The FCJ Refugee Centre was one of the few organizations in Ontario who received three year funding from the MCSS to continue working with exploited or at risk migrant workers.
Currently, there is a lack of services, settlement and/or legal available to migrant workers who are exploited or at risk. To respond to this, the FCJ Refugee Centre received financial support to set up a Migrant Workers Welcome Centre, with three main goals: 1) to prevent instances of labour exploitation by informing migrant workers about labour and immigration laws, policies and available community supports; 2) to identify at-risk or potential labour exploitation cases with the support of peers, and offer holistic case management support services; 3) to collect information about the extent of labour exploitation as well as the complex experiences of migrant workers exploited within the spectrum.
Most specifically this project aims to outline the spectrum within which migrant workers are exploited, and the complexities of their unique needs and support which will reflect future policy development.
The initiatives proposed through this project will address multiple needs and gaps, including:
- Case management: we will offer a wide range of in-house services, including immigration support and legal information; working with partner organizations to respond to the multifaceted needs of this population.
- Accessible services: Although some activities will be based out of the FCJ Refugee Centre, services will be carried out mainly at sites across the GTA during flexible hours (evenings and/or weekend) and in areas with high concentrations of migrant workers.
- Prevention: The Migrant Centre will offer a safe space for migrant workers to share their experiences in a non-judgmental and supportive environment while providing information (immigration laws, procedures, available resources, etc.). Sharing of information and tools will prevent situations of exploitation/trafficking and assist those already experiencing exploitation.
- Policy Improvements: By collecting information about the instances of exploitation of migrant workers, we can inform and influence policy improvement.