Migrant worker strategies in access to health: recognizing agency in a context of constraints

Jill Hanley, Sol Park, Sylvie Gravel, Jah Hon Koo, Loic Malhaire, Sigalit Gal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This chapter lays out a research agenda that looks beyond barriers to health for temporary migrant workers to explore the many forms of agency workers exercise in trying to overcome these barriers. The chapter provides a critical exploration of the various barriers that migrant workers have had in relation to access to health care in Canada (namely: cultural, policy and workplace barriers), within the context of constraints on their control of their health situation. The chapter begins with a critical overview of the evolution of the literature on migrant worker access to health over the last 20 years, and continues with the results of two recent studies. The chapter concludes with suggestions of how to improve existing policy and practice in the field. Given that little attention has been given specifically to the element of securing access to health care, specifically within the context of precarious immigration status, further research should be done within several domains, among them: how to expand knowledge of health rights among workers; understanding employers’ problematic roles as mediators in access to health care; making the links housing conditions and health; and securing a worker’s access to health care within the workplace.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Research Agenda for Migration and Health
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781786438362
ISBN (Print)9781786438355
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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