Education & Awareness 2020-2021

CAMPAIGNS & COLLABORATIONS

As part of our mission, the ARHW works with and supports the activities of other organizations across Canada to advance the rights of migrant workers in the domestic and agricultural sector and to raise awareness about their working conditions.

QUEBEC FRONT DE DÉFENSE DES NON-SYNDIQUÉS(FDNS)

The ARHW collaborates with many organizations from the migrant committee network of the Front de Défense des Non-Syndiqués. This network includes le Centre International de Solidarité Ouvrière, le syndicat des Travailleurs Unis de l’Alimentation et du Commerce, the CSN, the FTQ, PINAY, the Immigrant Workers Centre, Au Bas de l’Échelle, le Réseau d’aide aux Travailleuses et Travailleurs Migrant Agricoles du Québec et le Centre Justice et Foi.

MOBILIZATION AGAINST THE PEQ REFORM

The 28th of May 2020, the Ministre de l’Immigraiton, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration published the Projet de règlement modifiant le Règlement sur l’immigration au Québec, a draft regulation which would amend immigration programs in Québec. The ARHW immediately undertook an analysis of this draft regulation, leading to the conclusion that the people affected by this draft, which included migrant workers and their families, as well as foreign students and their families, would suffer a reduction in the protection of their rights.  

These changes increase the vulnerability of foreign students and workers and render their employment situation as well as their legal status all the more precarious by harming their rights to physical and psychological integrity, to dignity, to freedom of making fundamental decisions, to access to justice, as well as by reducing their ability to negotiate and benefit from fair and just working conditions. 

The ARHW collaborated with “Le Québec, c’est nous aussi”, supporting and participating in various gatherings to condemn the injustices of such a reform: 

  • June 6th, 2020, the ARHW participated in the first citizen gathering against the reforme, joining over a thousand people. Many members were present, and a speech was given;
  • June 27th, 2020: second day of actions against the reform;
  • July 18th, 2020: march against the PEQ reform;
  • September 12th, 2020: mobilisation against the PEQ reform.

The ARHW also endorsed and collaborated with various initiatives to oppose the reform: 

LES DROITS, ÇA SE DÉFEND, PLUS QUE JAMAIS!

In consideration of the Quebec government’s economic update that was scheduled for November 12th, 2020, the Regroupement des organismes en défense collective des droits (RODCD) launched the campaign “Les droits, ça se défend, plus que jamais!”, to denounce the deterioration of rights since the pandemic, and to remind the government of the importance of collective rights’ defense groups and their work.

The ARHW participated in the call to action; concrete examples of how migrant workers’ rights were less protected – or wholly violated –  during the pandemic, were published on social media in order to raise public awareness. Violations of important rights included the exponential increase in workload without adequate remuneration for overtime; illegal refusal of rest days; as well as denial to leave the place of work/residence, despite the completion of a 14-day quarantine. The call to action also included posting a picture of one of the Association’s members, holding the campaign’s sign that read: “Les droits, ça se défend, plus que jamais!”.


NATIONAL CAMPAIGNS AND COLLABORATIONS

When the federal government announced in 2017 that it would be reviewing the Foreign Temporary Worker Program, the ARHW coordinated its efforts with other migrant rights advocacy groups across Canada to push for real reforms that would respect the rights of migrant workers.

CANADIAN COUNCIL FOR REFUGEES (CCR)

As a member of the CCR, the ARHW contributes to and participates in the activities of the working group on migrant workers issues.

  • Migrant Worker Subcommittee. 
  • CCR Fall Consultation : Challenges and beyond: thriving in the era of a pandemic (November 26, 2020 – December 11, 2020)
    • Presenter, Anti-Trafficking Committee caucus 
  • Participation at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) meeting on the Open work permit for vulnerable workers’ policy  (November 3rd, 2020) 

Visit the CCR’s website for more information.

MIGRANT RIGHTS NETWORK (MRN)

Migrant Rights Network is a cross-Canada alliance to combat racism and fight for migrant justice. In the context of Covid-19, the ARHW participated in multiple efforts by the Migrant Right’s network to draw attention to how the rights and well-being of migrant workers was being impacted by the pandemic.

  • Full Immigration Status for All – for a Just Recovery from Covid-19
  • Federal Consultation on Migrant Farmworker Housing – Letter of support for MRN’s recommendations. 
    • See MRN’s report and recommendations here
  • Vaccines for All: Equal Access to Health for All 
    • Open letter

Visits the MRN website for more information.

AMNESTY FOR UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS CAMPAIGN

On April 29 2020, the Migrant Workers Centre launched the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers campaign in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign called for urgently needed measures to address the problems caused by lack of permanent resident status for these individuals. To learn more click here

Visit the Migrant Workers Centre for more information.


OTHER

PRO BONO STUDENTS CANADA

Every year, the ARHW welcomes law students who volunteer through Pro Bono Students Canada. Under the supervision of our lawyer, Hannah Deegan, these students contribute to the work of the ARHW’s research committee on questions pertaining to state obstacles to the exercise of fundamental rights by migrant domestic and agricultural workers.

Learn more about Pro Bono Students Canada.

CSST CAMPAIGN FOR DOMESTIC WORKERS

Campaign by the coalition of Quebecois organizations (notably PINAY, the Immigrant Workers Center, the ARHW and the Union des travailleurs et travailleuses accidenté-e-s de Montréal), it demands that the Quebec government extend effective protection to all domestic workers in the case of an work accident or professional injury.

Visit the website of our partner for more information.

FAMILY UNIFICATION: ON ARRIVAL AND WITHOUT EXCEPTION

What the parliamentary committee on immigration recommended in 2017 to end the policy of denying permanent residency on the basis of medical inadmissibility, the ARHW joined with groups across Canada calling for the reform of immigration law to ensure that all individuals in the country can exercise their right to live with their spouse and children.

Visit this website to learn more about the right to permanent residency for workers in Canada, regardless of their medical condition or that of their spouse and children.

Visit this website to learn more about the right to family unification on arrival.


Events & Conferences

  • Legalease Podcast – We are all essential: full, permanent status for all migrants in Canada (listen here). 
    • Participant