Magazine article Herizons

Domestic Policy Criticized: Dependent Status Keeps Women in Their Place

Magazine article Herizons

Domestic Policy Criticized: Dependent Status Keeps Women in Their Place

Article excerpt

Domestic Policy Criticized: Dependent Status Keeps Women in their Place.

Women who come to Canada as domestic workers face even tougher times ahead, as the immigration department gets tougher at the borders.

A growing number of domestic workers have been deported for seemingly petty things like living outside of their place of employment. Under the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP), women come to Canada under a temporary work permit system that ties them to a specific employer and requires them to live in their place of work as a condition of staying in Canada. This live in caveat is not placed on other workers coming to Canada. Despite mounting pressure from immigrant and domestics organizations to eliminate the restriction, a federal immigration ministry report recommends abolishing the LCP altogether, not because the women should have the right to enter the country as independent immigrants whose work is valued, but because the women admitted they don't "adjust well," according to the report. A BC publication, Sisterhood, says: "This proposal (to do away with LCP) systematically discriminates against women who work in the home, against poor women who do domestic work and against women of colour, who make up the vast majority of those who apply for admission to Canada as domestic workers and caregivers." Sisterhood says the restrictive LCP forced women to live under a "system of indentured labour."

Under contract with their employer and the department of Immigration for an average of five years, domestic workers' temporary status (they are not officially immigrants) leaves them vulnerable to violations from their employers. …

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