The words

 Friday, 22 November, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
Ray Hope Community Centre, 659 King Street East Kitchener, ON N2G 2M4

Many migrant workers coming to Canada are subjected to labour trafficking and exploitation due to systemic shortfalls of the Canadian immigration and labour laws. The lack of viable pathways to permanent residency, work permits that tie workers to one employer, and the inability to form a union are among the many policies creating conditions for exploitation. Migrant workers are routinely underpaid, overworked, abused and taken advantage of by employers, recruiters and landlords. In addition, migrant workers do not qualify for settlement or other support services, further inhibiting them from advocating for and demanding the protection of their rights.

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The purpose of the forum is to:

  • Raise awareness among settlement, social service workers and other professionals about the issues related to migrant exploitation including policy gaps impeding the protection of their rights.
  • Share resources and establish collaboration among local community organizations to create a network of support for migrant workers.  
  • Establish a network of migrant workers, community members, settlement workers and others to organize and advocate for the protection of migrant workers’ rights on local, provincial and federal level.


8:30 am Registrations

8:45-9:00 am Welcome, land acknowledgment and housekeeping

9:00-10:30 am Migrant Workers Exploitation Exercise: an experiential workshop

Interactive workshop to provide participants with understanding of the main issues of exploitation/human trafficking affecting migrant workers and policy inconsistencies.

10:30-11:00 am Break and exercise debrief

11:00-11:45 am The Spectrum of Exploitation with Sue Wilson, CSJ

Human Trafficking is a complex phenomenon touching upon various social, economic, and legal aspects of our society. The exploitation of human beings exists on a spectrum from minor labour violations to gross criminal activities amounting to human trafficking.   

Sue Wilson CSJ, PhD is Director of the Office for Systemic Justice, Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada.

11:45-12:00 pm Open mic/introductions

12:00-12:45 pm Lunch

12:45-2:15 pm Panel discussion

Discussions of cases, community collaboration models, new policy tools available to migrant workers in situation of exploitation/trafficking. 


Migrant Worker: TBD
Luis Mata, Coordinator, Migrant Workers Mobile Clinic, FCJ Refugee Centre
Emily Keene and Travis McKay, Lawyers, Mobile Legal and Social Justice Initiative
Santiago Escobar, National Representative, United Food and Commercial Workers Canada

2:30-3:00 pm Networking table discussions

Facilitated small table discussions

3:00-3:15 pm Wrap up

Local organizing partners:

Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre
Mobile Legal and Social Justice Initiative
Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support
Eliseo Martell

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