Make fair labour migration a reality

Posted at December 18th 2022 12:00 AM | Updated as of December 18th 2022 12:00 AM


The International community must do better to ensure the world’s 169 million migrant workers are able to realize their basic human and labour rights, says ILO Director-General, Gilbert F. Houngbo, in a message released for International Migrants Day.

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Too many of the 169 million migrant workers in the world today are unable to exercise their basic rights.

This leaves them invisible, vulnerable and undervalued for their contributions to society.

The vulnerability of migrant workers to various forms of discrimination is exacerbated when it intersects with other grounds such as race, ethnicity and gender.

Migrants do not only go missing on high-risk and desperate journeys.

Many migrant domestic, agricultural and other workers are isolated and out of reach of those who could protect them. Undocumented migrants are particularly vulnerable to abuses.

The International Labour Organization supports governments, employers and workers to make fair labour migration a reality.

Like all workers, migrant workers are entitled to the protection of international human rights and labour standards, including freedom of association and collective bargaining, non-discrimination and safe and healthy working environments.

Migrant workers should also be able to realize their rights to social protection, development and recognition.

To make these rights a reality, we need to acknowledge the key importance of fair recruitment including the need to eliminate recruitment fees and costs charged to migrant workers which can help eradicate human trafficking and forced labour.

Access to decent work is a key strategy to realize migrants’ development potential and contribution to society.

We must recognize that injustices suffered by migrant workers are injustices to us all.

We must do better.