Caritas urges governments to fight the exploitation of migrants by offering decent work, social protection and greater opportunities for human development.
In a statement for the Global Forum on Migration and Development, Caritas warns that the economic crisis which has led to cuts in public spending, unemployment and the tightening of borders to restrict migrant entry have had a major impact on migrants and their ability to contribute to local development.
“Migrants the world over, but most of all women, are vulnerable to abuse,” says Martina Liebsch director of policy at Caritas Internationalis. “Migrants have the same rights as everyone to life, liberty, security, education, medical care and decent work. We urge governments to make protecting migrants a priority.”
More specifically, Caritas asks the Global Forum to consider the following issues:
- Protection and promotion of the contribution of migrant women to human development.
Women are often the primary breadwinner in their families and increasingly migrate on their own only to find themselves in less regulated sectors of the labour market. Caritas asks governments to hone the legal instruments and social support mechanisms to protect these women.
- Fighting the exploitation and abuse of migrants at all stages of their journey effectively.
States and civil society should cooperate to combat the exploitation and abuse of migrants at all levels. They should avoid the detention of migrants, especially minors and provide real access to due process. Particular attention should be paid to migrants in emergency and conflict situations.
- Decent work, social protection and opportunities for migrants to contribute to human development.
Key to protecting migrants at work is introducing effective labour regulations. Employment agencies should be under the control of the authorities. Victims of trafficking should be protected by legal and social instruments. The portability of social rights should be explored whereby migrants should be given the choice of either maintaining their pension/health insurance in their country of employment or to transfer them to their country of origin.
“Caritas would like to see a future of migration governance that is taken into account in the post 2015 development strategy so the future development framework includes migration monitoring and accountability mechanisms that will ensure the operationalisation of easier global mobility for migrants. This would involve legal channels for labour migration facilitating the mobility of workers, greater respect for their human rights, equal opportunities for men and women and improved access to decent work,” says Martina Liebsch.
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