Investigative team in Canada visits 2 farms and interviews workers so far

The investigation team sent to VSCanada to examine allegations of abuse by Jamaican farm workers, has already visited 2 farms and interviewed some workers.

Other farms will be visited in the coming days.

This visit follows complaints from workers about their living and working conditions amounting to modern slavery.

President of the mission team, Helene Dnotice Ohyte said team members arrived at VSanada last FFriday, October 7, then Mtoday OOn October 10, two farms were visited and interviews were conducted with some of the JAmerican workers there.

During an interview with the Jamaican Liaison Service in Toronto on Tuesday, Ms Davis Whyte said that in one instance the team held a focus group session with the workers at that particular farm, and in the other instance , the team interviewed the workers individually, using a specially developed survey tool.

She said the team also spoke with the owners of the farm and observed the accommodation, with the aim of ensuring they were actually seeing the conditions in which the workers lived and worked.

Ms. Davis Whyte pointed out that the group’s work began prior to leaving Jamaica, through virtual meetings with various stakeholder and advocate groups, as well as program managers in Jamaica, the Jamaica Liaison Service at Canada and Canadian government officials, including others.

She explained that around 70 farms were selected for visits by team members, over a two-week period, via a random sampling method.

She said that this methodology was used so that the team could ensure that the work carried out is valid and that there is no bias in the report prepared, at the end of the investigation.

Ms Davis Whyte said the team has been commissioned to produce a report, which will ensure that the overall picture is given of exactly what has been found, in terms of the conditions under which Jamaican agricultural workers work, in Canada.

The report will also describe what was observed about the program itself and recommendations for improvement, if any.

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