Gabriela Medici at the Labour Migration, Development, & Human Rights Seminar Series, co-sponsored by the LLDRL
13:00 – 14:30, November 10, 2014
NCDH room 609, Faculty of Law, McGill University
Lecture: Counterbalancing the Legislative Precariousness of Domestic Carework in Switzerland through Civil Rights – Potentials and Limitations of the Human Rights-Centred Approach in the Swiss Context
The European Union’s extension of free movement to Switzerland has led to an increasing number of Eastern European women providing care for the elderly in private Swiss households. These migrant care workers operate in an informal or “semi-legal” setting often associated with precarious working and living conditions. This presentation will relate the growing international discourse on the impact of human rights on labour law to the current Swiss constitutional and labour regulatory framework for domestic workers. Over the past years, the discourse has begun to recognise core labour rights in the form of positive state obligations to regulate and implement traditional civil rights guarantees (such as the right of privacy and family life, personal and economic freedom, the prohibition of servitude and forced labour) as well as procedural guarantees and the prohibition of discrimination. Unlike social and economic human rights guarantees, these rights are firmly enshrined in the Swiss constitution and in justiciable international human rights instruments – especially in the ECHR. I argue that this development contributes towards understanding and counterbalancing the current legislative precariousness of migrant caregivers in Swiss households. I also discuss the limitations of using this approach to advance their protection and empowerment, as it can only address some very fundamental issues and could lead to further victimization of domestic caregivers.
Bethany Hastie at the Labour Migration, Development, & Human Rights Seminar Serie, co-sponsored by the LLDRL
13:00 – 14:30, October 27, 2014
NCDH Room 609, Faculty of Law, McGill University
Lecture: Migrant Labour: Conditions for/of Unfreedom under Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Programs
Temporary Foreign Worker Programs [TFWPs] in Canada are not a new phenomenon. However, with exponentially increasing use of this program, continuous changes at the regulatory level in the past decade, and burgeoning literature critical of the TFWPs, it is quickly becoming a topic of significant and contentious debate in Canadian law and policy. This presentation will engage in a critical inquiry of the TFWPs, examining how the regulatory structure of these Programs contributes to a state of unfreedom for migrant workers. Beginning with an exploration of the underlying context in which low-skill labour migration occurs, as dependent on the creation and sustenance of a migrant economy in which differential rights are normalized and migrants are systematically excluded from social, political and legal belonging, this presentation will expose a landscape which produces conditions for unfreedom. Building from this context, the regulatory structure of the TFWPs, and specific measures under the programs which produce conditions of unfreedom for migrant workers will be examined, including: the employer-specific work permit; limits on participation and time in Canada and the lack of access to permanent residency; and, jurisdictional limitations with respect to the regulation of employers and third-party recruiters. Ultimately, this presentation will argue that the regulatory regime governing the TFWPs operates largely at the expense of migrant workers’ rights, creates mechanisms which produce precariousness and dependence for both migrant workers and sending countries, and fails to live up to the promise of the “triple win” scenario.
Labour Migration and Development Speaker Series
The LLDRL and the Oppenheimer Chair are organizing a speaker series on labour migration and development throughout the 2014-15 session.
This lecture series aims to provide a platform for emerging and established scholars to share their research and perspectives on issues relevant to labour migration, development and human rights.
Special Forum on Race, Discrimination and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in North America
Faculty of Law, McGill University, 22-23 November 2013
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights & the Faculty of Law of McGill University present a Special Forum on Race, Discrimination and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in North America. The event will take place in the Maxwell Cohen Moot Court (NCDH 100) at the Faculty of Law.
The chair, Commissioner José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez (Mexico, rapporteurship on human rights defenders), Commissioner Rose-Marie Belle Antoine (St. Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago, rapporteurship on the Rights of Persons of African Descent and Against Racial Discrimination) and Commissioner Dinah Shelton (U.S., rapporteurship on the rights of indigenous peoples) will be in attendance.
This event is supported by the Faculty of Law and the Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory.
To register, please contact Mr. Hilaire Sobers (osobers [at] oas [dot] org). Space permitting, it will also be possible to register on the day of the event at the welcome table. Free and open to the public.
Download the bilingual program
Labour Law Research Network Inaugural Conference
June 13-15, 2013
The first inaugural LLRN conference took place in Barcelona, June 13-15, 2013. The Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory is a founding member and contibuted to organizing and and financing the initiative.
Social Justice, Law and Equality: A Conference to Honour Judge Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré
March 16-17, 2012
Adoption of the ILO Convention on Domestic Workers
The 100th ILO annual Conference has adopted an unprecedented set of international standards aimed at improving the working conditions of domestic workers worldwide.
Decent Work for Domestic Workers
March 29, 2010
The LLDRL, in collaboration with CRIMT and McGill University's Faculty of Law, held an international seminar entitled "Regulating Decent Work for Domestic Workers" on March 29, 2010.
