News & Events

South Indian Consultation on Distress Migration Back

Day: 21 July 2017
Venue: ISI-B
Number of Participants: 18

To improve networking and collaboration among those involved with issues of distress migration in south India, Labour and Migration Unit of Indian Social Institute organised a one day consultation on 21 July 2017. The first session began by the welcome address of Fr. Martin and the self introduction by all the 18 participants. It was followed by addresses by Fr. George Pattery, Jesuit Provincial of South Asia and Fr. Selvaraj, Director of ISI, Bangalore.

The second session began with a power point presentation on the Labour & Migration Unit of ISI-B and a video clipping on ‘Nature of Inter-state Migration in India’ by Prof. Ravi S. Srivastava. It was followed by sharing of participants on ‘critical issues and challenges in work with distress migrants’.

The third session categorised and highlighted major issues and challenges shared by participants as follows:

A] Migrant issues
• Lack of Co-integration
• Social integration and protection
• Emergence of new caste & discrimination
• Lack of education
• Non-payment of wages, exploitation, language barrier
• Skill training(modelled from night school interventions)
• Fear of the migrants Vs locals
• Migrants in prisons, asylums
• Addictions
• Lack of Local linkages (church, trade unions, NGOs)
• Lack of portable civic identities and entitlements
• Lack of Safe migration, decent work and social security benefits

B] Government mechanisms
• Exclusions from govt benefits/schemes(medical, PDS, Minimum wages]
• Lack of legislations for migrants
• Deliberate exclusion of migrants by the govt officials
• Lack of registration of the inter-state migrants by welfare boards
• Bonded labour , Human trafficking
• Violations of labour rights

C] Challenges in our interventions
• Lack of co-ordination and vision
• Sharing of our resources
• Resistance to direct involvement with the migrants
• Lack of connectivity between source and the destinations
• Use of social media
• Micro and Macro level involvement(JRS model)
• CBCI and existing mechanisms should be geared to
• Advocacy with state machineries

Then the major Challenges were listed as follows:

Co-integration Vision & Mission Policy interventions Legal framework Linkages
Awareness & Training Safe Migration Education Interacting with law enforcing agencies Linking the migrants with unorganised work
Existing migrant groups Decent work & Working conditions Health & Hygiene Formation of expert team Linkages with all the groups who are working with migrants
Friends of migrant groups reintegration Entitlements Making sure existing laws implemented Different level of Platform need to be created (State, National)
Provision cultural festivals Constitutional and Labour rights Policy audit cell Linkages with source state to reduce distress migration
Creating common platform of the labour commissions in church Enhancing their capacity building MoU with states
Skill up gradation to most vulnerable people Spirituality of migrants works Portable IDs for entitlements
Root causes of migration need to address Recruiting people who know the north Indian language
Creation of migrants union

In order to work on the draft action plan a core team was formed with following members: Fr. Shaju, Fr. Benny, Fr. Eugine, Fr. Ignace, Fr. Martin, Mr. Ansari & [Sr. Valarmathi, yet to be confirmed]. The time frame agreed upon is that the first meeting of the Core team will be held at ISI-B by the end of August to work out the draft and the circulation of the final draft to members will be done by 31 Oct, 2017.

The final session was devoted to sharing by participants about their views on the consultation, vote of thanks by Fr. John Felix and group photo.

After the conclusion of the formal consultation, Jesuit participants held a meeting with POSA. It focused on establishing migration linkages between north sources and south destinations, Jesuit and non Jesuit staff to work with issues of migration, collaboration between provinces and institutions, Assistancy/National level consultation, and involvement of JESA in migration works.

Report prepared by Fr. Martin

# List of Participants with details is attached