Migrant Workers’ Rights and Labour Market Exploitation

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Toulouse, France

This workshop addresses the various explanations for the extent and nature of exploitation of migrant workers in the labour markets of receiving states. Divergent and, in some cases, competing accounts exist to understand this contemporary phenomenon of employment-based violations that non-citizens experience compared with citizen workers. These include the role of regulatory policy (both immigration and labour laws), the existence or absence of human rights instruments, the strength or weakness of trade unions and other political actors, the deference or activism of the legal system, the ideology of ruling elites, the strength of the far-right and finally, the characteristics of migrants themselves (gender, ethnic background and social class). This workshop provides the context to explore these differing explanations of migrant worker rights violations through single case study and comparative papers that draw upon an array of research methods. Descriptive research on the extent of migrant worker rights and how this compares with native-born is also encouraged to the extent that it adds to existing accounts. Collectively, these insights will generate policy prescriptions that will be useful to both migrant rights advocates and government in generating legislative change in this area.

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