Catholic Bishops Help Protect Migrant Workers’ Rights

Geneva, 28 June 2018 - A Church-run web portal helps migrant workers in southern India understand and secure their rights.

It is estimated that around 14 million people migrate within India every year. The vast majority of men migrate for labor reasons. © Francesco Nuovo The Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council is concerned about issues such as labor migration, informal workers’ social security, the need to form trade unions and how to avoid political exploitation in the southern India State.

The dioceses will thus assist migrants through a web portal managed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) Office for Labor. The Migrants’ Data Manager will promote the safe movement of informal workers across the country as they migrate to seek jobs.

The Migrants’ Data Manager will promote a culture of structured and regulated work migration, reducing the vulnerability of employees and assisting employers in case of need.

Migrant workers receive a unique registration number and an identity card, as well as pre-departure orientation and travel tips. Furthermore, they can always refer to the local offices of the Workers India Federation (WIF, an organization promoted by the CBCI) for support and information.

Exact figures on migration within India are difficult to obtain, but it is estimated that around 14 million people migrate every year. The vast majority of men migrate for labor reasons, while marriage is the primary reason for female migration within the country. Migration flows are largely from rural areas to urban centers.