January 11, 2007

Migrant Workers Abused, Praised in Different Countries

Rebels in India’s impoverished Northeast are targeting migrant workers to stir anger over high unemployment there. According to the Associated Press, 67 workers were killed or wounded in the space of a week, the latest violence in a region home to “dozens” of insurgent groups and long-simmering ethnic conflict.

A human rights advocate says foreign maids in Bahrain have been “specifically excluded” from labor protections, leading to widespread abuse. The Gulf Daily News reports that maids from South and Southeast Asia are frequently overworked, beaten, sexually abused and driven to attempt suicide.

Contrary to public fears, 500,000 workers from Poland, Hungary and other former Soviet countries have reduced unemployment and boosted production in the U.K., a study finds. They also take lower wages, however, which reduces labor-bargaining powers.

Sources:

“More than 50 killed in Indian violence”
Associated Press, January 6, 2007

“‘Bring domestic workers under Gulf labour law’ call”
Gulf Daily News (Bahrain), January 3, 2007

“‘Little evidence’ of migrants adversely affecting UK job market”
24dash.com (U.K.), January 4, 2007

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