Background of our USMCA Petition
In 2017, CDM mobilized with workers, unions and allied organizations from Mexico, the United States and Canada around the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). These efforts resulted in the USMCA — an updated agreement that includes an enforceable Labor Chapter that explicitly protects migrant workers and migrant worker women.
On March 24, 2021, CDM supported two migrant worker women in filing the first public communication against the U.S. government under the USMCA. The petition argues that the U.S. government is facilitating employers’ illegal hiring practices by failing to enforce its anti-discrimination laws.
Since then we have spent almost two years mobilizing allies and workers, meeting with dozens of government officials from Mexico and the United States and submitting supplementary filings documenting the ongoing discrimination and gender-based violence perpetrated against migrant women.
We have yet to receive an official response from the United States government. However in January 2023, several of migrant women’s demands were answered in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the US and Mexico, which directly reflects many of our recommendations. Some key provisions include:
- Prohibiting discrimination in recruitment
- Making gender-related data publicly available
- Increasing access to justice for migrant workers and ensuring they receive their compensation.
- Providing pre-departure rights education to migrant workers
This is a tremendous step forward in our fight to end discrimination against migrant women. We will keep fighting alongside our allies, Maritza and Adareli, and all migrant worker women until the petition is resolved and these provisions are implemented.