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Open AccessArticle

“I Will Not Leave My Body Here”: Migrant Farmworkers’ Health and Safety Amidst a Climate of Coercion

by 1,* and 2
1
School of Nursing, University of Western Ontario London, ON, N6A 5B9, Canada
2
Anthropology, Okanagan College, Vernon, BC, V1B 2N5, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(15), 2643; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16152643
Received: 6 June 2019 / Revised: 19 July 2019 / Accepted: 20 July 2019 / Published: 24 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migration, Work and Health)
Every year more temporary migrant workers come to Canada to fill labour shortages in the agricultural sector. While research has examined the ways that these workers are made vulnerable and exploitable due to their temporary statuses, less has focused on the subjective experiences of migrant agricultural workers in regards their workplace health and safety. We conducted interviews and focus groups with migrant workers in the interior of British Columbia, Canada and used a narrative line of inquiry to highlight two main themes that illustrate the implicit and complex mechanisms that can structure migrant agricultural workers’ workplace climate, and ultimately, endanger their health and safety. The two themes we elaborate are (1) authorities that silence; and (2) “I will not leave my body here.” We discuss the implications of each theme, ultimately arguing that a number of complex political and economic forces create a climate of coercion in which workers feel compelled to choose between their health and safety and tenuous economic security. View Full-Text
Keywords: temporary migrant agricultural workers; farm workers; Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program; occupational health and safety; Temporary Foreign Worker Program; coercion; Canada temporary migrant agricultural workers; farm workers; Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program; occupational health and safety; Temporary Foreign Worker Program; coercion; Canada
MDPI and ACS Style

Caxaj, C.S.; Cohen, A. “I Will Not Leave My Body Here”: Migrant Farmworkers’ Health and Safety Amidst a Climate of Coercion. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2643.

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