An article by the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, highlights the importance of protecting human rights of marginalized populations during and post-pandemic. Particularly in the case of temporary foreign workers in Canada, a right to health approach is critical.
“The right to health has two dimensions. It’s about access to health care but it’s also about securing the underlying social determinants of health in the realization that health care alone will not satisfy good health among the population,” says Brigit Toebes, Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Groningen, “what we see is that problems surrounding COVID-19 are more prevalent in settings where there’s poverty and other forms of deprivation emphasizing the need to improve socioeconomic living conditions.”
This article by Global News describes the challenges many migrant families are facing in terms of seeking asylum in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. Families describe how they are being "swept up by Customs and Border Protection using extraordinary power available during public health emergencies to expel Mexicans and many Central Americans immediately to Mexico and waive immigration laws that include rights to seek asylum."
"The Border Patrol in June put 27,535 people on a track to expulsion under the public health emergency and made only 2,859 arrests under immigration law."
This article in CBC News describes how Ontario's undocumented migrants are slipping through the provinces COVID-19 net. Several foreign farm labourers do not have the proper permits to work in Canada and are now facing the fear that getting tested for COVID-19 may get them deported. An outbreak in Southwestern Ontario has resulted in over 1,000 migrant farm workers getting sick and killed 3 of them.
"I think is it's common knowledge that most of the workers that are hired through a temp work agency are undocumented," says Santiago Escobar, a national representative with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, and a co-ordinator of the Agricultural Workers Alliance. Escobar. "And due to their precarious status, unscrupulous employers and temporary work agencies are taking advantage of these workers."
The documentary "Who Gets In?" by Barry Greenwood explores the various questions regarding Canada's immigration policy. The documentary was shot in 1988 in Africa, Canada and Hong Kong. "The film reveals first-hand what Canadian immigration officials are looking for in potential new Canadians, and the economic, social and political priorities orienting their choices."
This article by CBC News conveys how foreign workers are facing unsafe work conditions and demanding federal action amidst the several deaths of migrant workers from COVID-19.
"The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change heard complaints from more than a thousand workers on a variety of issues, including a lack of access to protective equipment, crowded conditions that don't allow physical distancing, poor access to proper food during quarantine and unfair gouging on wages and meal costs."
Our blog ECHOES features an original contribution by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). KIND is the leading national organization advocating for the rights of unaccompanied migrant and refugee children in the U.S. In the article, Wendy Young and Jasiel Fernández from KIND discuss the need to foster intentional spaces for migrant children's voices and identity.
Public Health & Migration at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health presents: Inbetween, a digital storytelling event on the intersectional experiences of LGBTQ+ immigrants.
Join us to watch seven digital stories of LGBTQ+ immigrants and their allies. The digital stories convey their expectations and lived experiences from an intersectional perspective. The event will conclude with a final Q&A session.
The event will take place on March 4th from 5-7 pm at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (Room 610).
According to an article in the Guardian, hundreds of Salvadorans deported by US were killed or abused.
"Human Rights Watch has documented 138 deported Salvadorans murdered by gang members, police, soldiers, death squads and ex-partners between 2013 and 2019. The majority were killed within two years of deportation by the same perpetrators they had tried to escape by seeking safety in the US."
The report, Deported to Danger: United States deportation policies expose Salvadorans to death and abuse, identifies over 70 individuals who were subject to beatings, sexual assault and extortion or who went missing after being returned.
The next event in the Harney Lecture Series in Ethnicity "The Case for Open Borders", featuring Christopher Freiman, will be held on February 25, 2020 2-4pm.
Abstract: Countries have a moral obligation to liberalize their immigration policies. Immigration restrictions violate people's freedom of movement and deprive them of opportunities to become dramatically richer. Moreover, none of the standard objections to open borders--the potential economic costs, special obligations to fellow citizens, states' rights of self-determination, and so on--are successful. The talk concludes with a discussion of the relevance of immigration policy to issues like climate change and poverty relief.
Location: Room 108N Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
(1 Devonshire Place, University of Toronto)
Harney Lecture: David FitzGerald "Refuge beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers", Jan 30
The 2019-2020 Harney Lecture in Ethnicity will be delivered by David FitzGerald (University of California San Diego) on "Refuge beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers".
Date & Time: January 30, 2020 2-4pm
Location: Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (1 Devonshire Place, University of Toronto)
Registration is open to the public.
Read David Fitzergald's contribution piece for our blog ECHOES here.
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