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Season 1, Episode 4

Disrupting Migrant Work

December 06, 2022

Sarom Rho is a migrant and community organizer in Canada. Sarom unites with other migrants who are students, care workers, and agriculture workers. Together they make up the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, which is a grassroots organization calling for full and permanent immigration status for all. In this episode we learn why immigration status is a foundational determinant of health for people living in Canada without status that contributes to unsafe living and working conditions. We learn from Sarom about what collective action for change looks like, the ways in which it brings strength and well-being, and about why a global approach matters to the local level. Later in the episode, we also talk to Dr. Erica Di Ruggiero, a public health researcher and professor, who is passionate about global health and work. In our conversation with Erica, we unpack how public health practitioners can support workers like Sarom by lending our voice, collaborating intersectorally, and taking action via professional associations.


Sarom Rho

Sarom Rho is an organizer with the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (MWAC), a workers’ rights organization with a membership of migrants in farm work, care work and low-waged work, which includes current and former international students, refugees and undocumented people. MWAC serves as the Secretariat of the Migrant Rights Network.

Dr. Erica Di Ruggiero

Reflective guest Dr. Erica Di Ruggiero is an Associate Professor of Global Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health whose research focuses on evaluating the health, gender, and equity impacts of policies on marginalized groups such as precarious workers. She explores how different types of evidence shape global policy agendas and influence global governance in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals.


Episode Credits

This episode is produced by Rebecca Cheff, Carolina Jimenez, and our host Bernice Yanful (NCCDH). Special thanks to our episode guests Sarom Rho and Erica Di Ruggiero. Coordination of communications, webpage development and dissemination are led by Caralyn Vossen (NCCDH). Thanks to Claire Betker and the rest of the NCCDH team for their support. Technical production and original music by Chris Perry. Artwork by comet art + design.