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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 106, Issue 8, pp e546–e554 | Cite as

The health of temporary foreign workers in Canada: A scoping review

  • Bukola SalamiEmail author
  • Salima Meharali
  • Azeez Salami
Systematic Review
  • 3 Downloads

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Temporary foreign workers contribute to economic prosperity in Canada, but they experience forms of structural inequities and have minimal rights, which can contribute to their ill health. The objective of this scoping review is to examine the extent, range and nature of the Canadian literature on the health of temporary foreign workers and their families in Canada.

METHODS: The review was guided by Arksey and O’Malley’s five stages for conducting a scoping review. We performed a comprehensive search of seven databases, which revealed 994 studies. In total, 10 published research papers, which focused exclusively on the health of temporary foreign workers in Canada, were included in the study; these 10 papers represented the findings from 9 studies.

SYNTHESIS: The majority of the studies involved seasonal agricultural workers in the province of Ontario (n = 8). Major health issues of temporary foreign workers included mental health, occupational health, poor housing and sanitation, and barriers to accessing health care, including fear of deportation and language barriers. These health issues are highly shaped by temporary foreign workers’ precarious immigration status in Canada.

CONCLUSION: Findings from this study demonstrate the need to reduce barriers to health care and to conduct more research on other groups of temporary foreign workers, outside the agricultural sector.

Keywords

Temporary foreign workers migrant workers seasonal agricultural workers migrant* Canada 

Résumé

OBJECTIFS : Les travailleurs étrangers temporaires contribuent à la prospérité économique du Canada, mais ils vivent certaines formes d’iniquités structurelles et ont des droits minimaux, ce qui peut nuire à leur santé. L’objectif de cette étude de champ est d’examiner l’étendue, la variété et la nature des études canadiennes publiées sur la santé des travailleurs étrangers temporaires et de leurs familles au Canada.

MÉTHODE : Nous nous sommes guidés sur les cinq étapes de la conduite d’une étude de champ définies par Arksey et O’Malley. Nous avons mené une recherche exhaustive de sept bases de données, ce qui a mis au jour 994 études. En tout, nous avons inclus dans notre étude 10 mémoires de recherche publiés portant exclusivement sur la santé des travailleurs étrangers temporaires au Canada; ces 10 communications représentaient les constatations de 9 études.

SYNTHÈSE : La majorité des études impliquaient des travailleurs agricoles saisonniers dans la province de l’Ontario (n = 8). Les principaux enjeux liés à la santé pour les travailleurs étrangers temporaires étaient la santé mentale, la santé au travail, les mauvaises conditions de logement et d’hygiène et les obstacles à l’accès aux soins de santé, dont la peur d’être expulsés et les barrières linguistiques. Ces enjeux liés à la santé sont très marqués par le statut précaire des travailleurs étrangers temporaires au Canada en matière d’immigration.

CONCLUSION : Les constatations de l’étude indiquent le besoin de réduire les obstacles aux soins de santé et de faire plus de recherche sur d’autres groupes de travailleurs étrangers temporaires, hors du secteur agricole.

Mots Clés

travailleurs étrangers temporaires travailleurs migrants travailleurs agricoles saisonniers migrant* Canada 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of NursingUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Family MedicineLagos State University Teaching HospitalIkejaNigeria

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