Labour and Migration Unit

Annual Report [April 2017 - March 2018] Labour and Migration Unit
Annual Report [April 2016 - March 2017] Labour and Migration Unit

Vision, Mission, Objectives
Migration, especially internal migration has many shades. Migration from rural to urban areas within the same state is a regular feature all over India. Migration from one state to another by the rich in pursuit of better prospects in agriculture and expansion of their business has been going on. There are others who migrate to eke out a living since in their place of origin there is limited scope or greater oppression is there. In Punjab, two types of migrations are noticeable a) of the rich Punjabi Jats migrating to Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for agriculture, where land is cheaper and the prospects of owning bigger land holdings lure them. Another significant migration is towards Punjab - that of the poor sections of society from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan. These people have been migrating to Punjab in search of better earnings. One sees so many of these people daily flowing into Punjab. Most of them get absorbed in the cities as vendors, rickshaw pullers and manual help in the shops and small wayside hotels and as con-struction workers. Poor people from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand flock to Punjab and Haryana and migrant labourers and work in agricultural fields. They are called 'bhaiya' synonymous with a migrant labour.

But now there are inter-state migration of labourers from north and north east India, coming to southern Indian states. It is estimated that over 53 lacs of migrants in Kerala and over 30 lac each in Andhra-Telengana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. They are more vulnerable and prone to exploitation. In addition lack of local language makes them more disadvantaged. ‘I was recruited through a middleman who took a handsome amount form me. He still gets a monthly share from me. He gets another share from the employer too’, said Jagdish from Odisha who works in aplastic industry. He came as a refugee following the notorious Kandhamal riots in Odisha in 2008.

• Accompany the migrant workers who are from outside of southern India;
• Establish link between the place of origin and destination;
• Provide helpline services to migrant workers;
• Undertake research to highlight the issues of the migrant workers;
• Collaborate with others who are working with migrant workers;
• Establish a network among the Jesuits working among the migrant workers in southern India;
• Set up Migrant and Labour Unit at ISI Bangalore to respond to this issue;
• Organise programs to empower the migrant workers to protect their lives, dignity and rights.

1. Rapport building with migrant workers through visits to work sites, companies, homes, shelters, hospitals, juvenile homes, through local organizations;
2. Providing issue based interventions and support in times of need like accidents, deaths, sickness, work related disputes, police cases, non-payment of wages, etc.;
3. Facilitating inclusion of migrant workers in government welfare scheme and opening Bank accounts;
4. Setting up Migrant Workers’ Helpline wherever possible;
5. Establishing linkages between the places of origin and destination so as to ensure their safety, security and dignity;
6. Establishing networks with civil society organizations working on the issue of migrant workers;
7. Influencing media on the positive outlook on the migrant workers and their issues through feeding information, publishing news items and articles, etc.;
8. Undertaking baseline surveys and researches about the state of migrant workers from north India;
9. Foregrounding the rights of the migrant workers as a human right issue.

Kindly contact:
Fr. Martin Puthussery, SJ, Unit Head -,
Mr. Richard C Gonsalves, Programme Manager -