Innovative Tools for Migrant Workers
SOCIETY FOR LABOUR AND DEVELOPMENT | Every year, millions of people in India leave their villages in order to find work in urban areas. Often, they belong to the most deprived and vulnerable social groups. Together with the Society for Labour and Development (SLD), RLS has supported migrant workers in asserting their rights. The project was concluded in 2018.
SLD is part of the Interstate Migration Alliance (IMA). They aim to approach workers even before they leave their places of origin and inform them about their legal rights and access to justice in case of abuse at the workplace. In the joint project, SLD and RLS have developed an interactive multimedia training tool on labour rights. It provides easily accessible information on practical issues like workers’ rights, wages, working hours, workplace violence as well as safety and health regulations. Beyond that, background information on global supply chains or the Indian labour market are included. Workers can download these training tools on their private electronic devices and share it easily with their colleagues everywhere.
This tool is used at various Migrant Rights Centres that IMA has set up in Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, the National Capital Region. The centres assure informed migration by giving the workers a realistic notion of the working conditions in their intended destination and of the challenges they are likely to face.
Another multimedia tool initiated by SLD in collaboration with HELM is Lockstitch Lives – Migrants in the Megacity. This 360-degrees interactive documentary introduces the neighborhoods of Gurgaon, the industrial hub of the capital region, where many migrant workers employed in garment and domestic work sector live. It provides deep insight into living and working conditions and the challenges associated with exclusionary urbanisation to life.
The Society for Labour and Development, founded in 2006, is a Delhi-based labour rights organisation which mainly works on issues of migrant labourers in the National Capital Region. Through a network of resource centres, SLD is closely connected with grassroots organisations in the migrant workers’ most prominent states of origin. The organisation’s aim is to empower marginalized workers through education and training programs, especially when economic deprivation intersects with factors of social discrimination like gender, religion or caste.