Accepted paper:

Migration of Labour and Deprivation of Basic Rights in a Civil Society


Bishnu Charan Barik (Sambalpur University)

Paper short abstract:

The present paper deals with the internal migration of labor and reflects on their wage, working and living conditions and explains how basic rights of laborers are violated.

Paper long abstract:

The present paper is based on the author's research on Oriya migrant laborers in Surat in the Gujarat state of India, during the last two decades .The textile industries of Surat accommodate around ten lakh migrant laborers from Orissa and house them spatially distributed in the entire city. Majority of them work on casual basis and are paid on daily attendance. The laborers work for twelve hours per shift in a day against the official eight hours with an unpaid holiday on Friday. Medical help is a luxury in most of the industries. The temporary and ad-hoc nature of employment, low wages and poor housing conditions lead to serious health hazards. Hardly, any laborer is aware of any trade union in their industries and let alone in the textile city. Although, the different trade unions have their own units but none is politically active and lack wisdom to safe guard the interests of the laboring class. Hence one can easily notice that there are frequent changes of employment without any adequate changes in the way of life. The laborers rationalize the situation and accept the process of migration as it provides employment opportunities and better wages compared to what they are used to receive at their village surroundings. The above facts vividly narrate how the migrant laborers are deprived of their basic rights in a civilized society.

panel MMM08
Migration and the labour market: a comparative study between the EU and Asia (IUAES Commission on Enterprise Anthropology)