Labour Migration and Development: Towards a North-South Vision for Change
by Salimah Valiani
This article is adapted from a presentation made at a meeting of policy experts of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Trade Union Advisory Council. The presentation provided the “trade union expert perspective” at the seminar held in Paris, October 17, 2007, entitled “Fair Labour Migration: from vision to reality.” Tracing an alternative approach to understanding “global labour supply”, the article makes links between jobless growth, trade and investment liberalization, and the use of temporary migrant workers around the world. The article concludes with proposals for a broad framework of change leading to decent work and sustainable development – in both the global North and the global South.
New Report: The Shift in Canadian Immigration Policy and Unheeded Lessons of the Live-in Caregiver Program
by Salimah Valiani, Independent Researcher
Ottawa, Canada, February 2009
This report elaborates the shift in immigration policy which began unfolding in Canada from the 2006 expansion of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, culminating in June 2008, with the amendment of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. It shows how this shift has been modeled on some of the weakest elements of the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP), the longest standing immigration program offering temporary migrant workers the possibility of permanent residency. Presenting figures never calculated before on the LCP – estimated retention rates, or a measure of the success of the Program in retaining temporary migrant workers as permanent residents – the report demonstrates that only 50 per cent of migrant live-in caregivers entering Canada from 2003-2005 became permanent residents by 2007. Calculated yearly for the period, 2003-2007, the estimated retention rate falls to 28 per cent by 2005. It is thus argued that the shift from permanent residency to temporary migration as a basis for the immigration system will not lead to building citizenship and labour supply in Canada. It is further argued that this is due to the inordinate amount of power granted by government to employers in the migrant worker-employer relationship. Testimonies of temporary migrant caregivers documented from the 1990s are used to illustrate this power imbalance. Judging from the pro-employer reorientation of Canada’s immigration system, federal and provincial governments have not learnt from testimonies presented by feminist advocates.
For a video-taped interview on the report see: http://www.publicvalues.ca/ViewArticle.cfm?Ref=00311
For the full report see: http://www.ccsl.carleton.ca/~dana/TempPermLCPFINAL.pdf
LABOUR AND MIGRATION UPDATE
Policy and Advocacy News – November 2008
by Salimah Valiani
Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
The second Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) was held in Manila, Philippines, from October 27-30, 2008. Attended by more than 600 delegates from 164 member countries of the United Nations, the Manila event exceeded last year’s participation rate of 156 nations in Brussels, Belgium. This Update is a report on both the official and parallel events of the 2008 GFMD.
for the full report see: