Jill Hanley, Professor

Dr. Jill Hanley is a Professor at the McGill School of Social Work and Scientific Director of the Sherpa Research Intitute on Migration, Health and Social Services (http://sherpa-recherche.com/). Dr. Hanley’s work focuses on closing the gaps between policies and practice concerning the social rights of migrant populations. This is reflected across the various realms of her work, including at Sherpa, where she leads a team of researchers in studies to enhance front-line interventions with migrants and propose policy changes to improve access to social rights by this group.

Dr. Hanley joined the faculty in 2006, coming to the School of Social Work having previously garnered experience at Tufts University (Boston), l'Université de Montréal and the Université Libre de Bruxelles. In her varied fields of study, be they Anthropology, Urban and Environmental Policy or Social Work, Dr. Jill Hanley consistently addresses issues of community development and social rights.

Throughout the past 20 years, Dr. Hanley has researched access to health, housing and labour rights for precarious status migrants - temporary foreign workers, refugee claimants and undocumented migrants, in particular. In this context, Dr. Hanley’s research explores strategies for promoting access to social rights at the individual, family and community level. In recent years, she has looked at such issues as: access to healthcare for a continuum of precarious status migrants including pregnant undocumented women; homelessness and housing insecurity for migrant women; labour rights among temporary foreign workers; and community responses to human trafficking. A principal goal behind Dr. Hanley's research is to document the challenges faced by the migrants so that the information can be used to strengthen community groups in their development and pursuit of rights as well as to inform policy change. Her students often have the opportunity to connect to community-based initiatives through their academic work.

Dr. Hanley works closely with a number of community organizations where she engages in policy dialogue to highlight the needs of marginalized migrant communities. She is a co-founder of Montreal’s Immigrant Workers’ Centre, where she has been actively involved since 2000. As well, Dr. Hanley teaches courses on migration, social policy and community organizing, and holds the position of the Director of the PhD program at the McGill School of Social Work.


Post-doctoral studies (Université Libre de Bruxelles) 2006

Post-doctoral studies (Université de Montréal)  2006

Ph.D. (Université de Montréal) 2004

M.A. (Tufts University) 1999

B.S.W. (McGill University) 1997

B.A. (McGill University) 1995


2019-present Scientific Director, Centre de recherche SHERPA, Institut universitaire sur les études ethnoculturelles, CIUSSS-Centre-Ouest

2006-present Associate Professor
McGill University, Faculty of Arts, School of Social Work

Practice Experience

2000-present    Immigrant Workers’ Centre: Coordination and administration; community organising; member of the Steering Committee; individual rights advising; workplace campaigns; popular education; supervision of student interns

2002-present    Centre for Philippine Concerns: Popular Education Committee member; human rights campaigns; delegate to 2005 International Solidarity Mission (human rights investigation) and 2003 International Solidarity Affair in the Philippines (Labour Rights Conference), followed by six-week internship with people’s organisations in rural areas

2005-present    Front de défense des non-sydiqués (FDNS): Member of migrant workers’ working group

2008-present    Réseau d’accès à la santé pour les migrants (RASMi): Founding member; active in the Médecins du Monde Clinique migrant

2010-present    Canadian Council for Refugees: Member of working group on temporary foreign workers

2010-present    Committee d’action sur la traite internationale et interne (CATHII): Member of working group on human trafficking

2008-2012     ÉDIFIS (Équité en Développement Immobilier à des Fins d’Intérêt Social): Founding Board member; secretary

1994-2009     Project Genesis: Storefront social rights advisor (1994-1997, 1999-2004); door-knocking (1994-1997); Board member (2000-2004, 2007-2009); Administrative Committee     (2005-2009)

1999-2008     Comité d’action de Parc Extension: Housing organizing & advocacy (1999-2004); Board member (2000-2004, 2006-2008)


Areas of interest

  • Social policy: immigration/refugee policy; labour rights; health; social housing
  • Community organizing: cross-cultural; feminist; neighbourhood; anti-poverty; immigration; labour
  • Community development: housing; community economic development

Active grants

2019-2024 Drolet, J., Wulff, Nicholas, Charles, Ayala, Hanley (site leader, Quebec), et al. Transforming the field education landscape; intersection of research and practice in Canadian social work field education. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). $1,980,640

2019-2021 Hanley, J. (Principal Investigator), Rousseau, C., Audet, G., et al. Santé, intervention sociale et immigration: des transformations globales aux adaptations locales, subvention, infrastructures. FQRSC Soutien aux infrastructures des recherche des institut et des centres affiliés universitaires du sec. $332,000

