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Researcher / Research team

Rida Abboud


Rida Abboud is a University of Toronto PhD student studying conditions for low-skilled temporary foreign workers in Alberta. She explains these types of migrants are susceptible to a range of abuses, including trafficking, due to their insecure position in Canadian society. TFW permits allow holders to only work for one authorized employer, so if problems arise the worker risks deportation if a complaint leads to termination.
“Let’s say they are asked to work longer than they were supposed to, or to take on dangerous work without the training, or they are being demeaned or belittled by a staff person or by their manager. The chances that they speak up are greatly lessened because they worry about being fired,” says Abboud.
“When people have been defined as commodities I think that what ends up happening is the risk of exploiting these people becomes heightened,” she says.
“The idea of the employer saying, ‘I brought you here, you should be grateful.’ Or ‘you’re not Canadian; you don’t know what happens here.’ Those things start bubbling to the surface with people specifically [here] for their value as workers and not as humans.”




Economic sectors

Agriculture and horticulture workers, Occupations in services - Domestic work, Sales and service occupations - general, Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations - general, Natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations - general, Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing, Dancers, and Other

Content types

Policy analysis, Documented cases of abuse, and Support initiatives

Target groups

(Im)migrants workers, Policymakers, Researchers, and NGOs/community groups/solidarity networks

Regulation domains

Right to change employer, Newcomers integration programs, Access to permanent status, Right to liberty, and Right to dignity

Geographical focuses

Ontario and Alberta

Spheres of activity

Social work