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A Bill of Rights for Migrant Workers in Agriculture

A Bill of Rights for Migrant Workers in Agriculture


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By IUF

In 2002, the IUF Congress approved a proposal from the Conference of the Professional Group of Agricultural Workers, to begin to address the tremendous problem of migrant labor in agriculture through, among other instruments, the development of a bill of rights for migrant workers in the sector, as the basis for a campaign by the unions.

A major meeting of IUF agricultural affiliates organized jointly with IUF affiliate IG Bau produced a bill of rights for migrant workers in agriculture.
In 2002, the IUF Congress approved a proposal from the Conference of the Professional Group of Agricultural Workers, to begin to address the tremendous problem of migrant labor in agriculture through, among other instruments, the development of a bill of rights for migrant workers in the sector, as the basis for a campaign by the unions. Consequently, the IUF and the German IG Bau held, in Berlin from June 24 to 26, an international workshop on migrant agricultural workers and the tasks of trade unions. Representatives of agricultural unions from Germany, Egypt, Spain, France, Holland, Moldova, UK, South Africa, Sweden and Ukraine participated.

The workshop centered its attention around the presentation and discussion of the diverse experiences of unions in organizing migrant workers, with the goal of establishing a current "best practice". Present efforts and approaches to the very difficult task of defending and organizing migrant workers vary considerably from one country to another, and even from one harvest to another, as does the political and industrial approach on the problem and the level of experience of the IUF affiliates. However, all agree that the often desperate situation of vulnerable and exploited migrant workers in the sector depresses standards for workers as a whole and must be addressed through union action at a great variety of levels.

Consequently, the meeting produced a draft bill of rights for migrant workers in agriculture, the text of which is reproduced on the opposite page. The draft charter, which has yet to be approved by the governing bodies of the IUF, will serve as the basis for the IUF's work on the issue of migration at the ILO Symposium on Decent Work in Agriculture, to be held on 15 to September 18, as well as for the debate on migrant work within the ILO next year.

Decent work and equal treatment

Work is not a commodity: poverty wherever it is is a danger to prosperity everywhere (1)

No worker is an illegal worker

Millions of workers in agriculture work outside their countries of origin. They have the right to decent work and equal treatment.

These rights consist of:

Equal pay and working conditions in line with national workers of the host country, including those benefits resulting from collective bargaining (2) and union membership;

Right to live free from physical or psychological violence and harassment, inhuman treatment, and arbitrary deportation;

The non-existence of child labor or forced labor;

Freedom of movement (employers cannot retain passports or permits)

Non-discrimination based on sex, race, color, sexual orientation, language, religion, political belief, nationality, age, economic position, property, marital status, birth or any other condition;

Safe and healthy working conditions (3);
The non-application of forced deductions from wages;

Reasonable accommodation and hygiene;

Access to education for their children;

Access to medical services, social security and justice;

Access to accurate information, in an appropriate language, in home countries and host countries.

These rights, applicable to women and men regardless of their status, are recognized in international laws, such as the Conventions of the International Labor Organization and the United Nations Conventions. (4) These rights are better protected through union membership, For this reason, the right to join a union is fundamental.

We, as unions representing workers in agriculture, are committed to fighting for these rights for all migrant, documented or undocumented workers.

We will fight to improve the living and working conditions of all migrant workers.
Governments and employers also have a duty to respect these rights.
(1) Declaration of Philadelphia
(2) Collective agreements usually cover working hours, rates of pay for overtime, training, sickness insurance and vacation pay, etc.
(3) ILO Convention 184 on Health and Safety in Agriculture
(4) ILO Conventions (97) on migration for employment and (143) on migrant workers under unfair conditions and the promotion of equal opportunities and treatment of migrant workers; UN International Convention on the protection of the rights of migrant workers and members of their families.

* IUF Secretariat
July 2003


Video: Safeu0026Fair: Realizing women migrant workers rights and opportunities in the ASEAN region (June 2022).


Comments:

  1. Thorntun

    Bravo, a great idea and on time

  2. Walton

    Say at the bottom

  3. Mir

    It's nice to know what an intelligent person thinks about this. Thank you for the article.

  4. Tantalus

    You do not like it?

  5. Vushakar

    Cool, what else can I say.



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