Noe Barrientos-Benitez was working in Canada
from May 2018. He was abandoned by the Mexican Consulate, and had a set of issues, with the government in Canada
. He was not having any options, and decided to flee from a farm in BC.
In Vancouver, standing in front of the Immigration
and Refugee Board of Canada
, Noe denounced the abusive situation behind the decision.
He also spoke regarding Canada serving great opportunities, well paid work, safe and healthy environment and good living conditions. He thought that there will be respect of law, by the Canadian employers. Today he is a worried man. Canadian employers denied him safety equipment, in time of need, also did not help him, and denied a visit to the doctor, in times of injury. Furthermore, they also withheld the wages he earned. He is one of the few temporary workers who, in the history of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program escaped from their workplace.
The authorities of Canada's Integrity Policy and Program Intelligence Division
overlook the protection of temporary foreign workers. They received an alert regarding Noe's condition with the cooperation of the Migrant Workers
' Dignity Association on July 23rd, and on August 7th. Furthermore, they refused to consider this harassment and psychological abuse of the employer.
Byron Cruz, belonging to Sanctuary Health says that there are several cases where the temporary workers face an end of contracts, and are also repatriated. They suffer harassment and abuse in complete exemption from punishment. The courage of this person in denouncing this situation proves that the work of advocacy for access to services, and providing support to agricultural migrant workers is important in prevent any type of injustice.
Setting the Right Atmosphere
Juanita Sundberg, a Professor at the University of British Columbia
says that S.A.W.P. has a set of regulations and overlap of jurisdictions, and there is the lack of enforcement too. This program is also a form of institutionalized exploitation. The existing proofs are indisputable. It is a responsibility to support such people who speak out about these shocking violations, and also to take stern measures for stopping exploitation.
The MWDA has decided to assist Barrientos-Benitez in obtaining the Open Work Permit
. This will, moreover, offer protection to him from all types of abuse, and permit him to remain in the country. He has the aim to protect all migrant workers in Canada
. He likes them to get the treatment, fitting as humans first, and not worthy of animals or machines. It is a question of respect, and justice also.