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Traffick stop: Addressing labour exploitation of migrant workers in Canada

Date created: 
Human trafficking
Labour trafficking
Temporary foreign workers
Precarious status

Policy efforts to reduce human trafficking in Canada have heavily focused on sex trafficking relative to labour trafficking. Partly as a result, victims of labour trafficking often lack effective protection from exploitation and coercion. This study looks at one important avenue through which labour trafficking can occur in Canada – the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Many migrant workers in the program lack the legal standing and resources to escape exploitative and dangerous situations. This problem is compounded by inconsistent definitions and interpretations of labour trafficking, a lack of reliable data, and weak protective mechanisms in legislation. Through an analysis of the policy problem in Canada, this study proposes and evaluates four policy options to enhance the security and protection of victims and survivors of labour trafficking. The recommendations aim to improve migrant worker mobility in the labour market such as granting migrant workers the ability to change employers, and address data collection issues that have bedeviled existing efforts. A strategy for implementing these options is also considered to illustrate some of the trade-offs and challenges that exist.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Joshua Gordon
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.