The Business of Migrant Worker Recruitment: Who Has the Responsibility and Leverage to Protect Rights?


New research article by Bassina Farbenblum and Justine Nolan:

Governance of temporary labor migration is emerging as one of the most significant social, economic, and human rights challenges of this century. This is especially the case in Asia, where the temporary migration of men and women for low-wage jobs abroad has increased exponentially over the past two decades and is a central pillar of the development strategy of many countries in the region. 1 In 2013, of the estimated 231.5 million migrants in the world, over 95 million came from the Asia Pacific region, an almost 50 percent increase compared to 1990. 2 By far, the predominant flows are of temporary labor migrants. 3

Labor migration has the potential to improve the lives of migrant workers and their families, and to bring increased prosperity to their communities and countries of origin through remittances and development of new skills. However, for many migrant workers, this promise has not been realized. Low-wage migrant workers are routinely underpaid and made to work long hours under unsafe conditions; their precarious immigration and economic status in their country of employment often acts as a powerful barrier to protesting against and obtaining remedies for mistreatment. 4 In recent years, media and scholars have shone a particular spotlight on the systemic exploitation of Asian migrants working in construction, manufacturing, fishing, and domestic work, in the Middle East, as well as elsewhere in Asia. 5

For many low-wage migrant workers, abuses connected with their migration for work do not begin in their country ...


Bassina Farbenblum & Justine Nolan

Access the article here.



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