A background in Labour Studies is excellent preparation for human rights work because advancing, protecting and educating about Human Rights so closely reflects the same passions brings people into the Labour Studies field. An example is the fact that over half of the complaints brought to the Human Rights Commission are workplace related.

Labour Studies has a long-standing relationship with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, where we have placed a number of students over many years in field placements. Our students have completed a number of research projects at Human Rights, all of which have been integrated into their permanent archive, presented at conferences, or used to improve their program design and delivery.

David Camfield 

Dr. Camfield is an associate professor in the University of Manitoba’s labour studies program with a cross-appointment in sociology.

His human rights-related interests include workers’ rights as human rights, and racism, sexism and heterosexism. He is especially interested in how rights come to be recognized in law and administration, and in the relationship between rights and efforts to dismantle oppression in society. Camfield developed and teaches a labour studies course in Racism and Work.

He was nominated for a Manitoba Book Award in 2012 for Canadian Labour in Crisis: Reinventing the Workers’ Movement.

Camfield earned his PhD in 2002, his MA in 1995, and his BA in 1994 − all from York University.

Julie Guard

Dr. Julie Guard is a professor of labour studies with a cross-appointment in history at the University of Manitoba. Her human-rights related research recovers the history of progressive social movements and inclusive, democratic unions. Her courses on labour and community organizing, public policy and grassroots movements examine working people’s struggles and the power relations that underpin group struggles for social justice.

Guard serves on the board of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, helping to publish and promote progressive research that supports and strengthens struggles for social justice. She is also active in the women’s and peace movements, the struggle for justice in Israel/Palestine, and her union.

Guard earned her PhD from the University of Toronto, her M.E.S. from York University, and her BA from the University of Western Ontario.

Jesse Hajer

Dr. Hajer is an assistant professor in the University of Manitoba’s department of economics and labour studies program.

His human rights-related research interests include examining social programs that support access to the necessities of life through the delivery of social programs and public policy. He is especially interested in how different delivery models affects participation and overall social welfare, and comparing universal versus more targeted approaches.

Hajer earned his PhD in 2018 from the New School for Social Research, his MA in 2007 from the University of Manitoba, and his BA in 2004 from the University of Winnipeg.

Julia Smith

Dr. Julia Smith is an assistant professor in the Labour Studies Program at the University of Manitoba. She studies the history and politics of social movements in Canada and the political economy of gender and labour relations. Her research on worker organizing examines past struggles to analyze how working people from a diversity of backgrounds have combined labour and feminist activism to secure rights and improve equality at work, in the labour movement, and in society.