Fondé en 1983 --Unis pour la diversité et l'égalité raciale


Montreal, March 8, 2012 --- Key community workers, civil rights advocates and academics will meet this Friday, March 9, 2012, to discuss the implications of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers for Quebec.

The event will be held at the John Molson Building of Concordia University, located at 1450 Guy (corner of De Maisonneuve West).

In association with PINAY (a Filipino women’s organization), CRARR will be hosting a one-day Round-Table discussion on the ILO Convention to examine its content, how it impacts Canada, and how Quebec can take a leadership role in addressing the principles and measures set out in the Convention. Adopted last year in Geneva, the Convention prescribes basic employment, housing, social service and other conditions to protect domestic workers around the world. Canada now has to ratify this Convention after ensuring that its domestic laws and policies conform to the principles set out in the instrument.

Chaired by one of the Quebec’s top experts on domestic and migrant workers, McGill Social Work Professor Jill Hanley, the event will gather 50 community advocates, union representatives, and professors in law, sociology, women’s studies and industrial relations from all four local universities. In addition, representatives from Quebec government agencies responsible for immigration, human rights and labour standards will also participate. The Round Table is expected to produce proposals for legislative and policy reforms, as well as proposals for new programs and services to effectively protect domestic workers (both foreign and domestic) and other civil rights strategies to address growing needs.

Highlights of the day’s agenda include:

9:00 – 10:30 am

• Testimonies from domestic workers on issues they face in immigration, employment and access to social programs and labour standards;
• Review of the ILO Convention, its content and the ratification process, by McGill Law Professor Adelle Blackett, one of the key contributors to the drafting of the Convention;

10:30 – 12:30 am and 1:30 – 3:30 pm

• Three discussion groups will examine issues (AM) and possible solutions (PM) regarding Labour Standards, Workplace Health and Safety and Unionization (chaired by UQAM law professor Stephanie Bernstein); Civil Rights Protection and Housing (chaired by human rights expert Pearl Eliadis); and Immigration and Integration (chaired by immigration lawyer Walter Chi Yan Tom).

The Round-Table will address recent plans that have been made to introduce to extended workplace health and safety coverage to domestic workers as well as proposals that have been put forward encouraging agencies to review barriers of discrimination within present federal and provincial programs in immigration and employment. It will also discuss the ineffective protection of foreign domestic workers from discrimination and exploitation.

Co-sponsors and partners of the event include the Simone de Beauvoir Institute; the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles du Québec; the Ministère du Travail du Québec; the Institute for Research and Education on Race Relations; the 2110 Center for Gender Advocacy; the Association des aides familiales du Québec and the McGill Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies.