Jill Hanley, Associate Professor

Jill Hanley comes to McGill after having studied in Montreal, Boston and Brussels, having benefited from an interdisciplinary education. Her research today focuses on community organizing and social policy as they intersect with people's immigration status, and she is pleased to be involved in several research teams around this broad topic. She remains active in Montreal-based community organizations, particularly the Immigrant Workers' Centre. Jill is interested in working with students who are interested in bridging the community-university divide.

Dr. Hanley joined the faculty in 2006 as an Assistant Professor and comes 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.

Dr. Hanley, as a qualitative researcher specializing in community organization and social policy issues where they intersect immigration status, is currently focusing on projects related to migrants with precarious immigration status. As part of her work, she is examining issues that range from access to health care to the defense of labor rights, particularly in the case of domestic workers and undocumented migrants. 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.

An active member of Project Genesis since 1994, Dr. Hanley also co-founded the Immigrant Workers Center in 2000 and remains active there to this day. Her international experiences have involved community development, activist initiatives and academic exchanges in Brazil, Sri Lanka, the United States, the Philippines, Belgium and Indonesia


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

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)


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


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

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

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’itinérance 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

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. 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).