Watch | How can migrant workers be protected?

The nationwide lockdown announced on March 24 at short notice has caused immense distress to migrant workers around the country. Thousands of migrant workers are walking across India in a desperate attempt to reunite with their families in their native places.

Questions are being raised about their welfare and the lack of legal protection for their rights. Those in the field of labour welfare have recalled a 1979 law to regulate the employment and working conditions of inter-State migrants.

Also read | Tragedy on the tracks: On the killing of 16 migrant workers

As part of reforming labour law, a Bill has been introduced in Parliament called the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code of 2019. The proposed code seeks to merge 13 labour laws into a single piece of legislation. The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act of 1979, is one of them. But activists fear that specific safeguards given to migrant workers may be lost as a result of this consolidation.

Also read | With no work or food, workers brave the long march home from Uttar Pradesh

Printable version | May 13, 2021 12:13:55 AM |

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