Workshop will address issues faced by people with precarious status

There’s a tendency to think that the problems faced by people with precarious status – temporary workers, refugee claimants, failed claimants and people without status – are not Canadian issues, but York sociology Professor Luin Goldring disagrees. To shed light on the emerging body of research in this area, the Research Alliance on Precarious Status, which Goldring initiated, will present a public workshop, titled “Producing and Negotiating Precarious Migratory Status in Canada.”

The workshop will run from 9am to 5:30pm, on Thursday, Sept. 16, at the International Conference Centre, 5th Floor, York Research Tower, Keele campus. Anyone wishing to attend should RSVP to migrationconf@gmail with their name and institutional affiliation by Sept. 14.

Right: Luin Goldring

The goal of the workshop is to discuss the production, negotiation and implications of precarious status in the Canadian context, and to contribute to and inform Canadian and international debates on immigration, citizenship, social inclusion and rights.

“I think the research will highlight the vulnerability of people with precarious status,” says Goldring, co-organizer of the workshop with Professor Patricia Landolt of the University of Toronto. “There’s a tendency to think about people with precarious status as somehow different, but they’re not. People hire them all the time; they are part of our society. It’s time to start thinking about them and paying attention to these issues.”

People with precarious status encompass both legal and unauthorized status, but all are vulnerable. Goldring uses the example of temporary workers: if they complain about poor working conditions, they risk being fired and falling out of status or not being rehired. If that happens, they have limited recourse. Yet, employers are looking to hire people with precarious status.

Researchers from various disciplines from Ontario, including several from York, will analyze the production of precarious status in Canada, including temporary workers, failed refugee claimants and non-status. They will address the everyday experiences of people living with various forms of precarious status and analyze the negotiation of migratory status in specific institutional settings and sectors, including schooling, health care, social service provision and academic research. Invited commentators will present the key points and discuss the papers, followed by brief author responses and an open discussion.

The event’s co-sponsors include York’s Office of the Vice-President of Research & Innovation, CERIS – The Ontario Metropolis Centre, the University of Toronto’s Cities Centre, the International Network on Migration & Development, as well as York’s Centre for Research on Latin America & the Caribbean, Centre for Refugee Studies and Graduate Program in Sociology.

For more information, including speakers and topics, click here.