Protection of Nationals Abroad: The Mexican State and Seasonal Agricultural Workers in Canada

Elena Valenzuela


Due to the adverse economic conditions in Mexico and the need for offshore labor in Canadian agriculture, Mexico entered the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) in 1974 as a source country, becoming the country that exports the highest number of agricultural workers to Canada. While abroad, these workers have genuine needs that should be addressed by the Mexican government, but unfortunately the government has failed to provide adequate protection to its nationals. This note offers an overview of the operational aspects of the program and violations of the rules. It identifies workers’ needs and the most important national and international documents that regulate the protection of nationals abroad. This research is a critique of the role of the Mexican government in the protection of the seasonal agricultural workers in Canada, identifying the limitations the State faces to provide its national with protection.


Labor migration; Mexican consulates; Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program; rural Mexico; protection of nationals abroad

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