard Gendron
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Chantal Robillard: Université du Québec à Montréal
Janet McLaughlin: Wilfrid Laurier University
Donald C. Cole: University of Toronto
Biljana Vasilevska: Wilfrid Laurier University
Richard Gendron: Université du Québec à Montréal

Journal of International Migration and Integration, 2018, vol. 19, issue 3, No 5, 583-606

Abstract: Abstract Drawing on the experiences of service providers supporting live-in caregivers and migrant agricultural workers in two Canadian provinces (Ontario and Quebec), we explore how structural violence shapes the precarious conditions of female temporary foreign workers. Service providers emphasized how transnational social pressures on women to maintain employment, the captivity involved in women’s employment contracts, the limits on unionization, and women’s isolation and lack of privacy, act together to create an unbalanced relationship between the employer and female worker. In turn, this leads to precarious migration and work conditions that foster a vulnerability to violence and abuse while at the same time limiting access to and delivery of services and social support to female temporary foreign workers. Amid these restrictions, service providers focus on making a difference where they can through initiatives such as human rights education workshops, offering support, understanding Canadian regulation, and empowerment workshops. Greater Canadian national options for permanent residency status could provide a basis for adequate services to temporary foreign workers as part of their universal human rights. Temporary foreign workers contribute to Canadian society, making it encumbant upon the Canadian state to ensure the respect of their universal human rights.

Keywords: Migrant women; Temporary foreign workers; Precarious work; Abuse; Structural violence; Access to services (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1007/s12134-018-0563-3

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