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An Act for migrant workers soon

Date

2013-02-20

Newspaper title

Time of India

Publisher

Time of India

Place published

India

Full text

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state is drafting a Migrant Welfare Social Security Act that aims at protecting the labour rights of migrants. It will also facilitate the process of registering all migrants coming to the state.

The state labour and rehabilitation ministry will submit the draft ordinance, a first-of-its-kind in the country, to the cabinet for its approval.

Once approved, the ordinance will make registration mandatory for all employers in the state who employ skilled and unskilled migrant labourers. The employers will be mandated to provide minimum wages, provident funds and other basic welfare schemes as envisaged in the labour laws.

"We also plan to include penal action against employers who do not comply with this act. We are also looking at including other welfare measures in the act,'' state labour and rehabilitation minister Shibu Baby John told TOI on Tuesday.

Senior labour department officials said that once the act comes into existence, inspectors can conduct regular checks to all industrial units and commercial establishments to see whether the migrants labourers are availing their basic rights.

A recent survey of Gulati Institute of taxation of Finance (GIFT) showed that migrant labourers are unaware of their basic rights.

The GIFT survey found out that migrant labourers in the state, employed in several industrial and service sectors across the state, are forced to live in claustrophobic shelters, devoid of any social security net. GIFT conducted the survey by collecting data from migrants who poured into the state via 63 long distance trains from various parts of the country.

The study found a population of 25 lakh migrants in the state and the total annual remittances of all migrants came to around Rs 16,768.93 crore.

In comparison, the foreign remittance into Kerala was around Rs 50,000 crore in 2011, and this included the remittance of a workforce right from unskilled to highly skilled labour.

West Bengal tops the list of migrants with 20% followed by Assam with 17%; Uttar Pradesh came third with 15%. A religion-wise break up showed that around 50% of migrants from Assam and West Bengal were Muslims and 20% from Odisha were Christians; around 69% of them earned in the range of Rs 300 to 600 a day, depending on their individual skills and expertise.

Thiruvananthapuram: The state is in the process of drafting a Migrant Welfare Social Security Act that aims at protecting the labour rights of migrants. It will also facilitate the process of registering all migrants coming into different parts of the state.

The draft ordinance, a first of its kind in the country, will soon be submitted to cabinet by the state labour and rehabilitation ministry for approval.

The ordinance, once approved, will make it mandatory for all employers in the state who employ skilled and unskilled migrant labourers to be registered, and provide minimum wages, provident funds and other basic welfare schemes as ordained in the labour laws of the state.

"We also plan to include penal action against employers who do not comply with this act. W are also looking at including other welfare measures in the act,'' state labour and rehabilitation minister Shibu Baby John told TOI on Tuesday.

Senior labour department officials said that once the act come into existence, inspectors can conduct regular checks to all these industrial units and commercial establishments to see whether the migrants labourers are availing their basic rights and become aware of the labour laws of the state.

A recent survey of Gulati Institute of taxation of Finance(GIFT) showed that migrant labourers are unaware of their basic rights or are interested in providing a part of their wages for savings schemes.

The GIFT survey found out that that migrant labourers in the state who are employed in several industrial and service sectors across the state are forced to live in claustrophobic shelters, devoid of any social security net. GIFT conducted this migrant survey by collecting data from migrants who poured into the state via 63 long distance trains from various parts of the country.

The study found an population of 25 lakhs residing in the state and the total annual remittances of all migrants is around Rs 16,768.93 crore.

In comparison, the foreign remittance into Kerala was around 50,000 crore in 2011, and this included the remittance of a workforce right from unskilled to highly skilled labour.

West Bengal tops the list of migrants with 20% followed by Assam with 17%; Uttar Pradesh came third with 15%. A religion wise break from each state showed that around 50% of migrants from Assam and West Bengal were Muslims and 20% % from Orissa were Christians; around 69% of them earned in the range of Rs 300 to 600 per day, depending on their individual skills and expertise.

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Keywords

Drafting, Migrant Welfare Social Security Act, Protecting the labour rights of migrants

Economic sectors

General relevance - all sectors

Content types

Policy analysis and Support initiatives

Target groups

Policymakers and Researchers

Geographical focuses

Bangladesh

Spheres of activity

Law

Languages

English