According to the 2011 Census, India has 5.6 crore inter-state migrants, which is 33% less than the number that was observed in the previous census conducted in 2001. This population is mainly employed by the unorganised/informal sector and plays a significant role in the accelerated growth story of India’s urban infrastructure. The current policies have not been successful in equipping the migrant labour workforce with crucial amenities like housing in the cities they have migrated to, which added to their quandary during the COVID pandemic. Provision for habitation for the migrant workforce has only now been brought to the forefront for discussion, which reflects the failure of the government and detachment from the transformative constitutionalism mechanism. (more…)
Coronavirus outbreak and the consequent nationwide lockdown has impacted nearly 40 million internal migrants, as per the World Bank, because of the uncertainty of their living conditions and their excludability in any specific demographic. The current pandemic saw an exodus of migrant workers, which made everybody unsure of the actual number of people who work in the informal economy. More than 90-92% of the workforce in India is informal, which directly means that they have no social and employment security.
Migrant workers continue to face endless issues choosing to work in different States and cities, especially since they are mostly employed by the unorganized sector. Migrating from their hometown to an urban area in search for better opportunities puts them in a vulnerable position where they are forced to fend for themselves in less than substandard working conditions and subject to being exploited for very little money. Many migrant workers who engage in seasonal work are often trapped in debt or bondage. In order to ensure decent livelihood and standard of living of such a huge chunk of the population, the need to have a sturdy legislation upholding their rights is of utmost importance for the overall development of the economy. (more…)