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NGO Vakkom Moulavi Foundation Trust discusses improving lives of migrants in Kerala

The Vakkom Moulavi Foundation Trust (VMFT), an NGO working in governance, has come up with a report highlighting the need to build a rights-based framework for migrant workers in the state.

Published: 23rd December 2020 04:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd December 2020 04:07 AM   |  A+A-

Migrant Issue: Post lockdown, there was a huge wave of reverse migration, with lakhs and lakhs of migrant workers moving back to their home state. Many states after few weeks of lockdown, arranged buses for transportation and in the list Bihar was one of

Image for representational purpose only (File | PTI)

Express News Service

KOCHI: The Vakkom Moulavi Foundation Trust (VMFT), an NGO working in governance, has come up with a report highlighting the need to build a rights-based framework for migrant workers in the state.

TP Ramakrishnan, Minister for Excise and Labour will release the report at a function to be held on Wednesday. The report urges policymakers to build a comprehensive framework for the rights and welfare of around three million inter-state migrants in the state. 

The report has been drawn up based on the roundtable discussion organised by the NGO to initiate a dialogue on inter-state migrants and discuss their protection following the COVID-19 outbreak. According to K Damodaran, president of Vakkom Moulavi Foundation Trust, this is the right time to attempt substantial improvement of the legal framework involving migrant workers, who are the cornerstone of our economic activities. He said the roundtable discussion helped exchange views of stakeholders and make tangible changes.

KP Kanna, former director of the Centre for Development Studies, observed that the migrant workers were less vulnerable in Kerala. He said that the government and the civil society stepped in when the market failed to provide support.

As per qualitative information collected through field visits from nine districts and about 30,000 workers, migrant workers are part of many sectors including construction, plywood, textile, footwear, iron and steel, seafood, plantations, agriculture and hospitality sectors. 

Improved legal protection is one of the primary recommendations in the report which emphasises the need to strengthen legal provisions like Bonded Labour Rehabilitation Act, the Minimum Wage act and the Inter-state Migrant workmen Act. Kayamkulam Yoonus, secretary of the foundation, said that though the situation of migrant workers is better in Kerala there is scope for improvement. 



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