Rights of temporary migrant workers the focus of forum

The Faculty of Law’s Transnational Law and Justice research group will host sociology and law professionals to examine issues of worker protection, human rights and immigration on Thursday and Friday, November 15 and 16 at the Ron W. Ianni Law Building.

The free public event, entitled “Temporary Migrants in Canada: Towards a Rights-Based Policy,” will include three panel discussions focusing on the rights, policies and legal issues affecting temporary migrant workers.

Thursday’s discussion, “Temporary Workers in Canada”, will be held in room G102 at 7:15 p.m. Panelists are Tanya Basok, sociology and anthropology professor and director of the Centre Studies in Social Justice; and Shelley Gilbert, coordinator of Social Work Services at Legal Assistance of Windsor.

Dr. Basok’s presentation will be on “Under a Threat of Deportation: Strengthening the Right to Assert Rights.”

Gilbert is responsible for the creation and coordination of Legal Assistance of Windsor’s community development initiatives. She will address the policies of the Temporary Foreign Worker program that lead to exploitation, abuse and human trafficking.

The panel discussion, “Policies, Vulnerabilities and Options,” Friday in the Farmer Conference Room, will feature:

  • Patricia Landolt, professor of sociology at the University of Toronto-Scarborough on Legal Status Trajectories and the Fragmentation of Rights;”
  • Jill Bucklaschuk, research assistant and Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Manitoba on “The Temporariness of Being Temporary: Pathways to Permanency for Low-Skill ‘Temporary’ Migrants in Manitoba, Canada;” and
  • Kerry Preibisch, professor and graduate coordinator of the International Development Studies program at the University of Guelph, proposing policies to reduce the vulnerability of migrant workers in Canada’s agri-food industries and promote their enjoyment of rights.

Panelists for Friday’s second discussion, “Human Rights and Legal Challenges,” are Yessyl Byl, Northern Alberta educator with the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre; Fay Faraday, lawyer in Toronto; and Naveen Mehta, general counsel to the United Food & Commercial Workers Canada.

For more information on the forum, including speaker profiles, please visit the event Web site.

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