Study to aid migrant workers
Okanagan Edge Staff - Mar 12, 2019 - Biz Releases

Photo: Contributed

A joint research project between Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan has been exploring how to better support migrant workers in B.C.

The Vancouver Foundation recently awarded the project $147,000 in an attempt to ensure B.C.’s “most vulnerable workers” see improvements in their lives, according to an Okanagan College press release.

“Migrant agricultural workers in B.C. face complex challenges that impact their health and well-being,” OC assistant nursing professor Susana Caxaj said. “Workers may face precarious legal status, coercive workplace conditions, substandard housing and health care access barriers. These things all ultimately impact their quality of life.

“Researchers across the country have documented some of these challenges. Yet we need to spend more time actually developing solutions on-the-ground that can address workers’ vulnerabilities and improve their access to justice.”

Caxaj, who teaches at OC’s Vernon campus, and UBC Okanagan anthropology professor Amy Cohen have led the project for the last three years, speaking with migrant workers and their families for hundreds of hours to learn about the challenges in their lives.

The new money from the Vancouver Foundation will allow the research team to test a social support model based on their findings from the last three years.

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