Memory of migrant abuse fuels SFU Trudeau Scholar’s lifelong fight for human rights

August 10, 2022

By Stacey Makortoff

There are some moments that make such an impression, they stay with you forever. For SFU communication PhD student Laya Behbahani, who is also director of SFU’s Student Experience Initiative in the Vice President, Academic’s office, that pivotal moment occurred during her formative years.

As a migrant growing up in Dubai, she remembers witnessing a migrant worker–a maid–locked outside on a balcony for days by her employer. The impact of that memory, and what she came to learn of the inhumane plight of other migrant workers in the Gulf countries of the Middle East, stayed with Behbahani as her family later immigrated to Canada.

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