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Visionary approach needed over quick fixes in new migrant law

  • Published
    4th Sep, 2023


Recent heinous crimes by migrant workers in Kerala have sparked discussions about a new law. It must address social, cultural, and economic insecurities while tackling crime.

Addressing Issues of Migrant Workers

  • Outdated Regulations: The existing Inter-state Migrant Workmen Act of 1979 is outdated and doesn't cover most labor suppliers, leaving many workers unprotected and unregistered.
  • Invisibility of Workers: The law doesn't account for contemporary labor arrangements, making it hard to determine the exact number of migrant workers and their rights.
  • Crime against Migrants: The law aims to address the increasing crimes against migrant workers in the State.

Need for Comprehensive Revisions

  • Inaccurate Data: Conflicting reports about the number of migrant workers in Kerala highlight the need for better data collection and management.
  • Portability of Rights: The proposed law must address the issue of statelessness when migrants move between states for work.
  • Decentralization: To ensure inclusivity, there should be a decentralization of governance, collaboration with local bodies, and transparency in resource allocation for migrant welfare.

Combating major Issues

  • Mob Violence and Stereotyping: Instances of mob violence against migrants are troubling. Stereotyping the entire migrant community based on isolated issues needs to stop.
  • Local Government Responsibility: Local self-government bodies should play a role in curbing hatred, fostering relations, and addressing health concerns of migrant workers.
  • Policy Reform: A new policy should bridge the gap in the outdated Inter-state Migrant Workmen Act, focusing on social security, mutual cooperation, and coordination among government departments for the well-being of migrant workers in Kerala.
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