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“Migration is the courageous will expressed by a person to overcome adversity”- Antonio Guterres. A migrant is a person who migrates within the home country or outside it to pursue work. People


“Migration is the courageous will expressed by a person to overcome adversity”- Antonio Guterres.

A migrant is a person who migrates within the home country or outside it to pursue work. People migrate in search of water, land, and resources. The growing phase of globalization has increased the rate of economic migration in the world. Unemployment, poverty, political situation, exploitation, etc has forced people to migrate to developed countries. They don’t stay at any place permanently. During their journey to another country illegally, migrants were often kidnapped for ransom and tortured by human traffickers. Migrant workers are part of the growth and development of their destination country but they were not accepted as a member of the society to which they are contributing. They face many challenges in terms of governance, protection, migration, development, and cooperation. According to the report of 2019, there were around 169 million migrant workers in the world and they comprise 4.9% of the global labor force in the destinated country. 


  • Internal migration– It refers to a change of residence within the national boundaries, between states, and cities. An internal migrant is someone who moves to a different administrative territory.
  • International migration– This refers to the change of residence over national boundaries. An international migrant is someone who moves to a different country. They are further classified as legal immigrants, illegal immigrants, and refugees. Legal immigrants are those who moved with the legal permission of the receiver nation, illegal immigrants are those who moved without legal permission for the survival of their family and refugees are those who crossed an international boundary to escape persecution.  


  • Employment – employment is the main cause of migration for any worker. They travel from one country to another for their employment. They have to learn new skills from every other destination to fulfill their family needs. The employment rate in India is an average of 42% from 2012 to 2022.  There has been an increasing number of migrants from underdeveloped countries for employment due to the COVID-19 virus and other external situations.
  • Security– Migrant workers are often excluded from social security coverage. They face legal obstacles in accessing social protection benefits. They were even denied schemes under which they were getting benefits due to political and social backward reasons. And they even don’t know how to do justice for their security. 
  • Minimum wages– Do the minimum wages act apply to workers? Some countries have fixed wages rate for workers. Article 25.1 of an international convention on the protection rights of all migrant workers and members of their families was adopted on 18th December 1990 by the general assembly. This article ensures that migrant workers should also be given equal wages as compared to national workers.
  • Exploitation– Migrant workers have rights as a worker, regardless of their migration status but often they were exploited such as charging extra fees, debts, violence, low wages, etc. their children also don’t get a good education. Due to low wages and exploitation, they certainly change their location to fulfill their fa
  • mily needs.


The industrial revolution found a new class of workers in our economy. To protect the rights of workers INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION (ILO) was formed in 1919, under the Versailles treaty. They launched the concept of decent work for the labor community to maintain the dignity of human life in society and the development of workers as per labor standards. India was a founding member of ILO. India ratified 37/181 conventions. The Indian constitution ratifies the principle of equality between men and women. There are various schemes launched for laborers and migrant workers for their security but they were not implemented successfully for all workers. They were not known of the schemes which were made for them only.  The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and their Families, 1990 regulates the rights of migrant workers and members of their families including the rights to social security, health, and education. The Article 41 of our Indian constitution directs the states to provide financial support to secure their livelihood and standard of living.


Concerning the exploitation of workers parliament launched the minimum wages act in which a minimum amount should be given to skilled and unskilled workers. This act is legally non-binding but statutory. The definition of the minimum wage is that it should cover the basic family needs of the worker.


This act applies to all factory workers and employees for a minimum bonus of 8.33% of wages under certain conditions mentioned in the bonus act. 


This act is made for the employment of women in some periods before and after the birth of a child and to provide them maternity benefits. The right of payment of the maternity benefit act is subject to the provisions of this act. The payment of maternity benefits should be given at the average rate of daily wages. 


This act was made to control and regulate the employment of contract labor in certain establishments and to provide its dissolution in certain circumstances.


This act was made to regulate the employment of interstate migrant workmen and to provide for their conditions of service and matters connected therewith.


From the above information we have came to know that there are various laws, acts, and schemes implemented for migrant workers but these rights were not completely known to some workers. There is a lack of awareness, promotion, and knowledge. The other major criticism is the lengthiness and complexity of different provisions and their significant changes in the national legislations of the ratifying states. The migrant workers are subjected to the realm of human rights they should critically reshape the process of migration and it is considered by the states that affecting their sovereignty and national interest. The impact on the national population is cited as a major reason and the cost of granting rights to migrant workers is calculated as high and the states don’t want to get burdened by the economic cost. The responsibility to share this information is on our government and society to educate workers so they can fight for their rights and justice. Migrant workers were not given equal rights that’s the reason why they migrated. And the facts show that migration of labor happens both legally and illegally. The states should not avoid the obligations under the general human rights instruction. 

Author(s) Name: Pratham Khandelwal (Institute of Law ,Nirma University)