2019-2020 Cleveland, J., Hanley, J. Accès aux services médicaux et médicaments d’ordonnance pour les demandeurs d’asile sur l’île de Montréal. Centre d’expertise sur le bien-être et l’état de santé physique des réfugiés et des demandeurs d’asile (CERDA) du CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest de-l’Île-de-Montréal. $11,000

2019-2021 Bradley, Allan, Crépeau, Grey, Madokoro, Hanley (Collaborator), et al. Refugee protection, losses and struggles for justice: from local to global contexts. FQRSC Soutien aux infrastructures des recherche des instituts et des centres affiliés universitaires du sec. $78,000

2019-2021 Papazian-Zohrabian, Hanley, Lafortune, Cleveland, Armand, et al. Programmation de recherche interdisciplinaire basée sur une approche systémique visant une meilleure compréhension des réalités complexes des familles réfugiées et demandeuses d'asile et la promotion des pratiques favorisant leur bien-être psychosocial et leur intégration. FQRSC Soutien aux infrastructures des recherche des instituts et des centres affiliés universitaires du sec. $85,266

2019-2020 Hanley, J. (Principal Investigator), Cleveland, J., Rousseau, C, et al. S’installer : Comprendre les enjeux du parcours et de l’intégration des demandeurs d’asile au Québec. FRQSC Actions concertées. $179,000

2019-2020 Hanley, J. (Principal Investigator), Cleveland, J., Rousseau, C, et al. S’installer : Comprendre les enjeux du parcours et de l’intégration des demandeurs d’asile au Québec. FRQSC Actions concertées. $179,000

2018-2023 Preston, Akanko, Bedard, Belkhodja, Davis, Dyson, Gabriel, Ghosh… Hanley… Hennebry, Mohamoud, Penca, Reichhold, Rose, Schlosser, Shahbazi, Shields, Türegün, Veronis… Zikic. Building Migrant Resilience in Urban Canada (BMRC). SSHRC Partnership Grant. $1,000,000

2018-2020 Merry, L., Ruiz Casares, M, Hanley, J, Archambault, I. Migrant Families with Children and Transnational Family Support. SSHRC Insight Development Grant. $60625

2016-2021 Hynie, M., Agic, Cleveland, Hanley (Site Leader, Montreal), Ives, McGrath, McKenzie, et al. Refugee integration and long-term health outcomes in Canada. CIHR Project Scheme. $1.34 million ($380,892 for Montreal).

2012-2019  Neis, B. (P.I .), Arnold, Aure, Barber, Barnetson, Bornstein, Cresswell, Dorow, Dupré, Gravel, Greenwood, Hanley, High, Hughes, Jackson, Johnson, Leiter, Lippel, Macdonald… On the Move: Employment-Related Geographical Mobility in the Canadian Context. SSHRC Partnership Grant. ($ 2,500,000)

 2011-2013  Gravel, S. (P.I.), Hanley, J., Bernstein, S., and Bourdabat, B. L'embauche des travailleurs étrangers temporaires dans le secteur de la transformation alimentaire et de l'horticulture ornementale : enjeux de gestion et de conditions de travail. SSHRC Operating Grant. ($60,000)

2009-2013   Rousseau, C. (P.I.), Rummens, A., Glass, Goldring, Hamilton, Hanley, J., Jimenez, Measham, Montgomery, Munoz, Nadeau, Ouimet, Ruiz, Simich, Vanthuyne, Wazana, and Zelkowitz. The migratory status of the child and limited access to health care: Equity and ethical challenges. CIHR Operating Grants. ($604,368)

Completed grants

2008-2012       HANLEY, J. (P.I.), L'accès aux services sociaux et aux soins de santé pour les travailleurs migrants temporaires: Stratégies d'action individuelles, familiales et collectives. Fonds québécois de la recherche sociale et culturelle (Établissement des nouveaux chercheurs, FQRSC). ($45,000)

2008-2012       HANLEY, J. (P.I.), DAGENAIS, L.F., GRAVEL, S., LIPPEL, K., and SHRAGGE, E. The Right to Health and Social Services for Precarious Status Migrants to Quebec: Access to Medicare & Workers’ Compensation. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). ($150,000)

