Global Justice, Temporary Migration and Vulnerability


  • Christine Straehle



Liberals are concerned with the equal moral status of all human beings. This article discusses what flows from this premise for moral cosmopolitans when analysing temporary foreign worker programs for low-skilled workers. Some have hailed these programs as a tool to achieve redistributive global goals. However, I argue that in the example of Live-In-Caregivers in Canada, the morally most problematic aspect is that it provokes vulnerability of individual workers. Once in a situation of vulnerability, important conditions of individual autonomy are jeopardized. Even if these programs provide for redistribution of opportunities on a global scale, the challenge such programs pose to the conditions of autonomy can not outweigh these gains. Instead, they need to be re-assessed and changed to fundamentally express equal moral status of all human beings.