Undocumented Workers in Ontario


Undocumented migration is the fastest growing form of immigration worldwide with 15-20% of global migration being comprised of undocumented workers (some 30 to 40 million people). In the Canadian context, the majority of undocumented workers live in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), with current estimates ranging from 200,000 to 500,000. Although undocumented workers contribute to the Canadian economy and society at large, as a result of their undocumented status, these migrant workers and their families often have no or very limited access to health care and social services, and many are frequently exposed to hazardous working conditions.

To try to understand some of these circumstances, our research team conducted a scope literature review on academic and community based findings. Academic literature focussed on barriers to service access, and the effect of status on mental health, women and children, and service providers. Community based literature on the other hand, focused on these issues as well as the precariousness of undocumented migrants’ working conditions. Our research projects (Pilot and 2009) place particular emphasis on the impact of undocumented status on the health and wellbeing of non-status migrants who work in a range of occupations. Both projects were funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Please click on the tabs on the left hand side of this page to obtain more project-specific information.