2010-2011       WALSH, C. (P.I.) et al, HANLEY J. (P.I. Montreal site), IVES, N., and RACINE, G. Uncovering Invisibility(ies): Understanding Experiences of Newcomer Women across the Homeless Spectrum. HRSDC Homelessness Partnering Strategy, Homelessness Knowledge Development Grant.  ($20,000)

 2010-2011       GURUGE, S. (P.I.), MATSUOKA, A. et al, BEAULIEU, M. (P.I. Quebec site), GAL, S., HANLEY, J., LITHWICK, M., & SUSSMAN, T. Moving forward: Development of a program of research on prevention of abuse and neglect, and health promotion among older immigrant women. CIHR Meetings, Planning, and Dissemination (MPD) Grant. ($25,000)

Professional Grants and Contracts

 2012-2014       Comité d'action contre la traite humaine interne et internationale (CATHII), HANLEY, J., OXMAN-MARTINEZ, J., and RICARD-GUAY, A. Besoins et ressources pour les victimes de la traite des personnes. Sécurité publique Canada. ($200,000)

2011-2013       J. HANLEY and A. CHOUDRY in partnership with the Immigrant Workers Centre. Les droits sociaux des travailleurs migrants en régions: un projet de développement de compétences des intervenants communautaires. MELS Fonds des services aux collectivités. ($70,000)

2010-2012       HANLEY, J. (P.I.) and SHRAGGE, E. in partnership with the Immigrant Workers     Centre. Les droits du travail et de l’immigration des travailleurs migrants : un projet de  développement de capacité en éducation populaire. Ministère de l’éducation, des loisirs et        du sport (Fonds de service aux collectivités) ($78,000)

Independent research

 2012-2013       HANLEY, J (P.I.), BEEMAN, I, HANNAN, M and SJOLLEMA, S. Youth at risk and the Writers in the Community Program: an exploratory evaluation. (Unfunded research).


Peer-reviewed journal articles

Hanley, J., Ives, N., Lenet, J., Walsh, C. A., Hordyk, S.-R., Ben Soltane, S., & Este, D. (2019). Migrant women’s health and housing insecurity: an intersectional analysis. International Journal of Migration, Health & Social Care: 15(1): 90-106.

Tungohan, E., Hanley, J. (2019). Introduction to the themed section: a question of caring‐ethical and policy dilemmas arising from care migration.  International Journal of Care and Caring. 3(2): 225-227.

Hanley, J., Al Mhamied, A., Cleveland, J., Hajjar, O., Hassan, G., Ives, N., Khyar, R., Hynie, M. (2018). The Social Networks, Social Support and Social Capital of Syrian Refugees Sponsored to Settle in Montreal: Indications from their early experiences of integration. Canadian Ethnic Studies 50(2): 123-149. 

Hanley, J., Larios, L., Salamanca Cardona, M., Henaway, M., Dwaikat Shaer, N., Ben Soltane, S., Eid, P. (2018). Gender dynamics of temporary placement agency work: (Im)migrants, know your place! Canadian Diversity

Malhaire L., L. Castracani et J. Hanley (2018) « La défense des droits des travailleuses et travailleurs immigrants. Enjeux et défis d’une mobilisation collective à Montréal », Revue multidisciplinaire sur l’emploi, le syndicalisme et le travail. 11(1) : 32-59.

Beatson, J., Hanley, J., and Ricard-Guay, A. (2017). The Intersection of Exploitation and Coercion in Cases of Canadian Labour Trafficking. Journal of Law and Social Policy 26. (1): 137-158.

Gravel, S., Bernstein, S., Villanueva, F., Hanley, J., Crespo, D. (2017). Gestion de la diversité dans les entreprises saisonnières qui embauchent des travailleurs étrangers temporaires. Canadian Ethnic Studies 49(2)

Hanley, J., Larios, L and J-H Koo. (2017). Does Canada “Care” about Migrant Caregivers?: Implications under the Reformed Caregiver Program. Canadian Ethnic Studies 49(2):121-139.

Villanueva F, Gravel S, Bernstein S, Crespo D, Hanley, J. (2017). Precariedad y flexibilidad laboral en el sector agrícola: la situación de los trabajadores migrantes temporales en Quebec. Revista Analisis de la Realidad Nacional. 6(128): 66-85.

Hanley, J., & Wen, Y.. (2016). Social policy frameworks of exclusion: the challenge of protecting the social rights of ‘undocumented migrants’ in Quebec and Shanghai. Journal of Asian Public Policy, 1-19.

