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Global Economy

MIGRANT WORKERS’ RIGHTS IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY

ESRC Seminar

Thursday September 2nd 2010 International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, UK

This one-day seminar, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, is the second in the Middlesex University series examining emerging issues of global labour regulation. The seminar will be held at the International Slavery Museum (http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/ism/) in Liverpool’s dockside on Thursday September 2nd 2010 from 10am until 5.30pm.

Migration is an integral part of an increasingly internationalised economy. Around 3 per cent of the world’s population, just less than 200 million people, now live and work outside of their own country. This number has been growing at just less than 3 per cent in each year. The increased tendency for people to migrate to work and live has been spurred by changes in the world economy and the effects of structural economic change, or through war and civil upheaval, or environmental damage. Trade liberalisation and market de-regulation has also increased the propensity to migrate, as new geographical patterns of production have emerged. Yet labour migration is not a central concern of international agencies such as the WTO, the IMF or the World Bank. Migrant workers and their families are vulnerable to exploitation and racism, and labour market imbalances can result from migration in both sending and receiving countries.

The purpose of this seminar is to examine migration from a rights –based perspective. We hope to explore aspects of civil, human and social rights of migrant workers as well as labour and economic rights. Migrant labour is thus viewed from within perspectives of forced, slave and child labour as well as economic labour. As such the seminar welcome the participation of those academics, practitioners and migrant worker activists who wish to develop new agendas for regulating migrant labour through a variety of agency and policy initiatives.  

The seminar will be divided into two sessions. The first, thematic session, will examine alternative perspectives on migrant workers’ rights. The second session will present case studies from different world regions. Speakers/Participants will include: 

Marion Hellmann (Assistant General Secretary, Building and Wood Workers International, Geneva) – overview of migrant workers in the world economy

Professor Joshua Castellino (Law Department, Middlesex University) – A Rights Based Approach to Migration

Svetlana Boincean (International Union of Food, Farm and Hotel Workers ) -on eliminating Child Labour in agriculture and tobacco growing 

Heather Connolly and Professor Miguel Martinez Lucio (Manchester University)- Welfare Systems, Social Inclusion and Migrant Worker-Union Relations in the EU

Steve Craig (UCATT building workers’ union, UK) –  Vulnerable Work and Migration in the UK construction industry

Nick McGeehan (director of Mafiwasta www.mafiwasta.com , an organisation for migrant workers in the Gulf).

And case study representations from migrant worker activists in Ireland, the Gulf Region, Italy, and India.

If you are interested in participating in the seminar please register your interest with Denise Arden at d.arden@mdx.ac.uk. Lunch and refreshments are provided and the seminar is free to attend, but registration in advance is necessary. More information can be obtained from the seminar organisers, Professor Martin Upchurch (m.upchurch@mdx.ac.uk) and Professor Miguel Martinez Lucio (Miguel.MartinezLucio@mbs.ac.uk).

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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