International Migrants Day
International Migrants Day poster
In 1990, The United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution on the International Convention of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (the Convention). This multilateral treaty governs the protection of migrant workers and their families and emphasizes the connection between migration and human rights.
Building on this initiative, the UN proclaimed December 18 as International Migrants Day to recognize the contributions of migrants around the world and to acknowledge all that workers do to help the economies of their host communities.
Canada has been increasingly relying on the labour of migrant workers entering the country on temporary work permits. As such, it is no wonder why Canada has not ratified the Convention, and it is also not surprising that most countries that have ratified the Convention are primarily countries of origin for migrants. Without this obligation to the international community to protect migrant workers and their families, migrants in Canada are vulnerable to harm and increasing marginalization.
In 2017, about 550,000 guest workers arrived in Canada through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). These workers are an important force in Canada’s agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting sectors. Migrant guest workers and their labour are also vital to sustaining Canada’s food supply, yet these workers do not share in the economic growth that they help achieve.
That it is why, this International Migrants Day, it is more important than ever for activists and allies to call on the Government of Canada to respect the human rights of migrants while they are in transit, when they arrive at their destination, and while they are working here in Canada.
To honour International Migrants Day, UFCW Canada has created a special poster that can be downloaded from this page and posted in the workplace, or shared with your friends, family members, and social networks.
As the union for food workers, UFCW has more than three decades of experience working in collaboration with the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA) to lead the fight for migrant workers’ rights in Canada. To learn more about this important work, visit UFCW Canada’s Agriculture Workers website.