Meloni, F, Rousseau, C, Ricard-Guay, A, & Hanley, J. (2016). Invisible students: institutional invisibility and access to education for undocumented children. International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care.

Walsh, C. A., Hanley, J., Ives, N., & Hordyk, S. R. (2016). Exploring the experiences of newcomer women with insecure housing in Montréal Canada. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 17(3), 887-904.

Wen, Y., & Hanley, J. (2016). Enhancing Social Support for Migrant Families: A Case Study of Community Services in a Shanghai Urban Village and Implications for Intervention. Asian Social Work and Policy Review, 10(1), 76-89.

Hanley, J., Gravel S, Bernstein S. Villanueva F, Crespo Villareal D. (2015). Central American temporary foreign workers in Québec small towns: A portrait of community response. Journal of Rural and Community Development 10(3): 23-50.

Hordyk, Shawn Renee, Hanley, Jill, & Richard, Éric. (2015). "Nature is there; its free": Urban greenspace and the social determinants of health of immigrant families. Health & Place, 34, 74-82.

Villanueva, F, Crespo, D, Gravel, S, Bernstein, S, Hanley, J. (2015). Les travailleurs étrangers temporaires au Québec : le paradis un peu plus loin. Revue de droit comparé du travail et de la sécurité sociale. 1: 58-69.

Wen, Y, and Hanley, J. (2015). Rural-to-urban migration, family resilience, and policy framework for social support in China. Asian Social Work and Policy Review 9(1):18-28.

Gravel, S., Bernstein, S., Hanley, J., Villanueva, F., & Crespo-Villareal, D. (2014). Impact de l’embauche des travailleurs étrangers temporaires sur la cohabitation de résidence et des métiers dans les communautés rurales du Québec: le point de vue des employeurs. Diversité urbaine, 14(2), 97-122.

Gravel, S., Villanueva, F., Hanley, J., Bernstein, S., Crespo, D., Ostiguy, E. (2014). Les mesures de santé et sécurité au travail auprès des travailleurs étrangers temporaires : le cas du secteur agro-alimentaire. PISTES, 16(2)

Hanley, J., Gravel, S., Lippel, K., Koo, J-H., (2014). Pathways to Healthcare for Migrant Workers: How can health entitlement influence occupational health trajectories? PISTES, 16(2)

Ives, N., Hanley, J., Walsh, C., Este, D. (2014). Transnational elements of newcomer women’s housing insecurity: remittances and social networks. Transnational Social Review 4(2-3):152-167. http://digitool.Library.McGill.CA:80/R/-?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=168449&silo_library=GEN01

Raymond, É., Greneir, A., and Hanley, J. (2014). The community participation of seniors with disabilities: A matter of self-determination, inclusive environments and identity integration. Journal of Applied and Community Psychology, 24(1): 50-62. http://digitool.Library.McGill.CA:80/R/-?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=168443&silo_library=GEN01

SJOLLEMA, S, HORDYK, S-R, WALSH, C, HANLEY, J, IVES, N. (accepted). Found Poetry, Finding Home. Journal of Poetry Therapy.

HANLEY, J, BEN SOLTANE, S and KOO, J-H. (forthcoming Spring 2013). Travailleurs migrants professionnels/Statut “peu qualifié”: évolution de la non-reconnaissance des qualifications étrangères. Revue québécoise de droit international.

BEN SOLTANE, S, HANLEY, J and HORDYK, S-R. (Fall 2012). Révéler l’itinérance des femmes immigrantes à Montréal : documenter l’itinéra

nce différemment. Revue FéminÉtudes.

SIKKA, A, LIPPEL, K. and HANLEY, J. (Winter 2012). Access to Health Care and Workers’ Compensation for Precarious Migrants in Québec. Ontario and New Brunswick: McGill Journal of Law and Health Vol 4(3).

HANLEY, J. and VADDAPALLI, N. (2011). Les travailleuses domestiques: Proletariat à domicile. Nouveaux cahiers du socialisme, No. 5.

HANLEY, J., PREMJI, S., LIPPEL, K., and MESSING, K. (2010). Action Research for the Health and Safety of Domestic Workers in Montreal: Using Numbers to Tell Stories and Effect Change. New Solutions 20(4):421-39.


Choudry, A, Hanley, J, Shragge, E. (2012). Organize!: Building from the Local for Global Justice. Oakland, CA: PM Press.