More than forty years after having recognized the urgency of a study on the working conditions of domestic workers, the International Labour Organization (ILO) is on track to adopt an international convention on decent work for domestic workers. At the 301st session (March 2008), the International Labour Office's Board decided to include the issue of decent work for domestic workers on the agenda of the International Labour Conference's 99th session (2010). In order to facilitate the discussion during this Conference, it prepared a report, which includes information on countries around the world, and an inventory and analysis of the laws and regulations adopted in various countries.
The conference, jointly organized by the laboratory and CRIMT, brought together international and interdisciplinary researchers interested in the issue of domestic labour, as well as a group of eminent specialists in the field (public officials, members of associations). The intended objective was to reflect on aspects of the domestic economy and the governance of paid labour in the domestic sphere. The themes addressed included the articulation of various social relationships identified by the laboratory and focused on questions such as the regulation of domestic labour in family settings, labour inspections in family settings, unpaid labour, domestic worker agencies, informal labour.
The participants also discussed legislation, legal provisions, and their impacts in various countries (India, Brazil, Southeast Asia), as well as the Canadian experience in this area. It involved, by means of a comparative approach, identifying the main issues related to the regulation of this work.
Visit the Website featuring proceedings from the International Seminar: Regulating Decent Work for Domestic Workers.
Conference Recordings: Black Histories, Black Futures
Video and audio recordings of the February 12th, 2011 Black Histories, Black Futures Conference are available online.
The Rights of Migrant Workers: An ILO Perspective
Slavery Old and New: Labour Exploitation Through the Ages and Around the Globe
April 17, 2015
This event is part of the series Slavery Old and New: Labour Exploitation Through the Ages and Around the Globe. It is co-presented by four organizations: York University’s Harriet Tubman Institute, and the McGill University Faculty of Law’s Institute of Comparative Law, Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law, and Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory. Read more
Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition
Critical Race Theory Seminar, Author-meets-Readers Session with Glen Coulthard, Assistant Professor in the Department of First Nations Studies and Political Science
April 10, 2015
Racial Subordination in Latin America: The Role of the State, Customary Law, and the New Civil Rights Response
Critical Race Theory Seminar, Author-meets-Readers Session with Tanya Hernandez, Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law.
March 10, 2015
Regulating Employment: Between Universality and Selectivity
A Legal Workshop with Guy Davidov of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Law.
March 28, 2012
Luncheon Conference with Patrick Carrière
March 30, 2011
Patrick Carrière, distinguished consultant on labour law and former Senior Legal Officer of the Freedom of Association branch at the International Labour Office in Geneva, presented a lecture on the evolution of the International Labour Organization, its current politics and future prospects. The conference, held at the Faculty of Law, McGill University, provided a rare opportunity to dialogue with a former leading ILO official and was highlighted by M. Carrière's rich anecdotal experience on a range of critical labour issues such as the freedom of association and child labour.
The first Dean Maxwell & Isle Cohen Doctoral Seminar in International Law
"Implementing International Law in the Domestic Legal Order"
28 June 2010
Organized by the Hans & Tamar Oppenhemier Chair in Public International Law in collaboration with the LLDRL, the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, the first Dean Maxwell and Isle Cohen Doctoral Seminar in International Law provided twelve doctoral and post-doctoral researchers in international law, the opportunity to present and discuss their research ideas with fellow researchers and professors from the Faculty.
Labour Law and Economic Crisis: A European Perspective
December 2, 2009
The LLDRL, in collaboration with CRIMT and McGill University's Faculty of Law, organized a lecture by Sir Bob Hepple, Emeritus Professor at Clare College, Cambridge University entitled "Labour Law and Economic Crisis: A European Perspective" on December 2, 2009. A recording of the conference can be found here.
LLDRL team member Armel Brice Adanhounme shortlisted for Polanyi-Levitt Prize
13 May 2013
Armel Brice Adanhounme, a Banting postdoctoral fellow at McGill University’s Faculty of Law and associate researcher at the Interuniversity Research Centre on Globalization and Work (CRIMT), was recently shortlisted for this year's Kari Polanyi-Levitt Prize for his paper, “Assessing Chinese Investments in sub-Saharan African Countries: An Institutional Perspective.”
CDPDJ renders landmark opinion on the systemic discrimination of migrant workers in Québec
On 21 February, 2012, the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse rendered an opinion urging the Québec government to change its immigration law and programs to put an end to the systemic discrimination of migrant workers. The opinion of the Commission, titled La discrimination systémique à l’égard des travailleuses et de travailleurs migrants, concludes that live-in caregivers, seasonal agricultural workers and other foreign temporary low-skilled workers are victims of systemic discrimination on the basis of their ethnic or national origin, race, social condition, language and in the case of live-in caregivers, their sex. An English summary of the opinion is available here.
Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine appointed to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
The LLDRL is thrilled to announce the appointment of Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, at the 41st Regular Session of the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly, in San Salvador.