Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

After the International Organization for Migration: recruitment of Guatemalan temporary agricultural workers to Canada

Document type Article
Author Gabriel, Christina
Author Macdonald, Laura
Journal Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Volume 44
Date 2018-07-27
ISSN 1369-183X, 1469-9451
Pages 1706-1724


The global agricultural industry is increasingly supported by transnational migrant labour. The experience of this precarious workforce in receiving states has been the focus of intensified scrutiny by policy-makers and academics at the global and national scale. Drawing on field research we examine how the International Organization for Migration was involved in the development of a transnational labour migration corridor from Guatemala to Canada, and how the organisation’s activities are associated with new forms of migration governance. This story, while unique in some ways, illustrates the increased complexity of the international management of migration. For instance, destination states such as Canada continue to play key roles in the management and recruitment of temporary labour migration but other actors have also entered the picture. This development, as this case illustrates, places migrant workers in increasingly vulnerable positions, while states can disclaim responsibility for their plight.