Choudry, A., Hanley, J., Jordan, S., Shragge, E., and Stiegman, M. (2009). Fight Back: Workplace Justice for Immigrants. Blackpoint, NS: Fernwood Press.

Book chapters

Mbakogu, I. & Hanley, J. (2019). The Quest for Education as a Factor of Vulnerability to Child Trafficking: Reflections on “child rescue” from the perspective of West African children. In Palgrave International Handbook on Human Trafficking, J. Winterdyk & J. Jones, eds. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Ricard-Guay, A. & Hanley, J. (2019). Challenges of addressing both forced labour and sexual exploitation. In Palgrave International Handbook on Human Trafficking, J. Winterdyk & J. Jones, eds. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hanley, J., Stiegman, M., Speirs, K and Lavigne, V. (2018). “Foreigners” on the family farm: An employment relationship with family on both sides. In S. Gervais, M.A. Poutanen, R. Iacovici (eds.), [Field] Brussels: Peter Lang Press, pp. 277-297.

Hanley, J. (2016). The “Regionalization” of Immigration in Quebec: How has government policy shaped the social, employment and education experiences of newcomers to small cities and towns? In G. Tibe Bonifacio & J. Drolet (eds), Immigration and the Small City: Canadian Experiences and Perspectives. New York: Springer.

Koo, J-H., and Hanley, J. (2016). Migrant Live-In Caregivers: Control, Consensus and Resistance in the Workplace and the Community. In Unfree Labour? Struggles of Migrant and Immigrant Workers in Canada, eds. Aziz Choudry and Adrien Smith. Oakland: PM Press, 37-54.

Ricard-Guay, A. Hanley, J., Montgomery, Meloni, Rousseau. (2014). Être sans papier et devenir mère au Québec : comment accéder aux soins de santé nécessaires. In L’intégration des familles d’origines immigrantes, Faisal Kanouté et Gina Lafortune, eds. Montréal: PUM.

HANLEY, J., STEIGMAN, M., and SPEIRS, K. (forthcoming 2013). “Foreigners” on the Quebec farm: An employment relationship with family on both sides. In S. Gervais, M.A. Poutanen, R. Iacovici (eds.), Being Quebecois: Ethnicity and Race in 19th to 21st Century Quebec. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

GAL, S. and J. HANLEY. (forthcoming). Elder Abuse: Is Precarious Immigration Status a Factor? In M. Baffoe (ed.), Strangers in a New Homeland, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

HANLEY, J., SHRAGGE, E., RIVARD, A., and KOO, J. (2012). “Good enough to work? Good enough to stay!” Organizing Temporary Foreign Workers. In C. Straehle and P. Lenard (eds.), Canada’s Guestworker Programs, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

TORRES, S., SPITZER, D., HUGHES, K., and HANLEY, J. (2012). From Temporary Worker to Resident: The LCP and its Impact Through an Intersectional Lens. In C. Straehle and P. Lenard (eds.), Canada’s Guestworker Programs, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

OXMAN-MARTINEZ, J. and HANLEY, J. (2011). An Intersectional Lens on Various Facets of Violence: Access to Health and Social Services for Women with Precarious Immigration Status. In Olena Hankivsky et al (eds.), Health Inequities in Canada: Intersectional Frameworks and Practices. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.

Popular and Professional Journals

 Hanley, J., Hachey, A., and Tétrault, A. (2017). Le droit international à l’éducation: un droit brimé pour les enfants sans statut au Québec. Éducation Canada 57(3).

Hanley, J., and Berry Mendez, M. (Winter 2015). Travailleurs étrangers temporaires: toujours plus précaire. À Babords 58.

Hanley, J., Beeman, Hannan, McKale, Sjollema. (Fall 2014). Youth at risk and the Writers in the Community Program: An exploratory evaluation. In the Know 4(1):6-8.

Ricard-Guay, A. Hanley, J., Dionne. (March 2014). Les personnes victimes de la traite au Québec : agissons ensemble pour assurer leur protection et répondre à leurs besoins. Agir de concert pour le mieux-être des victimes. Montréal : CAVAC, p.7.

HANLEY, J. and SHRAGGE, E. (2010). Organizing Temporary Foreign Workers: Rights and Resistance as Canada shifts towards the use of Guestworkers. Social Policy, Fall 2010, Vol. 40(3), p6.

 CHOUDRY, A., HANLEY, J., Jordan, S., Shragge, E., & Stiegman, M. (2009). Respect et résistance,  Revue du CREMIS Vol. 2(4).


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