Canadian work making Caribbean migrants sick
TORONTO, Canada, Wednesday April 20, 2011 – Researchers have found that the health of Jamaicans and other migrant workers on Canadian farms is suffering because of inadequate care and gruelling work.
According to reports in the Canadian press, the research has found that workers from Mexico, Jamaica, the Philippines and other countries develop ailments linked to the work they do on Canadian farms, largely in British Columbia and Ontario.
Among the ailments they suffer from are persistent back pain, eye and skin disorders and mental health problems.
The findings were made by two studies which were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
They show that migrant labourers are sometimes not given proper safety training, live in hot and cramped quarters, work in extreme heat and have no access to clean water.
"One of the most disturbing things we found were the barriers to accessing health care and compensation," said Jenna Hennebry, the author of one of the papers.
"Forty-five per cent of those surveyed indicated they were fearful of reporting concerns to employers."
About 600 migrant workers were surveyed between 2007 and 2009, for the studies.
Jamaica and Barbados are among Caribbean countries which have sent scores of people overseas to work on Canadian farm labour programmes.
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