Labor Migration

labor migration, Solidarity Center, worker rights

The Solidarity Center strives for rights for people on the move by ensuring migrant workers are fully able to exercise their workplace, social, economic and democratic rights. Solidarity Center/Jeanne Hallacy

Labor migration feeds the global economy. Hundreds of millions of migrant workers worldwide generate billions of dollars in global remittances. They are domestic workers, construction and agricultural workers, factory and service workers, teachers and professionals. Migrant workers often travel long distances due to a lack of decent work at home to support their families and build a better life. They frequently are denied the most basic human rights. For instance, most destination countries deny migrant workers the right to form unions, and explicitly exclude them from labor law protections, and women migrant workers are often subject to gender-based violence and harassment in their workplaces.

The Solidarity Center strives for worker rights for people on the move by ensuring migrant worker rights are a key part of the labor movement. We cultivate an understanding of how exploitative labor migration management schemes are a widespread means by which to undercut worker wages, create precarious work and pit workers against each other. And, in addressing these structural ills, we emphasize a response that understands the intersectionalities and identities that make migrant workers especially vulnerable. Our goal is to ensure that migrant workers are fully able to exercise their workplace rights, as well as their social, economic and democratic rights.

We also focus on the creation of decent work in home countries so workers can migrate by choice and not due to economic coercion. We recognize that migration is not caused by a single factor that “pushes” workers to migrate. In doing so, we bring our unique worker rights voice more broadly by emphasizing that everyone deserves dignity at work regardless of status—climate migrants, economic migrants and conflict refugees. We work to achieve this through programs that focus on union organizing and collective bargaining, policy advocacy, access to justice, safe migration and, more broadly, the ability to exercise fundamental freedoms as democratic participants.


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migration, migrant workers, Freedoms on the Move report, Solidarity Center,, CIVICUS

Freedoms on the Move, a 2019 report by Solidarity Center and CIVICUS, is an urgent call to action for unions and other civil society groups to include migrant workers and refugees in advancing civic rights.

Podcast: Winning Rights for Migrant Workers During COVID-19

Migrant workers worldwide have been especially hard hit in the pandemic, suffering reduced pay, lost jobs and little access to social support programs like unemployment insurance. In Thailand, migrant rights groups estimate that since COVID-19, 700,000 workers are...

Countries Must Cooperate to Facilitate Safe Migration for Workers

Globally, marginalized workers have been especially hard hit by the novel coronavirus. Migrant workers in particular have experienced some of the harshest effects of COVID-19 and the related lockdowns, quarantines and travel restrictions. Yet while the world has...

‘Information Is the Key’: Empowering Kyrgyzstan’s Young Workers

To promote youth civic engagement and the fair employment of women, workers with disabilities and those migrating outside the country to earn a living, the Solidarity Center’s second annual School of Young Leaders in Bishkek educated dozens of young people in...
Podcast: Winning Rights for Migrant Workers During COVID-19

Podcast: Winning Rights for Migrant Workers During COVID-19

Migrant workers worldwide have been especially hard hit in the pandemic, suffering reduced pay, lost jobs and little access to social support programs like unemployment insurance. In Thailand, migrant rights groups estimate that since COVID-19, 700,000 workers are...

Countries Must Cooperate to Facilitate Safe Migration for Workers

Countries Must Cooperate to Facilitate Safe Migration for Workers

Globally, marginalized workers have been especially hard hit by the novel coronavirus. Migrant workers in particular have experienced some of the harshest effects of COVID-19 and the related lockdowns, quarantines and travel restrictions. Yet while the world has...

‘Information Is the Key’: Empowering Kyrgyzstan’s Young Workers

‘Information Is the Key’: Empowering Kyrgyzstan’s Young Workers

To promote youth civic engagement and the fair employment of women, workers with disabilities and those migrating outside the country to earn a living, the Solidarity Center’s second annual School of Young Leaders in Bishkek educated dozens of young people in...

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND WORKERS IN CAMBODIA

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND WORKERS IN CAMBODIA

As a new wave of COVID-19 hits Cambodia, a new study recommends urgent action to ensure garment and tourism workers workers do not experience widespread loss of jobs and wages as they did in 2020. The Center for Policy Studies survey is supported by Solidarity Center...

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What Happens Underground Stays Underground

What Happens Underground Stays Underground

Women working in South Africa's mining sector report being subject to sexual and gender-based violence and  harassment, inside mines and within the mining communities where they live and efforts to redress such abuse must address the nature of the workplace and...

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Made for this Moment: How ILO Convention 190 Addresses Gender-Based Violence and Harassment in the World of Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

Made for this Moment: How ILO Convention 190 Addresses Gender-Based Violence and Harassment in the World of Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

This report highlights how C190, the first global treaty that recognizes the fundamental right to work free from gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH), addresses GBVH in  the world of work and identifies concrete steps to address it. Read the full report here in...

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