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.

[Reuters] Is the Thai government punishing anti-human trafficking advocates?

Dave Welsh, Thailand director for the Solidarity Center, noted: “Sawit has been out front and extremely impactful in his work to welcome and integrate migrant workers into the Thai labor movement. Given the political sensitivities within the government and the...

[Vice News] What Governments Don’t Want You To Know About Modern Slavery: Video

“But really, to make the change, there has to be institutional change … not just easy fixes,” said Neha Misra, Solidarity Center global lead for migration and human trafficking. “The systems and institutions that are used to manage migration around the world inherently make migrants vulnerable to trafficking. And yet governments don’t want to do anything about immigration systems.”

RIGHTS ADVOCATES BUILD SOUTHEAST ASIA CAMPAIGN AGAINST WAGE THEFT

On this year’s July 30 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, a coalition of rights organizations including the Solidarity Center are highlighting widespread wage theft perpetrated against Southeast Asia’s migrant workers. Although this form of labor exploitation...

[Vice News] What Governments Don’t Want You To Know About Modern Slavery: Video

“But really, to make the change, there has to be institutional change … not just easy fixes,” said Neha Misra, Solidarity Center global lead for migration and human trafficking. “The systems and institutions that are used to manage migration around the world inherently make migrants vulnerable to trafficking. And yet governments don’t want to do anything about immigration systems.”

RIGHTS ADVOCATES BUILD SOUTHEAST ASIA CAMPAIGN AGAINST WAGE THEFT

RIGHTS ADVOCATES BUILD SOUTHEAST ASIA CAMPAIGN AGAINST WAGE THEFT

On this year’s July 30 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, a coalition of rights organizations including the Solidarity Center are highlighting widespread wage theft perpetrated against Southeast Asia’s migrant workers. Although this form of labor exploitation...

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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