New Research Initiative Focused on Gender-Based Violence Impacts on Temporary Foreign Workers in Can

Date: February 27, 2023

Author: Dr. Silvia Sarapura and SEDRD Graduate Students Regan Zink, Charlotte Potter, and Margarita Fontecha

An exciting new project starts off the year for Dr. Silvia Sarapura who is the recipient of a SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis Grant 2022- 2023 to look at how gender-based violence (GBV) impacts temporary foreign workers (TFW) in Canada's agricultural sector. Four SEDRD graduate students will support this project, including Margarita Fontecha, Charlotte Potter, Regan Zink and Nicole Cupolo. This project is one of 31 projects awarded by SSHRC to investigate existing knowledge on gender-based violence. Together these projects will identify gaps and opportunities for research, provide critical information for making evidence-based policy decisions, and contribute to combating and mitigating gender-based violence in Canada.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is a critical source of labour for Canada’s agricultural sector. Temporary foreign workers are vulnerable for a variety of reasons including structural inequities, lack of status, and limited individual rights. Compounding this are the diverse identities of individual workers, including gender, sexual orientation, age, race, ethnicity, marital status, religion, disability, Indigenous identity, languages spoken, and/or geographic location. The SEDRD project aims to understand how the TFWP contributes to, interacts with, and addresses GBV from both a conceptual and real viewpoint. The project will address critical questions like:

  • What are the experiences of TFWs’ with GBV? How is this being documented and addressed?
  • What are the challenges faced by TFWs who experience gender-based violence either in Canada or their home country?
  • What challenges do TFWs face, who experience GBV in Canada and abroad?
  • How does the TFWP and associated policies and legislation consider GBV? Do they effectively capture the breadth / complexity of diverse immigrant groups?
  • Can intersectional policy better respond to differences to prevent GBV against TFWs?

The results of the research will be shared with key stakeholders through a knowledge mobilization strategy, including a final report, evidence brief, and plain language summaries, during 2023. The strategy aims to engage audiences with the results and provide potential recommendations they might apply in their work. The benefits of this project include i) contributing enhanced academic theory, ii) the creation and expansion of knowledge related to GBV, and iii) improving programs and policies aimed at addressing GBV impacting TFWs in Canada's agricultural sector

If you would like to learn more about this project or have any information to share, you can contact Dr. Silvia Sarapura at