On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and Public Health officials encouraged stronger mitigation efforts, including self-isolation and social distancing. Taking measures to minimize physical contact is essential to alleviating the pressure posed to the healthcare system with an increase in patients with COVID-19. However, students – many of whom work precarious jobs – need the proper protections to care for themselves and for the community.
Many post-secondary institutions have closed or reduced campus services, cancelled classes and moved classes online. These precautions are important to protecting public health and safety. However, in order for them to be most effective, we urge campuses and on-campus workplaces to consider those who will be put at risk by campus closures. International students rely on on-campus work and housing. For many students, the rising costs of living and student debt means they cannot afford to endure the consequences of work interruptions and losses in work hours and wages.
As we engage in acts of community care, including self-isolation and social distancing, to stop the transmission of COVID-19, students require immediate protections.
In addition, here are is a summary of the campaigns the Federation is endorsing and other resources:
Supports for Students and Students’ Unions
The Canadian Federation of Students has created and will continue to update a toolkit for students’ unions to support their members.
Supports for Migrants and International Students
For more information on immigration and healthcare coverage for migrant students please register for this webinar on Friday at 12 pm
Migrant Students United: COVID-19 Information Webinar
Migrant Rights Network: Migrant and Worker Justice Demands
Supports for Workers
15 & Fairness: Health Emergency Labour Protections Calls to Action