Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Migrant worker health

CTV is summarizing research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal about the impact of migrant farm work on the health of migrant workers in Ontario and BC.

I haven't been able to lay hands on the article yet but the CTV report is extensive and discusses many things that advocates for migrant worker rights will find familiar. Little safety training, poor living conditions, and limited access to clean water negatively impacts the health of these workers.

Basically, the come here, work for cheap and go home to (primarily) Mexico, Jamaica, and the Philippines sick. Ailments include b back pains, symptoms linked to gastro-intestinal disorders, heat exhaustion, pesticide exposure, and food- or water-borne disease. Many won't seek treatment because they don't know they can, they can't get time off, and/or they fear losing their job. Forty-five per cent report being fearful of reporting concerns to employers.

-- Bob Barnetson

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