Migrant Workers

Migrant Labour in the Apparel Sector in Mauritius

Meeting Report, 19 February 2011

By Frances House, Deputy Chief Executive, IHRB

Business Migration Roundtable

Migrant workers represent a particularly vulnerable part of the workforce, and abuses occur throughout the labour supply chain. Recruitment of migrant workers by unregulated and frequently unscrupulous labour providers has given rise to much documented abuse of migrants, including as the deduction from wages of recruitment fees and pre‐departure loans at extortionate rates of interest, leading to situations of debt bondage.

Employment practices by suppliers in some receiving countries may include the retention of migrants’ travel documents, violating workers’ freedom of movement, and rendering them bonded labour. No matter where in the supply chain, violations of workers’ rights will always have significant reputational impacts on global high‐street brands. Promoting ethical recruitment and employment of migrants is a human rights responsibility and a business‐risk imperative.

Latest IHRB Publications

The Start of Modern Corporate Accountability Efforts - In Memory of Joel Filártiga

It is an unfortunate reality that when human rights defenders speak against their governments, they place themselves at risk of harm. Still, some choose to speak, and in doing so they change the course of history.

Dr Joel Filártiga was one such...

25 July 2019

Human Rights and the Built Environment - A Call for Action

Two-thirds of humanity are projected to live in urban areas by 2050. If we are to make progress in reducing global inequality and in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a rights-based approach to the built environment is critical. 


Rights and Wrongs - Where Does the Buck Stop?

Last week, Bank of America announced that it would no longer lend to companies that run the controversial centres where the United States Government is detaining refugees and migrants who have entered the country without proper documentation  (such...