India government must value migrant workers

… for more than the billions they send home, says Amnesty – Published on Countercurrents, by Amnesty International, July 7, 2014 (download full report in pdf, 83 pages).

The lack of effective regulation of visa brokers and rogue recruiting agents makes Indian migrant workers vulnerable to serious human rights abuses, said Amnesty International India today in a new report focusing on migrants from the Indian state of Kerala working in Saudi Arabia .

The report, Exploited Dreams: Dispatches from Indian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia, highlights cases of migrant workers from Kerala who were deceived about their jobs, wages and working conditions by Indian visa brokers and rogue recruiting agents. Many workers went on to face a range of abuses in Saudi Arabia , which at their worst included forced labor … //

… Authorities like the Protector of Emigrants lacked the resources to effectively regulate recruitment of migrant workers, and rogue recruiters were rarely punished:

  • “Systemic violations need to be met with systemic changes. The government must draft a new emigration law that is consistent with international human rights standards and aligned with progressive emigration management systems,” said Ananthapadmanabhan.
  • “Authorities in Kerala and in the central government must better regulate recruiting agents and brokers, expand pre-departure training programs and improve access to remedy.”

Recommendations to the government of India (see report for complete list):

  • Consider alternate regulatory measures to recognize and regulate visa brokers including:
  • Providing clear terms of reference by which visa brokers may be tied to recruiting agents.
  • Informing brokers about their legal obligations and the rights of migrant workers.
  • Issuing short-term and individual licenses to visa brokers to conduct recruitment in collaboration with recruiting agents and renewing licenses based on their record.
  • Emphasizing to recruiting agents that the onus is on them to conduct due diligence on the prospective work conditions promised by visa brokers tied to them.
  • Enforce greater regulation of recruiting agents by setting up a separate department under the Protector of Emigrants to conduct timely and surprise checks and reviews. Provide the department with the necessary logistical and financial support and assistance to undertake their duties.
  • Improve access to remedy by setting up a separate department with enforcement powers under the Protector of Emigrants to investigate complaints of exploitation or other abuses by recruiters. The department must provide access to legal aid, information, translation services and other assistance where necessary.
  • Expand the outreach of the pre-departure orientation and support programs provided by the Government of India and the state of Kerala, including through the Overseas Workers Resource Centre, the Non Resident Keralite Affairs Department (NORKA) and the Migrants Resource Centre (MRC).

Recommendations to the government of Saudi Arabia:

  • Sign and ratify without reservations the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
  • Sign and ratify without reservations the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.
  • Fundamentally reform the kafala system and remove the requirement for migrant workers to obtain the permission of their employer to move jobs or leave the country.
  • Reform national labor laws to ensure that migrant workers have adequate protection against abuses by employers and the state.

(full text).

Related Links:

Other Links:

There are no reasons for the dollar to be world’s reserve currency, on Russia Today RT, July 8, 2014;

Washington State’s First Legal Marijuana Sales, 1.39 min, uploaded by Associated Press AP, July 8, 2014;

Genocide In Eastern Ukraine: Eye Witness Account Confirms that Ukraine Armed Forces Are Deliberately Targeting Civilians, on Global (first on Countercurrents), by Vera Graziadel, July 8, 2014;

War Crimes and Atrocities Committed by Ukraine’s Armed Forces and National Guard, on Global, by Michel Chossudovsky, July 5, 2014; h

Big power plays by Rothschilds, Rockellers leave Putin on the defensive and China in the middle, on Kauilapele’s Blog, by blog owner, June 24, 2014;


… and this:

The 33 Most Surreal Places On Earth, on Distractify, by Mark Pygas, June 2014.

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