ILO: Guidelines on Wage Protection for Migrant Workers

Migrant workers will benefit from new guidance from the International Labor Organization (ILO), which highlights relevant international labor standards.

“The Guide focuses on wage-related problems faced by migrant workers, including non-payment and late payment. According to the ILO’s Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR), these problems lead to situations of debt bondage and forced labour,” the ILO said in a recent press release. Timely wages are essential to guarantee decent work and ensure social justice. They have a very direct and tangible effect on the daily life of workers. Countless families and communities depend on remittances from migrant workers’ relatives, the ILO said.

Migrant workers may face discrimination, racism and xenophobia, unfair recruitment processes and restrictions based on their migration status, which can contribute to labor and wage abuses. One of the common complaints of low-wage migrant workers and especially those in irregular situations is non-payment of wages. “Wage-related abuses were a major concern for migrant workers before the pandemic, especially in crisis situations such as conflicts, where workers may be forced to leave a destination country without getting what they want,” the head of the ILO’s Labor Migration Branch was quoted in the report. Governments around the world in the International Migration Review Forum’s 2022 progress report. Recognizing this problem, they pledged to “strengthen international cooperation to restore the earned wages, benefits and rights of returning migrants”.

Sami Nemili with AFP / ECO Inspirations

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