Policy framework for inclusion of internal migrants is crucial, finds ILO report

Report offers road map for betterment of India’s internal migrant workers and their families, who are struggling to recover from the COVID-19 impact.

Press release | 07 December 2020
New Delhi - The International Labour Organization (ILO) released a new report ‘Road map for Developing a Policy Framework for the Inclusion of Internal Migrant Workers in India’ today. The report was jointly prepared by the ILO Decent Work Technical Support team for South Asia and Country Office for India, Aajeevika Bureau and the Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development (CMID).

The report concludes that it is of utmost importance to come together through a whole-of-government and whole-of society approach for betterment of the migrant workers. It emphasizes that without earnest and inclusive policy framework, the internal migrant workers may continue to remain on the periphery of the COVID-19 recovery process.

Ms Dagmar Walter, Director ILO DWT/CO-New Delhi, said, “Internal labour migration has been at the core of the ILO‘s concerns even before the reality of COVID-19. However, the pandemic has revived the dialogue around mainstreaming labour migration into India’s national development policy. This roadmap takes into consideration various policy measures and sets out propositions for the government, social partners, and other relevant stakeholders, that can help bring about substantial change in the working and living conditions of India’s migrant workers.”

The report underlines, addressing informality, universal and portable access to social protection, safe living and working conditions, access to justice and enabling workers’ collectivization are all essential ingredients for a fundamental change in the conditions of migrant workers.

Rajiv Khandelwal, Co-founder and Executive Director, Aajeevika Bureau, said, “Considering the complexity of the issue the road map proposes an integrated approach that takes into account the intersectionality of the different kinds of vulnerabilities faced by the migrants.”

The report identifies the need for establishing universal response system for migrants embedded within State and inter-State machinery and dynamically coordinated by a Central governing system. It also advocates that such system to be rooted into tripartite processes involving employers and trade unions.
Benoy Peter, Co-founder and Executive Director, Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development, said, “Cumulative experience of the three organizations and commitment to migrant workers’ rights have brought together practical insights for development of this road map. In the course of India’s future, if we wish to truly “Build Back Better”, we must pursue the more difficult yet transformative path of change to ensure decent work and social justice for migrant workers and members of their families.”

Shabari Nair, ILO Regional Migration Specialist, Divya Verma, ILO National Programme Officer, Rajiv Khandelwal and Divya Varma from, Aajeevika Bureau, and Benoy Peter, CMID authored this report. The report was reviewed and enhanced with contributions from a ten member advisory committee and Specialists from the ILO’s Decent Work Technical Support Team for South Asia.

For more information contact

Nilesh Nikade
Communication and Information Management Officer
ILO DWT/CO-New Delhi
Email: nikade@ilo.org