Logo en Global Donate now


Document Details


Print and save


Seeking the Land of Milk and Honey: The International Labour and Human Rights of Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada

This document is a key resource




Erin Murphy Fries


This paper explores the extent to which international labour and human rights law places obligations on States to protect the interests of migrant workers in countries of employment. The purpose of this paper is to examine Canada’s temporary foreign worker programs and work-related regulations, and determine whether Canada lives up to the international norms with respect to the rights of migrant workers. The research questions posed include: What are the international labour and human rights applicable to migrant workers? Does Canadian domestic law and practice fulfil these international norms in respect of migrant workers in the TFWPs in Canada? If not, what changes does Canada need to make to comply with these international standards? The conclusion is that while international labour and human rights law does not prohibit States from admitting workers on a temporary basis and with restrictions, when States do confer only temporary status on foreign workers, the international standards require States to take extra and special steps to provide migrant workers with work-related protections. The extent to which Canada fails to live up these standards is examined, and recommendations provided. This paper concludes with some questions on the limitations of international labour and human rights law for the situation of migrant workers.

Number of pages



Lund University

Academic department

Faculty of Law


Master's Programme in International Human Rights Law and International Labour Law

File Attachments

Economic sectors

General relevance - all sectors

Content types

Policy analysis

Target groups


Geographical focuses

America - North, Canada, United States, Ontario, Alberta, México, Manitoba, Quebec, British Columbia, Other provinces, Federal, Nova Scotia, Regional relevance, and National relevance

Spheres of activity