MIGRANT WORKERS AND FORCED LABOUR
MODERN FORMS OF FL Linked to the processes resulting from globalisation, have appeared new forms of FL, in the context of: - migration - migratory domestic labour, - trafficking in human beings (“undersides of globalisation”)
EXPLOITATION AND MIGRATION Migrant workers • are often the most severely exploited workers in a receiving country • even with legal residence and legal employment contracts, can be subjected to various forms of exploitation and coercion that may lead, at the extreme, to conditions of FL • irregular migrants are often without any rights in the country of destination and exposed to higher levels of vulnerability and exploitation • female and child migrant workers are further exposed vulnerability and exploitation
EXPLOITATION AND MIGRATION Migrant workers • are not necessarily foreigners, intra-national migrants can be as vulnerable to FL than international migrants • the critical factor is to be outside the native element, without a social network, and in an environment which is unfamiliar (legally, geographically, economically, culturally…) VULNERABILITY
EXPLOITATION AND MIGRATION: THE DYNAMIC • Origin zones/countries: . declining employment opportunities, . consumer aspirations, . growing incentives to migrate • Destination zones/countries: . persistent demand for labour force willing to accept low-paid and insecure jobs . nationals of these countries are reluctant to do the “3D” (difficult, dirty and dangerous) jobs
EXPLOITATION AND MIGRATION: THE DYNAMIC • Destination zones/countries: . Place more and more barriers in the way of lawful and regular migration . Criminal elements there, sense the opportunity to make large profits: - some charge huge sums for moving migrants unlawfully across borders (smuggling) - other use range of coercitive and deceptive practices to obtain further profits at the destination
EXPLOITATION AND MIGRATION: THE DYNAMIC Smuggling of migrants “the procurement, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit, of the illegal entry of a person into a State Party of which the person is not a national or a permanent resident” . material benefit –usually financial- . recived for getting a person into a country illegally . does not necessarily involve exploitation . is a consensual relationship between the person to be transported and the person from whom the transportation is being purchased. . involves crossing a border Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, 15.11.2000
FL AND MIGRATION Indecent o
FL OUTCOMES OF MIGRATION AND EXPLOITATION • With the exception of coerced sex workers and other minor cases, FL at is origin is not the result of a physical constrain (violence) • Migrant frequently enter destination countries of their own volition /on a voluntary basis (but still highly vulnerable) • The circle of “deception” closes once in the destination area: documents are withdrawn, conditions of work/employment changed, wages left unpaid, induced indebtness –through advances-, workers are then subject to coercion, restriction of movement and physical abuse • Corruption and racketeering also play a major role in perpetuating the vulnerability of irregular migrant workers (risk of deportation)
FL OUTCOMES OF MIGRATION AND EXPLOITATION v) Victims are very reluctant to denounce FL (illegal status, weak protection schemes, thus victims have little incentive to cooperate with law enforcement agencies) vi) FL occurs predominantly in sectors with a high degree of informal labour relations and long subcontracting chains (many middlemen) • The lack of information on job offers abroad and the dependence of migrants on private intermediaries are a key factors behind FL situations. Intermediaries play an important role at both ends of the exploitative cycle.
REGULATION RECRUITMENT PROCESS Deception tends to come only at a later stage, where migrant become trapped in a situation of FL Regulating recruitment through institutions such asprivate employment agencies can help to ensure that migrant workers get the right information very early to avoid dangers and risks. - Tight Licensing - Codes of conduct - Ceiling on fees - Issuance of model employment contracts - Competition - Enforcement
TARGETING THE VULNERABILITY By ensuring that migrant workers: • have the right to organize; • have access to regular and, where necessary, special mechanisms for labour law enforcement; • have access to transportation for return home; and • become knowledgeable of local rules and regulations concerning their legal status and rights.